The Roles We Play

As the great playwright Shakespeare once said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

At the center of our being we are all storytellers, as well as actors playing out a role in our own epic play.  Lately, Archetypes Energies have been showing up in my life, in a very clear manner.  Over the past 5 years, I have worked with these energies during holistic workshops but it is now that I am truly understanding and experiencing them consciously on my own.

In the last couple of weeks, I have agreed to play "new" roles/archetypes and it has been hard to explore them. A few days ago I realized, I was taking the behaviors and patterns of these archetypes in a personal manner; when in fact they are just merely a collection of behaviors, patterns and skills of the collective unconsciousness that we are all entitle to play with, whenever we feel call upon to do so, for our own evolution.

"Throughout history, in all cultures on our planet, colorful stories, myths and legends have been passed down from generation to generation as a means to preserve, inspire, entertain, educate, understand and spark emotions. Archetypes embody an eternal truth that has the power to dive right into the vein of human need, fear, desire, drive, motives and dreams. They represent patterns of thought that cross the boundary of generation, gender, age, race, and culture."

Last night my identity was questioned. I was asked, If I was not any of these archetypes, then who am I? I had a quick moment of silence and the answer was crystal clear; I am all of them and non of them at the same time. I am simply consciousness/energy and I am able to embody myself as I choose, whenever I desire to do so. For example at work I usually play the "leader", at my holistic practice I play the "shaman", when I get triggered in a negative way I sometimes play the "victim" and other times the "hero". In my life I have and still play many other roles such as the mother, father, grandma, virgin, whore, lover, explorer, magician, sage, alien and so on.

At every instant we have the possibility to experience and embody any roles/archetypes we feel call to play with. We actually do this all the time, but in an unconscious manner. This month energy is bringing the awareness to start consciously playing with these roles.

It is crucial for our evolution to understand the energies we play more often in our lives, their behaviors, skills and patterns. Which energies would you like to play but have not honored yet? Which ones have been asked from others to be embody by you and how do you feel about them? It is important to become aware of these energies as it will lead you into a better comprehension of the choices you make in life, your relationships with others but most importantly your relationship with self.

In conclusion, when we become aware of these roles/archetypes in our lives, it creates a space to have fun with them, while exploring and learning the lessons we have chosen to experience. After all, we have come to play in this amazing stage and we should embrace and honor all the energies that we want to explore. The key is to do it with consciousness.

4 Simple Ways To Speak To Your Inner Child

When we are born into this existence, we first see through the eyes of a little child, and that "inner child" stays with us throughout our lives, no matter how “grown-up” and powerful we become.

Chances are that you have heard the term inner child or wounded child at some point in your life.  We all have an inner child that has been hurt, abandoned, shamed or neglected in the past. “I believe that this neglected, wounded inner child of the past is the major source of human misery," says Bradshaw That child’s pain, anger and grief live on within us and it is important to face it, communicate with her/him so we can start forgiving ourselves and those who co-created the wounds of this child. If we do so, in return we will be able to fall in love with every part that makes us whole. I believe this is the foundation for any person who wants to heal and live through their wholeness.

As I have mentioned in the article Awaken the Master Within, healing is simply a natural byproduct of letting go and falling in Love with yourself. Through a series of exercises and practices we are able to dive deep into our child’s wounds and rescue those parts of us that once were broken and left behind. When we do this practice we are able to let go of the illusions that were created in those circumstances by taking responsibility through forgiveness. Realizing that no matter what happened to that child in the past, that child is now safe and loved by you. Because it is only you that can love, listen, communicate and protect your inner child.

Like anything else in life, this is a practice and with discipline will be your ally. Many of us have spent over 20+ years without communicating with the wounded child. This child may be scared, alienated and for some it may feel like it is “not even there”, but trust me when I say he/she is there and it is waiting to be seen and loved.

“The cry we hear from deep in our hearts, says Thich Nhat Hanh, comes from the wounded child within. Healing this inner child’s pain will transform negative emotions.”

I suggest that you start communicating with your inner child through the beautiful practice of Ho’ponopono. If you want to learn more about this practice you can check out Balancing Chakras with Ho’ponopono.

Open your heart and put the intention to communicate with your inner child.

Now, let’s practice. I suggest you sit down in a comfortable position in a place were there is peace and quite and you know you will not be disturbed. Open your heart and put the intention to communicate with your inner child. Start by talking directly to the child with the language of love, saying, “Hi little one, I am here and I want to communicate with you. Is that ok?” Please listen to your child, he/she will let you know what it is feeling. Your intuition will be the child’s voice, pay attention. It is ok to cry with your child, don’t be surprised if this situation comes up. This is a beautiful opportunity to release what no longer serves you and your child. Once you have open communication with the child go ahead and do Ho’ponopono.

1.     Say I am Sorry- Here you can simply express I am sorry or you can add to this statement whatever comes to you. For example “I am sorry in the past, I left you alone. I went away from you. Now I am going to embrace you” or “I am sorry, you didn’t deserve this.”

2.     Please Forgive Me- Again you can just say Please Forgive Me or something like “Please forgive me, I have been so busy. I have neglected you, and now I have learned a way to come back to you.”

3.     I Love You- This may be the most powerful statement you can say to your child.  Your child patiently has been waiting to be loved by you. You can say I love you or you may add something extra like “I love you, I hear you. We’ll work through it. It’s going to be okay.”

4.     Thank You- You may say a simple thank you or something along the lines of “Thank you for protecting me, you did your best.”

This is a simple and easy way to start a relationship with your inner child. Personally when I speak to my inner child, I embrace my belly area with my hands because this is where I feel she resides. For example you may imagine her/his energy sitting in front of you, there is no wrong way of doing this. But know that for healing to take place you have to talk to your child everyday at least 5- 10 minutes and ideally several times a day. The little child has been left alone for so long, that is why you need to begin this practice right away.

When you dance, invite your child to dance, when you go see a sunset invite the child to enjoy it with you. Start inviting your child to the things you do for fun. Those may be simple actions like contemplating a sunset or inviting him/her when you play with your own children. Every time you choose to do actions in joy remember to invite your child. Your inner child will help you to enjoy the moment as much as you did when you were a kid. Your child will bring the awareness of being fully present in the moment, so you can enjoy it to the fullest. And in return this child will experience the unconditional love you have for him/her. If you do that for a few weeks or a few months, the wounded child in you will experience healing.

Go back and take care of yourself. The wounded child in you needs you. Your suffering needs you to acknowledge it. Go home and be there for all these things. Do everything in mindfulness so you can really be there, so you can Love.

I invite you to join me, Marien Sarriera along with coaches Mark Fernandez and Connor Cranston for a week full of adventures and awakening. Every experience you will have in this retreat shall be a catalyst for massive growth. Growth that is cultivated in a nurturing and safe environment through community. Furthermore, you will get to experience it with a tribe that will support you through the difficult times and celebrate your awakening. Let’s take a ride together and Awaken the Master Within.

Join us in the Jungle for a week of Awakening!
May 27, 2017 - June 3, 2017
La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Balancing chakras with Ho’ponopono

Before I begin to tell you how to practice Hoʻoponopono for Balancing Chakras, I want to say how grateful I am to hear, see and feel how the beautiful vortexes of energy that exist within every being in this planet are getting the attention they deserve. These vortexes are the amazing chakras, the wheels of energies that help and guide us in this human experience.

If you have already heard of the chakras then I am positive you have an idea about how important it is to balance or even open them. I always encourage to do this, but most importantly I advice to consciously use them, because that is what they are here for. They are here to aid us in our journey back to Love, while helping us navigate and enjoy the human ride we currently live in.

The reason why many of us have unbalanced or closed chakras is simple. We are mainly living in “fear”, when we live in constant resistance towards the wholeness that exist within us, we are not able to access all that we are and this brings unbalance or even closeness of our chakras. This affects not only our physical body but our seven subtle bodies: First Layer (The Etheric Body), Second Layer (The Emotional Body), Third Layer (The Mental Body), Fourth Layer (The Astral level), The Fifth Layer (The Etheric Template Body), The Sixth Layer (The Celestial Body), The Seventh Layer (The Ketheric Template or Causal Body).

To understand this better I will explain in a snapshot what an unbalanced chakra may feel like. Remember that if a chakra is out of balance it can either be under or over active or sometimes closed completely.  And as promised I will introduce or maybe remind you of the updated version of the ancient technique Ho’ponopono.

Even thou we have many chakras in our body, I will only cover the main 7 ones to make it simple and digestible.  Please understand there is a lot more to this topic than meets the eye, so keep in mind this is just a quick pick at the wheels.

1.     Muladhara- Root Chakra (red)

This one is the core of survival, the right to exist, represents stability and being rooted. If this chakra is functioning flawless, you will feel: grounded and stable, trust in the divine order of things and you will feel supported in life’s roller coasters and flux, etc.
If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: worried about work, money, or other primitive issues in your life; focused on material possessions; the need to satisfy own wants and desires, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance may include: digestion problems, autoimmune disease, anorexia or obesity, hip, leg and feet problems, arthritis, etc.

2.     Svadhisthana-Sacral Chakra (orange)

This chakra is about emotions, creativity, sex, intimacy and relationships. If this chakra is functioning flawless, you will feel: abundant, creative and able to enjoy sex in your life, no trouble expressing emotions without been over emotional or connecting with others, etc.
If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: unable to take pleasure from life or sex or the other extreme of this coin, to handle emotions or feelings may be hard for you, etc.
Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: lower back pain, kidney disease, menstrual irregularity, irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cysts, reproductive organs issues, etc.

3.     Manipura -Solar Plexus (yellow)

The third chakra is about asserting yourself in a group, confidence, ego, and our ability to be in control of our lives. If this chakra is working flawless, you will feel: control, good self-esteem, confident, optimistic, acceptance of self and others, etc. If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: low self-esteem, pessimism, no trust in natural flow, aggressive or passive, domineering or indecisive, need for material security, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: HBP, liver and pancreas problems, asthma, digestives disorders, etc.

4.     Anahata-Heart Chakra (green)

The heart chakra is the center of Compassion, represents our ability to love and be loved.
If this chakra is working flawless, you will feel: loving, joyous, peaceful, whole, accepting, balance, etc. If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: cold and distant, unable to be kind, unable to follow your passions or accept love given by others, the need to look for rewards, you may also be suffocating other with your love, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: respiratory disorders, circulatory system, heart problems, allergies, immune diseases, etc.

5.     Vishudda-Throat chakra (blue)

This one is the center of communication, sound, expression of creativity by thought speech and writing. Represents our ability to communicate clearly and to speak our truth. If this chakra is working flawless, you will feel: heard, able to articulate your own ideas, thoughts and feelings; able to trust your ‘inner voice’, comfortable in silence and expression, etc. If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: unable to speak up or speak too much, unable to express opinions, introverted and shy, fearful of being judged or rejected, bad listener, not believing in your creativity, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: thyroid problems, mouth ulcers, throat problems, asthma, cervical pain, speech and voice problems, etc.

6.     Ajna -Third Eye chakra (indigo or violet)

Our third eye is the center for psychic power, spirit energies, higher intuition and light. It allows us to receive guidance and to tune in into our higher self. If this chakra is working flawless, you will feel: able to make good decisions, clarity of thought, imaginative, intuitive, connected to the source, etc. If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: confused, out of alignment with your intuition, unable to think about other points of view, relying on beliefs too much, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: central nervous systems, glaucoma, lower brain disorders, headaches, eyes, ears and sinus troubles, etc.

7.     Sahaswara- Crown chakra (violet or white)

Our crown is the center of enlightenment, truth and oneness. It is our connection to the divine. Represents our ability to connect fully with our spiritual selves. If this chakra is working flawless, you will feel: the world is beautiful, connected to the universe, keen to learn, no fear of death, open to divine, clairvoyant, etc. If this chakra is out of balance, you might feel: full of thoughts and like you can’t switch your brain off, indecisive, melancholic, selfish, secretive, not creative, reclusive, boredom, catatonic, stubbornness, no joy of life, etc. Physical symptoms of imbalance might include: confusion, dizziness, depression, psychotic, migraines, poor sleep, tiredness, general mental problems, premature baldness, dandruff, etc.

Now that you know a bit of how chakras work or may feel like when unbalanced, let’s talk about one way on how to get balancing chakras in our physical and subtle bodies.

Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Maybe you guys have heard about Dr. Len, “a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients – without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate's chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person's illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.” Dr. Len used Hoʻoponopono to heal his patients, but in truth all he did was heal himself.

The first thing you have to understand is that there is no “out there”, there is only inside of you and what we call the “out there” is just a mirror of what is happening inside you. With this been said, now we can go to the part that may be a bit harsh to understand. Because there is no separation between out and in, this means that each one of us are responsible for everything, absolutely everything that is reflected on the “outer world”, this includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes this means you are responsible for wars, for terrorist attacks, the economy, anything you experience and don't like is up for you to heal. They don't exist, in a manner of speaking, except as reflections from inside yourself. The problem isn't with them, it's with you, and to change them, you have to change yourself.

I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live by. Blaming others is far easier than total responsibility. But truly this is great news, because this means if you can heal yourself then you can heal others and as an effect we heal collectively. Your projection of the outer world will change to a kinder, more loving place, as you will have those attributes more present within you. So if you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure or help anyone, you do it by healing yourself.

If you are still having difficulty to assimilate this information, I encourage you to read my article on The 4 Agreements That Will Help You Reclaim Your Power, as I believe it will open your eyes to a new way of seeing life.

Like Sebastian Gendry put it “There are four simple steps to this method, and the order is not that important. Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love are the only forces at work – but these forces have amazing power.”

#1: Repentance – I’M SORRY

Once you realize that you are responsible for everything in your mind, even if it seems to be “out there”; it’s very natural to feel sorry. I know I do. Specially lately with all the terrorist attacks, or the fact that there are brothers and sisters that have no water or food, I am so full of guilt that something in my consciousness has created that.

This epiphany can be painful, and you will likely resist accepting responsibility for the “out there” kind of problems until you start to practice this technique on your more obvious “in here” problems and see a change. So choose something that you already know you’ve caused for yourself. Do you have health problems? Addictions? Do you have anger issues? Start there and say you’re sorry. That’s the first step: I’M SORRY.

#2: Ask Forgiveness – PLEASE FORGIVE ME

When you ask for forgiveness, it does not matter whom you are asking. All it matters is that you do it with deep intention, remembering the remorse from step 1, as you ask to be forgiven. Don’t worry about who you’re asking. Just ask! PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

#3: Gratitude – THANK YOU

Say THANK YOU, again it doesn’t matter who or what you’re thanking. Thank God, the Universe, the Source, or even your body for what it does for you.  Thank yourself for being your best. Just keep saying THANK YOU.

Step 4: Love – I LOVE YOU

Say I LOVE YOU. Say it over and over. Mean it. Feel it. Love conquers all, there is nothing more powerful than LOVE. That’s it, simple yet effective. The best part is you can do it yourself; you don’t need anyone to be there or hear you. You can “say” the words in your head or out loud. The power lies in the feeling, in the trust and faith you have on the Devine to forgive and love.

Now, you may be asking, “how will this help my chakras?” The theory behind it is simple. First explore each of your chakras and find out which ones need healing, don’t be surprised if it is more than one or even all of them. The next step is to focus individually on the chakras you desire to work on and with intention and devotion repeat the Hoʻoponopono mantra: “I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, I Love You, Thank You”. Say it over and over again for as long as you feel it is needed. Repeat it anytime during the day, like while you shower, drive, exercise, meditate or when you desire. The more you practice it the more effective it is.  When you repeat these words, what you are really doing is reminding yourself that it is okay to make mistakes; it is okay to forgive and love yourself no matter what happens. It is crucial to give thanks for the lessons learned and the opportunity to heal. Start by saying THANK YOU for being guided to this article, this words, this message, so you can consciously start balancing chakras and understanding them in a deeper way and most importantly continue your inner healing.

The neat part of using the Hoʻoponopono mantra is that you don't need to know why your chakras may be unbalanced for the blockages to be released. I encourage you to dig deep and explore them, as it will help you in your journey. If you find it to hard or unbearable to do this don’t worry, its magic will still work with or without any specific awareness. Keep in mind, that with intention any blockages will be cleared and balance restored, so that the prana “life force energy” can flow easily connecting all chakras, each spinning at the same speed.

My mission behind this article and the ones to come is for you to understand and become aware on how the wheels can be used in an easy and daily manner, while opening or balancing them. With this knowledge you will be able to create awareness in all the parts of your life that may need healing. So the energy of your chakras can flow, opening a gateway to live more aligned in the frequency of love. When we are in this frequency, life flows and gratitude and abundance becomes our daily bread. I hope this helps you on your journey, as it has done for me. And remember the rainbow is our road back home!

*Join us in the Jungle for a week of Awakening!
May 27, 2017 - June 3, 2017 La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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The 4 Agreements That Will Help You Reclaim Your Power

A few weeks ago I wrote about 7 Ways How To “Unlock” The Heart From Within. As this article spread its wings and flew around the world, one of the readers shared how she felt during the first few practices and how it reminded her of the four agreements of the Tolteca Culture. I have been practicing living by these agreements ever since they came into my life. I’ve never stopped to think about how they have actually affected and shaped my life. I have been given the opportunity to go within and explore my own story through the eyes of an observer. So with immense gratitude, I share my journey through these practices, wishing you to find the messages between these words, as you have been guided to.

For those of you, who are not aware about the four agreements from the Tolteca Culture, taught by Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Jose Ruiz; they are four simple yet effective practices that when lived by, create a more peaceful and happy life for you and the world.

The agreements

1.     "Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love..."

We are all magicians and our words are like spells that create a positive or negative effect. Everyday we use the power of the words, communicating through speech or writing. This agreement I believe it to be, if not the most important and crucial one, the backbone of it all. When I read about this agreement for the first time, I understood that practicing being impeccable with my words meant taking responsibility for my life and cease being the victim. If I didn’t, being impeccable with my words was going to be impossible to achieve. The reason for this is that once you understand that it is through words and thoughts that you create your world, you realize you must be very careful on how you communicate with others, but especially to yourself, as this has the power to create heaven or hell on earth. We are a reflection of each other and when we speak from fear, like when we gossip, give negative opinions or say mean things, what is really happening is that we are pouring that venom not only on to others, if they accept it, but also onto ourselves. Like Don Miguel teaches us, “words are like seeds, our minds are the soil and all minds are fertile, but only for the seed they are prepared for. The key is to discover, that our minds are fertile for the seed of love, so we can receive those.”

Being impeccable with our words is to fully understand
that we are one and that we live in a “planet of mirrors”, meaning what I see in you is me and what you see in me is you.

I have been practicing this agreement ever since I read about it a few years ago. And to tell you the truth it is the hardest agreement I have encountered, because we have been domesticated to gossip and lie since childhood. Looking back at my story, one of the things I have done in the past is to do push-ups every time I communicated negatively. It worked like magic, my vocabulary started to change and I was able to speak from love more easily, instead of communicating from fear. These days I find, that I need to work more on making sure not to gossip or when giving an opinion to do it from a place of love. Meaning if I am going to speak about someone or give my opinion about something, I should only do it positively or practice silence. At the end if I speak negatively about others, I am only poisoning my own self. This agreement is only possible to achieve when one thinks, thinks and thinks again before speaking. Writing this article has brought to my attention that I needed to become more aware of how and what I communicate for not only the sake of others but for my own healing. Because what I do for me I do for others and vice versa. Being impeccable with our words is to fully understand that we are one and that we live in a “planet of mirrors”, meaning what I see in you is me and what you see in me is you.

2.     "Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering..."

I love this agreement, it is fun to practice and it has the potential to shift how you feel in a second. Taking things personally is the maximum expression of selfishness, because we believe everything revolves around us, it keep us in the “dream of hell”.

When we don’t take anything personally we become immune to the black magic wizards and no spell affects us.

When we take things personally we feel offended and we react defending our beliefs and creating conflicts. You create a mountain out of a grain of salt, because you feel the need to be right and for others to be wrong. In the same way, whatever you do or feel, it is only an expression of your personal dream/world, a reflection of your own beliefs and agreements with yourself.  Not taking anything personally helps us understand that we don’t need recognition from anyone, as we know who and what we are. For example when someone is angry they will express anger towards you and when they are happy they will express joy, this makes us understand that what others say or do to us, has nothing to do with us at all, because their point of view depends on their world. They are in their world and you are in yours. I know this may be a hard one to swallow, but don’t complicate yourself by trying to break it down, stay in simplicity and remember each one of us is a world within one. But with this been said, we also must be careful with what our minds tell us. Our mind is capable to speak and listen, when we let the “monkey mind” take over, we are not able to differentiate what is ours and what is not. This is when listening in silence is important, with practice we are able to quiet the mind and pick what agreements and beliefs are ours, and those which are not. This means, not everything you think is true, just because it came from your mind, it does not mean it belongs to you. I practice this agreement constantly, especially as soon as I feel an urge to react or find myself giving my opinion with the need to be heard. In that moment I realize that I am letting others poison me with their venom and that I need to stop taking it personally, because it is their world not mine. I also play the reflection game, this is where I take a step back and reflect on what and why something someone said bothers me. I do this because it helps me heal parts of me that I wasn’t aware needed healing. Again because we are mirrors, what you say to me, is a reflection of your world and what I hear is a reflection of mine, so if something triggers you then it is a sign that one must explore why, so we can understand ourselves better and move into the light. I believe this agreement brings freedom to myself, as soon as I put it into practice I feel this sense of relief, like everything is okay, there is no need to be angry, sad or jealous because nothing that I just heard is mine, except what I choose to make mine. I have the free will to choose, to believe or not to believe in something. When we don’t take anything personally we become immune to the black magic wizards and no spell affects us. I have realized that by not taking anything personally, I start trusting that I make the right choices and that I am responsible for myself and not others. Making this a habit can let you experience peace in the middle of hell. It also helps you with making decisions in your life and opening a space within you, where you can speak your truth without judging yourself.

3.     "Don't Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life..."

It is through assumptions that we have won many movie awards in our life. We are all unbelievably powerful creators and as amazing as it sounds, we should be careful when creating, because we can create love or destruction. Not making assumptions is a habit we need to practice all the time, probably every two seconds, especially when something didn’t go the way we planned or when we are left in silence by others. When we make assumptions about what others have done or thought, we believe them to be real, we take them personally and then we judge and react towards others with emotional venom in our words, all because we took the liberty to assume something that never actually happened.  This right here is the number one drama creator.

The human mind needs to justify and explain it all
to comprehend so then we can feel secure, when in reality all we need to do is have clear communication and trust.

When we make assumptions it is because we took something personally and this provokes us to start gossiping. This is how we poison each other. All our sadness and dramas have roots in assumptions. Assumptions create suffering, that is why it is always better to ask. If you don’t know something and want to know, just ask. Especially in all types of relationships, we tend to think that the other knows us so well, that we assume they should have done this or known that, when in fact we should have asked or communicated clearly what we wanted or needed. The human mind needs to justify and explain it all to comprehend so then we can feel secure, when in reality all we need to do is have clear communication and trust. It’s simple, when we assume, it is because we haven’t had the courage to ask and most of the time we make assumptions in a fast and unconscious manner, as we have established agreements to communicate in this way. We also make assumptions about ourselves; this is when we either over or under estimate ourselves. When it is as easy as asking ourselves a few questions, so we can be guided towards what we need to do. Practicing this agreement like the rest of them, is a daily thing, learning these agreements is the first step, but it is in the action that we start seeing what they can do for us. Since practicing this one, I feel I am able to easily catch myself when I am making an assumption and if I don’t then somehow I always get a sign that reminds me I have started creating a false movie. When I do create the movie, as we all do, I feel anxious, unbalanced, fearful and all over the place. This is when I ask myself, am I living in truth or in a lie I just created out of nothing? Not making assumptions has simplified the way I communicate with others and myself. And has taken away drama that has never been needed or wanted, creating a more balanced and relaxed atmosphere for others and myself.

4.     Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret..."

This one I had to learn through a tough time. There was a time when I was very ill for about 3 months. During these months I wanted to be at my best, or what I considered my best when I am healthy, but it was impossible, I was sick. Through a tough time, I learned that my best was different depending on my situation but nonetheless it was still my best. As simple as it sounds it wasn’t until this situation arose that I was able to understand this. This agreement has given me the opportunity to see and understand how I self sabotage myself, especially through self-judgment and punishment. Practicing this agreement comes easy to me, as I always give my best to every situation or at least I try.

Doing your best means being in the now.

But for me giving my "best" wasn’t what I needed to learn from this agreement, what I needed to learn was that my best changes within every situation and when it does, I need to embrace it for what it is, my best. To always do your best is to be present in your life, to be able to do everything with passion, and without wanting to get anything in return not even from yourself. Doing your best means being in the now. It is to give it all you have got, and to do everything as a ritual. For example some days my best leads me to be fully present from brushing my teeth all the way to how I speak and communicate with others. On other days my best is to make it to my yoga mat and both are okay, because they were my best. But to do our best, we must remember one thing, one must be present. Because it is only in the here and now that we can give our best. This agreement is of great support for the other agreements as it encourages us to practice them all. Like I love saying: “do your best and forget the rest”.

I want to acknowledge and share with all of you how I came to know these agreements. A good friend of mine gifted me The Four Agreements book because the author had the same last name as him; I am grateful for that synchronicity because it has brought so much joy and awareness about others and myself. I feel like I was born knowing all these agreements and that with domestication they were taken into nap mode. But thanks to beings of light like Don Miguel and his son, we are able to awaken them and reclaim our power. I am a big believer that no matter what practices and tools we use to awaken and move forward in our lives, they bring the same outcome; they move us from our darkness into our light, from fear into love. Helping us come back to ourselves, because it is within each one of us that everything we know and need resides. I want to say thank you to the reader who acted as a messenger to remind me that I had stopped consciously practicing these agreements, which I once made to myself. So, Thank You for bringing awareness into the place that needed healing in my life. I wish for these agreements to guide you into being more present, and aware of how powerful you already are, remembering that all roads lead back to you. Namaste beloved ones.

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La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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7 Ways How to “Unlock” the Heart from Within

In the yogic path the heart is described as the Anahata chakra. This chakra is the meeting point where physical and spiritual meet. The Sanskrit word Anahata means “unstruck, unhurt or unbeaten”. The name implies that underneath how much hurt and grievances of the past experiences, lays a pure and spiritual place where only love exists.

Many of us feel or think we understand the concept of the Anahata chakra but often find ourselves wondering how to “unlock” the heart in order to live from a place of love. In my sentiment our hearts have never been locked and can never be locked. Because love is free. Love is our essence, spirit, soul, and place of origin. And as such, our heart is always open, just waiting to be recognized and embraced so it can become our guide and existence in this human experience.

Now that we have set the path to “unlocking” our hearts straight, we can start to acknowledge our essence and stop searching for a way to unlock it. So, the real question is how do we acknowledge our essence in order to live from it?

Here are 7 simple ways to start recognizing ourselves and start living from the heart:

1.     Gratitude
Feeling grateful for our life and all that it contains is one of the most important ways to recognize our spirit. When we practice gratitude we tell our heart “I see you, I understand you and I love you”. I recommend practicing gratitude on a daily basis. Take a few minutes every day and remind yourself what you are grateful for. The trick to this exercise is to not only say it or think about it, but to connect with the feeling of love this brings in your life. There is no coincidence that gratitude is the key to abundance.

2.     Responsibility
The word responsibility simply states the ability to respond. When we respond we do it from love because we take our time to observe and then take action. Reacting comes from fear, we do it without any kind of acknowledgement of the situation. To become responsible in life one must first face the fact that we have been playing the role of the victim most of our lives. But more importantly we have to embrace that we are the creators of our lives and this means we can rewrite our stories as many times as we want. A victim is in the darkness and believes he/she does not have any saying in his/her life. A hero in the other hand, is fully aware that he/she is the creator of his/her life and that darkness is an opportunity to step into the light. We should become the hero of our story in order to live from the heart.

3.     Simplicity
When we start living with simplicity as our guide, we are able to let go of unnecessary drama, creating a more balanced and peaceful life. Our tendency is to complicate everything but when we live from this place we go on reacting instead of responding, meaning we live from fear instead of love. When you catch yourself complicating things, making excuses or walking in circles, let it be a reminder that your heart is asking you to go back to simplicity and live from your place of origin. May your life mantra be “slow and quiet”.

4.     Trust  
“Trust is something that must start with you. The essence of trust is truth, which is honesty with self.” This is why trust is essential for love living. When we get to know ourselves we are then able to trust. But to have trust in ourselves we must learn to listen first, because our task here is to get to know our essence. And when we trust we live in the moment, surrendering to the unknown, trusting that no matter what, everything will be ok. Trusting brings us back to our essence and when we are in it, we are living through the heart.

5.     Move it
“Let your prayers be your actions”. We are ever flowing energy and as such we need movement to put are prayers into action. Movement is a full body expression of love; it is essential when living from the heart. It creates a path to go deeper with spirit. Movements like dancing and asanas are older than civilizations, our ancestors knew it and practiced them in their healing rituals to connect with the source. In the yogic path, we practice asanas (postures) to move our energy in deeper levels to heal and live from the heart. Chest openers, like Ustrasana, the camel pose, Marjaryasana, the cat pose and Matsyasana, the fish pose are some of the asanas utilized for the heart chakra. Another way of healing and expressing ourselves is through dance. I love this quote by Gabrielle Roth, because it expresses what dancing can do for us; “We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things, to wipe out memory or transform it into moves that nobody else can make because they didn’t live it. We dance to hook up to the true genius lurking behind all the bullshit — to seek refuge in our originality and our power to reinvent ourselves; to shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first.” And let us not forget about hugs and smiles, they’re also movements, actions that we should share more often, as they bring love to all. Movement is the companion that can be felt in many ways, letting us shed what is no longer needed, creating love and bringing us back into the present moment.

6.     Breathe
Life is Breath and Breath is Spirit, in its elemental expression, air. We take for granted breathing, probably because it is something we do automatically. But breathing is the physical connection we have to spirit. We can’t see spirit and we can’t see breath, but we can feel it both and more than that, we can’t live without them, as they are one. In the yogic way, Pranayama is the art of breathing, it teaches us how to consciously connect to it and how to breath in a deeper more meaningful way so we can heal and move closer to love. There are many other techniques out there like the famous Art of Breathing by Nancy Zi. I bring this up because no matter what techniques you practice, they all have the same purpose, to help us heal by connecting through spirit. I believe that “When we breathe everything changes”. Taking the time to connect and focus on your breath is one of the ultimate expressions of acknowledgement to your spirit and its home, the heart.

7.     Listen
To listen we must first become silent. Meditation is the gateway to recognize that our heart has a voice. When we choose to be in silence we choose to listen to spirit. Listening to our hearts is the highest expression of acknowledgement towards all that we are.  Because in this moment we are weaving all that is by connecting through our highest self, Love. It is in silence that we realize everything we need, we already have.  It is in silence that we let our light shine so bright that when we step out and into the chaos, we are able to keep shining through our hearts no matter what. Because in silence we bow to our heart, our spirit and the love that connects it all.

May these 7 simple practices remind you that We are Love, and this means that living from the heart is not something we learn, it is something we should acknowledge and practice daily. Free will has been given to us all and this means we get to choose. So it is our choice to live through love and be true to ourselves, if we desire to. I invite you to celebrate every second of your journey towards the heart where your true self resides. After all we are here to have fun while we experience who we are, LOVE.

Lifting the Veil

What is life? Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we go after we die? What is awakening? These are some of the many questions we ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Most of us on a spiritual path find ourselves furiously searching for the “truth”, we practice ancient and modern techniques, we study with big masters, we find comfort in nature's sacred medicines and we will do and try pretty much everything and anything that does not go against our personal moral code. Because we know there is something bigger than what is being presented to us, yet we don’t know what it is and so we keep on searching. Attempting to unearth the truth, to ascend, to evolve, to become one as our teachers talk about.
 
We hear a lot the saying “lifting the veil”; but what is the veil? Why does it need to be lifted? Before I continue I want to bring to your attention that this article is simply my perspective on the topic at hand. Do not make my truth yours. Words don’t teach, experiences do. This article is my experience, my truth. Not yours. Please, take what you need from it and leave the rest behind.
 
Now lets get to the good stuff. I am 33 years old, carrying a bag full of tricks for the ones in the search of the truth. All my life I have gone against what society has taught me, because deep down I felt there was something else that represented the truth for me. I remember always thinking to myself: if this is it, we’re screwed. Luckily, I became so desperate with the outside world that I created situations that propelled me to go inward. And so my inner journey began. I started meditating and during this time I found myself being more present in life. This opened “new” doors for me. During this time I met my Guru, she is a non-physical being, channeled by the amazing Danielle Gibbons. My guru’s name is Mother Mary. Yes! Mary, Jesus mother. She is channeled as Mother because that was her last life as an earthy human. Even though she is my main teacher I continued my search. I started doing yoga and saw how simple movements created a powerful effect on my mind, body and soul. By gently moving my body I was able to release energy and unblock emotional impasses.

After integrating meditation and yoga as part of my daily practice, I revisited and studied new energy healing techniques, like acupressure, reflexology, Reiki and shamanism among many others. This set the way to a deeper understanding of humans as whole eternal beings. It was the validation I needed to trust that we were spirits having a human experience. This led me to people and teachers that helped me heal my emotional body and by doing so my physical one healed too. One of the many great healers/guides I encountered a few years ago is Ana Merkaba. She helped me release implants in my etheric body and this created a pathway to a deeper knowing within myself. Having integrated the above-mentioned practices into my life I have left my constantly ill lifestyle behind. By integrating these practices, I successfully change my lifestyle from obliviousness to consciousness.

I manifested guides and teachers that gave me the opportunity to work with my inner child and to incorporate practices such as Family constellations and Sacred Plants as part of my healing.
By immersing with my inner child I found the missing key I had long been searching for. I realized that if I wanted to live fully, I needed to take responsibility for my life and that is exactly what I did when I reclaimed my inner child. I retrieved all the parts of me that were wounded. I made myself responsible and integrated them within. This healing brought me back home, only to confirm that home is my divine-self. The one that dwells within my heart, realizing that healing is simply loving myself. If you are interested in this topic I suggest these amazing inner child teachers: John Bradshaw, Michelle Blechner and Inna Segal
 
Now that I have arrived home, I feel my journey has just begun. I exchanged searching for surrendering. I realized that to surrender is to do without doing and this means to fully trust in myself, so I can then fully trust in the unknown. Remembering that the unknown is just more of me and as Socrates said “I know one thing; that I know nothing”. Surrendering always guides me to the next step of my evolution. So, when in doubt surrender. Surrender with an open heart to your soul, to the unknown and I promise you, you will be heard and guided.
 
All these experiences that I just told you about, proved to be the basics I needed to break free from victimhood, ego, societal expectations and old paradigms.  I am now able see the truth for what it is and not for what we have been told. The veil had been lifted and truly the existential questions that hunted me in the beginning now are simply catalysts to keep on loving myself.
 
I have to pause here and quickly remind myself and maybe even you that all this searching taught me that even though there are many teachers, books, practices and techniques, they all have one teaching in common, and that is go within. Why? Because we have everything we need inside of us, we just need to accept and embrace it.
 
So I am going to be blunt here and this may ring true to some and to others it may not, and that’s okay. After all my hard work and believe me, there is still more to do, I can say that I have finally started living consciously.
 
I have learned that the key to “lifting the veil” is compassion; compassion towards others and ourselves by practicing self-love. But to be compassionate we must first take full responsibility of ourselves; this gives us the opportunity to become the hero of our story, the creators of our lives. The hero when presented with a situation sees the reflection of self and the lessons that are being given for its evolution. The hero is grateful for the ones who play the dark role in her/his life and reminds herself/himself that she/he is darkness as well as light. The darkness in others and us brings about the opportunity to practice non-judgment and compassion. I have learned that forgiveness is simply a matter of seeing a situation from the hero’s perspective instead of the victims. The victim blames and feels the need to forgive. The hero knows she/he is responsible and understand that forgiveness is not required; on the contrary gratitude is practiced towards the many that have come to serve as the darkness. To forgive is to accept the magnitude of gratefulness that is it presented to us on a daily basis even when it manifests itself through darkness.
 
For me lifting the veil is to see my essence, my light and darkness as one, and the immeasurable love that we are. It is to take responsibility of the self and live in a conscious way towards all. It is to live as one. To make decisions based on how it will affect the collective and not only me. It is working on myself to help others, because to heal/love others we must heal/love ourselves first.
 
The veil for me is what I call “the game”. The game is simply an experiment that we have chosen to experience here on earth. Upon entering we are wiped out from old memories, so we must play to find our way home, our way back to the heart. To lift the veil is to start playing consciously; we must release all judgments, by taking full responsibility of ourselves and making gratitude and compassion a way of being. Then we can remember what we have known all along and only then we can win the game and come back home.
 
To awaken in my world means to remember and accept that I am, in fact, a multidimensional being and that there are many other galaxies, universes and beings that are here to assist us in the game. When we remember, and accept our multidimensionality, then we are able to unriddle the game manual and ultimately win! If you want to read more about the game The Nibiruan Council are here for you.
 
I feel call to help others break free from their victimhood and show them that they too can remember who they are. Sharing all the techniques and practices that have and keep on helping me is my duty because there is no fun in winning if we don’t win as one.
 
Beloved ones I hope this ticks or awakens something in you. Know that I am here for you, that you are supported and guided by many, many, many. I love you, I love you, I love you. So it is. So be it.

Awaken the Master Within

What is healing? We tend to view this concept as an esoteric idea outside of ourselves, and thus, outside of our direct control or influence. Healing literally means to make whole. Which sounds nice, but when you dig deeper, healing implies you are not whole. Healing is the illusion that you are broken.  When we want to heal something, be it physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, or even financial, we have the tendency to look outside of ourselves. How many times do we look outside of ourselves to fix something or heal something that requires us to go inside? Why do you think we have to go inside? Its simple, because all we need is inside of us, this is were our wholeness resides.

If you cut your finger, yes you could get a band-aid and some antiseptic cream, but you will heal regardless of whether you use these things. You don’t ever have to look outside for your physical body to heal. The same thing applies to your emotional body and so on.  Your body is in a constant state of healing“wholeness” and regenerating, and this isn’t hippie nonsense, this is backed up by science.

The illusion is thinking that healing is a place we go to. When in reality, all evidence proves that healing is the place where we come from, and ultimately who we are. Healing is simply a natural byproduct of letting go and falling in Love.  Letting go is choosing to forgive others, especially yourself. Because it is by forgiving yourself that you are bale to forgive others. This enables you to consciously move forward and see possibilities, were once there were only limitations.

What happens after you forgive and let go? That’s the exciting part, that’s the moment you Awaken the Master Within.  Recognizing your true power, it is to Awaken the Master Within. It is the moment were you take full responsibility of your life and you become empowered to choose the new experiences you want to have in your life.  Having the realization that life is a journey were you get to choose what to experience for you own evolution. The moment you Awaken the Master Within, is the moment your life becomes a roller coaster of endless possibilities, full of magical moments, synchronicity starts happening and instead of surviving you start living. And this process is the journey, the practice, the privilege of falling in love with yourself.  

So we invite you to live in our world for the next 7 days. A world full of exciting opportunities and wonderful adventures, a world where you can disconnect and trade ordinary for extraordinary. Imagine starting your days waking up in a bungalow where your alarm clock is the sunshine kissing your face and birds singing their happy songs. You stretch and casually walk outside where you are greeted by one of the most pristine and vibrant rain forests in all of Costa Rica.

Your body fueled by the sweetest organic tropical fruits and vegetables grown right in your backyard. Your soul nurtured by daily Hatha and Kundalini yoga as well as shamanic meditations and practices. Your afternoons spent demolishing your old story where you tell yourself that you can’t or that you don’t deserve or that you’re not good enough. Because what are those? Those are stories you have chosen to write and experience. And this is the moment where you have an Awakening and you realize that you can write a new story, and have a new experience.

We aren’t going to sell you on some bogus idea that you are broken and that we are the ones who are going fix you. Our philosophy has always been that nobody needs to be fixed because nobody is broken. When you write a new story, you move away from fear. And when you move away from fear you move towards love. You go home, only to realize that home has always been within. You leave the victim behind and fully embrace the HERO that you’ve always been. You get to experience life from the director’s chair.  The only question now is, do you want to take the red pill or the blue pill?

With Love and Light your sister and brothers,

Marien Sarriera, Mark Fernandez and Connor Cranston

Join us in the Jungle for a week of Awakening!
May 27, 2017 - June 3, 2017 La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Refer a Friend and Earn a Free Coaching Session or a 150$ Visa Gift Card! 

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The Yogic Diet

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For many of us in the West, Yoga started as an “exercise practice”. We would show up one or twice a week to a “Yoga” class, where we performed various asanas. We kept coming back because we felt calmer and healthier after each session. But somewhere along the way we felt the need to explore this thing call Yoga. During our exploration we realized that it is not what we thought it was, it’s even better. Yoga is a path to walk the spiritual journey to self-realization; it is a combination of tools to connect body, mind and breath “spirit” by concentrating in the present moment. When you are living in the now, it is hard not to notice your actions and how these affects not only yourself but also life as a whole.

In the initial stages, yoga is a process of healing. Dietary habits have contributed significantly to our disease. The two biggest problems we face are over eating and wrong diet. According to yoga, mind and body are both made from the same substance, so whatever affects the mind affects the body and vice versa. There is no yogic diet book out there, which is why yogis follow the ancient Indian text of Ayurveda.

In Ayurveda foods are not divided into carbohydrates, protein and fats. Instead it classifies them according to the effect they have on the body and mind. There are three types: satva, rajas and tamas. Tamasic food is the kind of food, which makes us lethargic or sluggish, while Rajasic food is that which brings about activity or restlessness. Whereas, Sattvic food is the kind that makes you feel light, energetic and enthusiastic.

Sattvic foods are those, which purify the body and calm the mind. They stimulate the body and mind into action. Cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours can be considered sattvic. Examples - Fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, fresh milk, certain spices.

Tamasic foods are those that dull the mind and bring about inertia, confusion and disorientation. Examples – Spicy food, onion, garlic, tea, coffee, fried food.        

Rajasic -Overly tasty foods, stale or reheated food, oily or heavy food and food containing artificial preservatives fall under this category.  In excess, these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, anger, irritability, and sleeplessness. Example – Non-vegetarian diet (meats), stale food, excessive intake of fats, oil, sugary food

Not just, the right kind of food is important, it is vital to eat the proper quantity of food at the right time. Overindulging leads to lethargy while under eating will not provide enough nourishment. Most of the times we know that our stomach is full but tempted by the taste buds we tend to indulge. The right amount of food cannot be quantified into cups or grams, when we listen to our body attentively we will know when exactly to stop! Thankfully Yoga teaches us to listen to our body.

The hands have also been termed as the “measuring cup” for all our needs. Even the distance between the joints of each finger is a unit of measure (angula), cosmically designed to measure spices, herbs. In Ayurveda, the term anjali refers to the volume that can be held by your two hands cupped together. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar often states that when you cup your hands together, that is the right amount of food intake one should have to keep a healthy balance.

Another important factor is how much to chew our food. Saliva provides the first enzymatic breakdown of food when you chew properly. Chewing each bite 25 times before swallowing is the healthy beginning to fully digesting your food.

With this been said, we might eat the right kind of food in the right quantity but if we are irregular with our timings then the whole system goes for a toss and the natural rhythm of the body is hampered.

Ayurveda also prescribes a more personalized diet according to the nature of our constitution. Knowing our constitution will help us understand the best time to consume food as individuals. There are three Doshas (energy forces), Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These Doshas are a mix of the five great elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Ayurveda states that there are eight possible constitutional type, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-kapha, Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta-Kapha. Knowing our constitution will give us a better understanding on how we are affected by life and all that it contains. It will specially give you insight on the correct times to ingest food depending on your constitution. For example a predominant Pitta, usually will need to eat food every 3-4 hours, a Vatta person is irregular, one day they might need three meals and maybe another day they feel like they only need one. For Kaphas resisting hunger and thirst is easy, so they can eat less meal easily through out the day but they can easily become attached to food for emotional fulfillment. I must address that we all have these three forces in our bodies but some are more predominant than others. It is important that these 3 aspects work well together because when they are in harmony it is unlikely that you will suffer from health disorders or have excess weight. Also knowing our doshas makes us realize why food that might be favorable for someone might be harmful for a person of another constitution. The point of knowing our Doshas is to make sure every decision we make towards our bodies it’s in harmony with our constitution, to ensure the balance of this forces.

Another aspect of the yogic diet is the understanding of the Yamas of Yoga, or codes of conduct, one can grasp the value of connecting with oneself and the community through eating. One of this conducts is called Ahimsa or non-violence; Swami Maya (Maya Tiwari), renowned author in Ayurveda, defines the Yoga principal of Ahimsa or non-violence as a “commitment to protecting nature by choosing wholesome foods” and that by living Ahimsa, one is reclaiming the spirit of harmony and non-violence within you, which brings joy and abundance to the family and community”. After all we are what we eat!

As a vegan and lactose intolerant individual, I feel the need to discussed the topic of dairy and meat consumption in more details for those who might have some questions about it. First we most remember the reason why dairy is mention in the ancient Indian texts. Dairy has been part of a yogi lifestyle for thousand of years, but it has only been consume in small quantities and in a pure form. Unfortunately, in this modern time this ways have been alter creating different consequences to our body and minds.

Consider the changes that cows go through before they come to us. The animals that we eat are injected with toxic antibiotics and hormones. They are fed with POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants) sprayed and genetically "enhanced" feed. All of this can be passed on to humans, as you really are what you eat, these adversely affect our health.

The hormones given to cattle have been developed to increase the meat content and milk production. The hormones are administered by placing a slow-release tablet under the skin of the cows' ears. At slaughter, the ears are cut off and thrown away.

Infections are rampant because cows are kept in such close proximity to one another. So, along with the hormones, cows are fed large amounts of antibiotics to fight off infections. To compound the problems with raising cows, the calves are fed the blood and other slaughterhouse waste from slaughtered cows. The rationale of the scientists is that they are fed this stuff as protein. Really, whatever health concerns the cow may have had, worms, cancerous tumors, is recycled back into the next generation of cattle, pigs and chickens.

All sort of diseases have been link to this consumptions here are just a few examples. Prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers have been linked to dairy consumption. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University and author of The China Study, says casein (the main protein in milk) is one of the most significant cancer promoters ever discovered.  Think about how often children are pushed to ingest milk, yogurt, and cheese. Childhood diets rich in dairy products are associated with cancer in adulthood.

We’re supposed to drink milk to protect against osteoporosis, right?  So why do the countries that guzzle the most dairy have the highest osteoporosis rates?  We now know that it’s not just calcium intake, but absorption and loss.  When we eat diets high in animal protein (milk included), our bodies become acidic and calcium is drawn from our bones to neutralize that acidic environment, cheese is particularly acidic.

Last year, the USA “Healthy Eating Plate” food guide pushed dairy off the plate, based on Harvard’s assessment that high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer, and also suggesting that foods like collards, bok-choy, and baked beans are safer choices than dairy for obtaining calcium.  Speaking of calcium sources and absorption, did you know that kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy?  And that’s just one plant food you can eat.  Other plant-foods boosting calcium includes: beans, nuts like almonds and seeds like sesame, broccoli, collards, whole-grains, and tofu.

Meat and dairy pack heaps of cholesterol and saturated fat to one’s diet.  A low-fat plant-based diet, what yogis call Sattvic diet, has been shown not only to prevent heart disease, but also reverse it.  Before you think low-fat dairy is okay, it has been linked not only to increases in allergies, but also type 1 (childhood-onset) diabetes.

These are just some basic scientific bridges that exist between diseases and the consumption of meat and dairy products. There are plenty of extra arguments and information out there, but I hope this gives you a better understanding why we should ditch these products from our diet for good. Not only, we will be physically healthier, we will also become more loving and caring individuals, as we won’t be ingesting the negative emotions of these animals. Esoterically, the fear felt by the animal as it waits to be slaughtered and the hatred it feels for the one who slaughters it, changes the composition of its flesh and increase fear and anger in whoever eats it. The more the violence involved in the collection of our food, the greater the violence in our lives. By stopping the consumption of these products we will also keep ourselves out of the participation of their death, which is part of following a non-violence discipline in a Yogic Lifestyle.

I suggest consulting an Ayurveda physician to decide what kind of food is necessary for you and which aliments should be avoided. I also encourage you to choose organic products as often as possible as they bring us the best benefits while enhancing our environment. It is definitely worthwhile to pay some attention to the food that we eat, as the ancient Indian texts saids, we are what we eat.

All this information may be overwhelming at first, but all you have to remember is to take the first step. Start by becoming aware and present during meal times, this will give you great insight on how different aliments respond in your body. Getting to know your predominant Doshas, will bring you more knowledge on who you are as an individual and how your day to day choices, specially food, affect your life. Following a Sattvic diet, while keeping in mind your constitution will bring the most benefits. Practicing the yoga discipline codes is a natural extension to all this previous steps and vice verse. Been grateful for your food and making sure you eat them in a relax positive state of mind will do wonders.

We most remember there are many paths to living a yogic life and depending on which one you decide to follow, your diet will probably change too. Finally, I encourage you to be kind to yourself and remember that change takes time. Celebrate your achievements and inspire others to become conscious of their actions, as they affect us all collectively. Remember that yoga is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. It is about being consciously present as much as possible in your life. Detaching from the "illusion" and being one with all that is. If you can master this, better food choices will follow without much effort.

 

The Real Yoga

Once a wise man said:"Marien share, that's all you have to do, just share". In that moment I promised myself that I would, even if it was the only thing I did in life, I would always share.

So here I am, about to share one of the many experiences, that practicing yoga has gifted me with. After 2 days of intentionally ignoring my yoga practice, I realize that I could not keep avoiding it. I couldn't keep ignoring my inner self any longer. The practice was calling me more than ever, I needed to get on the mat and face my demons. After all, why should one be scared of its own demons? They were created by self and only self can tackle and eliminate them. I showed up to the mat and had and amazing yoga-asana practice, where I explored deeper back-bends and hip openers. The asana practice took me to the present moment. The place were I needed to be to face my fears. It was now time to be in silence, to breath, to be. To practice the most important part yoga, going within.

Here in this moment of breath and silence. I broke. I let the gates down and cried until no tear was left. I felt it in every single part of my body. I felt the desperation, the unfairness, the frustration of what the human race has become and the fact that I am part of it. I felt like running away, leaving it all behind. But in that moment of exhaustion, I realized that running away is not an option, that is not me. My fear was talking and letting me know, that I am here for a reason and even when life may feel like is too much, I must continue and follow through. Fear shows up every time as my personal guide, to let me know I am not being true to myself. Reminding me that all I need to do is be and trust. Thank you fear for showing me the way home.

I share this because as you know, I am a yoga advocate, practitioner and teacher. And I want to share what yoga really is. Yoga Is the practice of returning to self, to detach and be. To be love, to be the real you, the unknown. Yoga is not a set of postures. The postures help us shake those layers that need attention. So when we sit in silence we are able to see them for what they are, letting them go and moving forward into a higher awakening. There are many aspects of the yoga practice, but at the end, all of them brings us to the same place...within. The Great Within, were every answer sleeps, awaiting for you and me to awaken into higher consciousness, so they can be reveal. Awakening is not an easy ride at all, actually is the hardest thing I have done in life, but it is the only thing I will never stop doing.

We live in a place were people thrive for constant connection, without understanding that it is not about connecting, it is about detaching. Detaching from everything that blinds us from the real connection that exist. I let my yoga practice penetrate me into my deepest being and gave it permission to show me what I needed to let go of. It showed me once again, that it is all an illusion. It does not matter if you are playing the role of the poor or the role of the rich, everything is impermanent in this life. What truly matters is that within the role you choose to play you are able to unblind yourself and realize the connection that each of us are. The connection to all that is, including the unknown. We don't need to know, that is not our job. Our job lies in understanding the connection and living a life of pureness and love. And yes maybe not everyone in this world will get there and that is ok. But every effort counts. It's not about all or nothing. You don't need to become a Buddha to walk the path of the Buddha. You just need to be you, find your true self and be unapologetically yourself. You are Love and Love will never harm you or others.

This is a journey that each individual in this plane has to embark on alone. But the beauty lies in knowing that even if it is a personal journey, we are all in this together, we are all going through the same thing. Every journey matters and it has a ripple effect in the collective. Because at the end even thou we are individuals we are one. And how we live our life affects us all. I personally take upon the mission, to make sure that my ripple effect is a positive one.

I don't know what lies ahead and sometimes, well most of the time I get confuse, desperate, scared and feel like I just don't know what to do. But all I know is that I don't need to know. As long as I am true to myself an do everything with love, life will show me the way. The path will be unfold. The mission will be accomplished.

And this my friends is the real yoga, the union with self and all that is.

What was your greatest failure?

December, the month of the calendar were we feel compelled to look back and review our entire year, make new promises, set new goals and intentions. My friend and coach Ken Fried, has been posting different questions everyday during this special month. Taking us into contemplating and reviewing our year 2015. I have taken this opportunity to really dig deep and see what has truly happened in the past 12 months of my life. Here is a little insight into one question that I feel everyone should explore before the end of the year.

On December 3, he asked: "What was your greatest failure?" Like he said, the real question is what aim, desire did I failed to take action over?

After a lot of thinking, overthinking, many written pages and 2 pens down, I couldn't keep avoiding the real failure that was coming up for me. I had failed at fully living in alignment with my values and showing up as my true self.

The typical action of falling into being the victim, while not being fully present in my life had driven me to not reached many of the important goals I had set for 2015.

But the real failure wasn't about not reaching the goals; it was about not showing up fully and living in alignment. And as a result, giving full power to my lower ego to drive me straight into an illusion. An illusion that would stop me from taking further action towards those goals that would help me live a life more aligned to my values and self.

Now, I ask myself...why did I let myself go this far? Knowing, that I carry with me the awareness and knowledge to not go there, or at least to step out of it if I do. Why go this far? Well, it is simple, knowledge is not action. It is only through action that changes happen. So this year I didn't take actions in many ways and I let my lower ego take over and control me. I gave it full power to do what it does best, protect me from the illusions I create based out of fear.

So you have a better understanding, this year illusion was, that if I actually started to value my skills and started to work full time as a body-worker, I could potentially end up bankrupt and at my parents house. Because potentially I might not gain enough clients to sustain me financially. Look at that, what an illusion. Jeez, no wonder why I was paralyzed into taking action. 

This is how powerful our minds are. So imagine what it can create if we show up fully and start living in alignment with our values. It will create light instead of darkness, love instead of fear. It will let the ego show up on its full glory as our higher self and let us become unapologetically ourselves. 

So here I am, reviewing my greatest failure of the year. Remembering that all the lessons that have been shown to me this year, in their true nature are about one thing and only one thing, to live in the now. Because when we are in the now, we are consciously present. In the now there is no past or future. There it is only what is in the moment and if what is, it's not a reflection of your higher self and your values, then it is easier to take immediate action and consciously elevate yourself to that which you want to be, your true self. Trusting that the path will unfold and the signs will be shown. Not needing to know how but only why. It is only in the now that we are fully conscious and alive. I don't know about you, but I want to live and the only way of fully being alive it is by being present. What about you? What was your greatest failure in 2015?

“Happy Hens” Quiche

"Happy Hens" Quiche

Vegan and Gluten-Free

Quiche used to be one of my favorites, back when I lived in France. Now that I no longer consume any animal products I have decided to try a “Happy Hens Quiche”.  Living a vegan lifestyle does not mean, I can’t enjoy the flavors I like. Mother earth has blessed us with all the flavors we love in a non-violence way. On this recipe you can use any veggies you may have at hand or any you would like to cook with. Preferably organic ones! The only thing I would advise against is using high-water vegetables, like fresh tomatoes as it might result in a waterlogged quiche, but this does not mean you can’t try it. Best of all, it reheats well. Simply place leftover quiche on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350F. NOTE: This quiche has the “Seal of Approval” by carnivores! This is an easy recipe that can be enjoy for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. Inspired by the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook and Oh She Glows Food blog.

Yield 8                     Prep Time 30 Min.                    Cook time 50 Min.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together
  • 1 cup whole almonds, ground into flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats or buckwheat ground into flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (if you prefer to make it salt free, replace the salt with limes or lemons to taste)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1-2.5 tbsp water, as needed

For the quiche:

  • 1 block (14-oz) Organic firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 leek or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (8-oz) sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp turmeric (for color and health benefits!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

In the past I have used, asparagus, zucchinis (yellow & green), broccoli, eggplants, capsicums, kale and purple spinach. Be creative and see what you have available in your fridge. Taste the rainbow!

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 10-inch tart pan. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch glass pie dish if desired.

2.Wrap rinsed tofu in a few tea towels. Place a few books on top of it to lightly press out the water while you prepare the crust.

3.For the crust: Whisk together flax and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside so it can gel up.

4.In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, oat flour (or buckwheat flour), parsley, oregano, and salt.

5.Add in the flax mixture and oil. Stir until mostly combined, adding the remaining water until the dough is sticky (about the consistency of cookie dough). The dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.

6.Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the tart pan (or pie dish). Starting from the centre of the pan, press the mixture evenly into the pan, working your way outward and up the sides of the pan. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape.

7.Bake the crust at 350F for 13-16 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool while you finish preparing the filling. Increase oven temperature to 375F.

8.For the filling: Break apart the tofu block into 4 pieces and add into food processor. Process the tofu until smooth and creamy. If it doesn't get creamy, add a tiny splash of almond milk to help it along.

9.In a skillet, add oil and sauté the leek (or onion) and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook on medium-high heat until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until combined. Cook until the spinach is wilted.

10. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the processed tofu until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.

11. Bake quiche, uncovered, at 375F for 33-37 minutes, until the quiche is firm to the touch. For best results, cool the quiche for 15-20 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to slice. The crust may crumble slightly when sliced warm, but not to worry.

12. Wrap up leftovers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Leftover quiche can be reheated in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes at 350F or can be eaten cold if you like it.

5 Ways to Become Vegan

I know that when most of you hear the word VEGAN it almost sounds like a prison sentence. Today more than ever I can tell you that it is not a prison sentence, it is actual freedom!

Trying a Vegan Lifestyle can be daunting and challenging and this is why I want to share 5 easy ways to start your vegan journey. 

First lets start by understanding what Veganism is.

What is Vegan?
Personally for me living a Vegan lifestyle is not only about eating a plant-based diet and excluding all that may contain or promote the suffering of animals. It is about making every choice with consciousness; How, What and Who will my choice affect. For me being vegan is using Love as my one and only Compass in Life. Is about taking full responsibility of my life and myself.

1.Gratitude

Gratitude is the key to happiness.

“Gratitude is a personality trait, a mood, and an emotion. As an emotion, gratitude is a feeling of happiness that comes from appreciation. While under a grateful mood, grateful emotions are more likely to traffic. Likewise, those with a more grateful personality are more likely to experience grateful moods and emotions.”

So, if we practice gratitude daily for what we have and who we are today, we are most likely to become a happier being. And becoming happier in our lives means that we will start treating others and ourselves the way we would like to be treated…with LOVE.

2. Compassion-

Now that you have Gratitude and Love in your life, the next step is feeling compassion. Compassion is the easiest way to start your vegan journey. Being compassionate towards all beings (humans, animals, nature and everything in existence) will not only make you more grateful and happier in your life but it will also result in wanting to approach and care for others.

Now, what is compassion? “Compassion means, “to suffer with” and is an emotional response of sympathy. But it’s not just a feeling. The feeling is combined with a desire to help. Because we have compassion, we want to take action and help the being that is suffering.

If we practice compassion daily, our thoughts and actions will improve towards the greater good of ourselves and the entire existence of the planet.

3. Non-Violence-

Now that you have started your journey with a practice of gratitude and compassion then it is safe to say that we don’t want to hurt others. This is where the action of pledging to an organic plant based diet comes into place. It could be as easy as eating more veggies, eating organic more often, adding Meatless Mondays to your week, ditching dairy or even just adding a veggie/fruit juice or smoothie to your diet. The point here is not to go all or nothing, it is to start taking small actions in your life, so you can start seeing and enjoying the benefits of living a non-violence lifestyle. As you start with one small action, chances are you will continue to add more and more and even one day may become an organic plant based advocate.

Now lets not forget that non-violence is not just about what we eat, it is also about what we purchase as a consumer. Are your shoes and clothing made by children who are exploited and forced to work? Is your make-up tested on other creatures before you can purchase it? Researching where your purchases come from will help you make better choices about what you consume and it will have a butterfly effect on the entire planet as a whole.

Another aspect of non-violence lies on how we treat others and ourselves. When we look at the mirror, do you say to yourself “I’m beautiful!” or do you have negative thoughts? Do you judge others and wish them negativity instead of love? For me personally this one is on top of my list, without it everything else seems a little bit too hard to reach. For example, if I can’t feel & give love and compassion to others and myself, how will I take positive actions toward what I eat and consume. So remember non-violence is not just what you eat and consume is how you treat yourself and others.

4. Research-

A wise person once said “Be aware of the half truth, you may have gotten the hold of the wrong half.”

This is why it is so important to research and not blindly believe on all that is said. Unless in your heart you know it to be true, then and only then, there is no need to doubt it. Educating yourself about a plant-based vegan lifestyle and its benefits will come in handy towards your journey. From experience, I can honestly say, that the choices I make today are different from the ones when I started my journey. And that is because I keep educating myself on how to become a better person for the planet and myself. There is plenty of information in books, the internet and events, to keep you interested. If you don’t understand something ask, look for the answer but remember that at the end, all the answers are within, you hold them dearly.

 5.Responsibility-

This is the last but not least. Responsibility is a big word but in reality it is simple. Responsibility is the ability to respond, to have awareness and use it consciously. We go on in our life's reacting instead of responding to it. “Reacting comes from your memory, from your past experiences, from your knowledge. But that reaction is not going to change the situation, it is not going to change you. Response is moment-to-moment. It has nothing to do with memory; it is about your awareness. You see the situation with clarity. It is not reaction, it is action.” What I mean by all this is that when we fully take responsibility of our life and start responding to it from a place of awareness, our actions will start coming from a higher consciousness in our being, giving us the opportunity to become aligned with our values and our true self. Remember you are the driver of your life but you can only start driving it when you fully take responsibility for it.

So you see, it is not that hard to start your Vegan Journey today. Do it For the People, For the Animals, For the Environment, For You. Remember you are not alone, we are in this together!

RAW COCO BLISS BALLS

If you are like me and definitely have a big sweet tooth, then this recipe is for you.  I follow a plant-based diet and try to ingest little or no sugar. This recipe is easy, fast and it will satisfy those inevitable cravings for chocolate and sweets.

RAW COCO BLISS BALLS

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tsp. raw maca powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips (optional-if you can’t find them use more cacao powder) I personally use Lily’s Dark Chocolate Brand (vegan, natural and sugar free)
  • 8-10 soft medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds or any other nut you make like
  • 1 tsp. pure organic vanilla extract
  • Final Touches: You can roll your balls on cocoa powder, chia seeds and or coconut flakes or leave them as they are. Be creative and follow your bliss.
  • Place all ingredients into a high power food processor and blend until small pebbles form. Roll into balls and refrigerate. Makes approximately 10 -20 cookie balls depending on the size you make them.

In case you are curious, below is a little info on two of the key super food, anti-oxidant ingredients:

MACA: “This plant is known as the Peruvian “ginseng” even though it’s not ginseng at all. However, it is known to increase energy, stamina, libido and reduce stress. It is an adaptogen, meaning, it’s important to take over a longer period of time to notice the effects. Maca is also very nourishing to the pituitary and hypothalamus glands, making it great for helping to balance male and female hormones.”

Raw Cacao: “The purest form of chocolate on planet earth. This food’s effect on mood and libido is due to its natural chemicals including anandamide and PEA, which are known to make you feel more “blissful” and “loving”. Additionally, it stimulates feel good hormones such as endorphins and may increase serotonin since it’s a source of tryptophan. Raw cacao is also an excellent source of antioxidants and, last but not least, it’s also bit of a libido-booster.”

And, with these two loving, blissful and libido boosting ingredients, Coco Bliss Balls may be the perfect dessert to serve next time you have a romantic date on the agenda…

 

 

I AM NOT MY ASSETS

I am 30 years old and apart from a few boxes and a couple of suitcases, I own absolutely nothing. I Am Not My Assets, perfectly describes one of my biggest insecurities. Sometimes I struggle with the thought that others may think I am not successful, because I don’t have anything material to show for it. Growing up I believed success was achieved once you attained material desires. Life showed me that in fact I was right; success is only achieved when you accomplish an aim or a purpose in your existence. But it also taught me that those desires could be anything, not just material things. I have learned that in my journey success is not measured by material assets, it is measured through my spiritual progress as a human soul. I am still struggling and learning with this insecurity. But I can honestly say it has helped me to start my path into detachment from material belongings and financial status quo. My only intention with this post is to share my insecurity and give the opportunity for others to step into my shoes. After all, maybe there is a lesson to be learned. I encourage you to take off the mask and join me and thousand of others in the "What I Be Project" by Steve Rosenfield to keep inspiring and helping others in their journey.

If you want to participate or know more about the project please visit http://whatibeproject.com
"The “What I Be Project” is a social experiment turned into, what is now, a global movement about honesty and empowerment. In today’s society, we are often told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these “standards,” we are often judged, ridiculed, bullied and sometimes even killed over them. I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart and empower those who feel they suffer for something they may see as a flaw."

I AM IRRESPONSIBLE

IRRESPONSIBLE FOR, taking a different career path than expected, one that has taught me how to fully embrace the world and all its creatures. IRRESPONSIBLE FOR, leaving jobs behind that no longer served me, because it led me into knowing what I truly LOVE and enjoy; in the end that's what work should be, something you love. IRRESPONSIBLE FOR, taking time off from a busy life, because it taught me to live instead of survive. IRRESPONSIBLE FOR, not having a set plan, because it showed me the FREEDOM and joy of a SIMPLE life; less is more. IRRESPONSIBLE FOR, taking the road less traveled, because it took me to the most important place, MYSELF!

I had to share this because I recently fully understood that we are the shadow and the light. Nothing is bad or good everything just is. We judge situations, words and everything in between and decide if something is negative or positive based on old beliefs that blur our vision from seeing the Truth...Love. For the most part we go on in life reacting, instead of responding to it. Today I take a stand and promise myself to respond to life from a place of Awareness and Love. Like OSHO said: “The word “responsibility” has been continuously used in a wrong way. It gives a feeling of burden: you have to do it, it is a duty; if you don’t do it you will feel guilty. I want to remind you that the word ‘responsibility’ has none of those connotations. Break the word in two response-ability and you enter a totally different meaning of the word, in a different direction. Response-ability is not a burden. Response-ability simply means spontaneous response. Whatever situation arises, joyously you respond to it, with your totality, with your intensity. And this response will not only change the situation, it will also change you. There are two words to be remembered: one is “reaction” and one is “response-ability.” Most people react, they don’t respond. Reaction comes from your memory, from your past experiences, from your knowledge. But that reaction is not going to change the situation, it is not going to change you. Response is moment-to-moment. It has nothing to do with memory; it is about your awareness. You see the situation with clarity. It is not reaction, it is action. You have never done it before, but it will suit the situation, and it will be a joy to you to know that you are capable of being spontaneous."

Finding HOME!

I finally realized that my TRUE mission in this lifetime is to return home, the place were my TRUE SELF resides. I am in an ongoing learning process of surrendering and letting go, to find my way back every second of my life. I always talk about being fully PRESENT and I have become aware why this is so important and the reason why it feels so good when I am. Why? Because every time I show up, I am home. In the present I return to FREEDOM, LOVE and SERVICE; I show up fully for others. SO RELAX, BREATH IT ALL IN AND LOVE IT ALL OUT! Remembering that Life is a journey not a destination.

10 LESSONS OF 100 HAPPY DAYS IN A ROW

1. Choose YOURSELF
2. Be GRATEFUL
3. SMILE (it relaxes your body and mind, plus we all know how contagious it is, spread it!)
4. Practice KINDNESS
5. LET GO of what no longer serves you.
6. Live in the PRESENT, all you have is here and NOW.
7. Be MINDFUL, pay attention to your thoughts, and feelings, be AWARE and CONSCIOUS, LISTEN, OBSERVE... get to know YOURSELF.
8. Ask yourself, what’s the lesson? There is always a lesson to be learned.
9. Recognize when you are HAPPY and what it feels like, by doing this we feed, nurture, and attract more of it into our lives, eventually making a habit of HAPPINESS.
10. Embrace the joy of being happy... BE LOVE, SPREAD LOVE!