I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve been feeling a bit uneasy and out of sorts for a couple days. It’s like feeling an energetic earthquake rumbling under my feet. In the same way we can batten down the hatches and prepare physically I can work on staying calm and grounded to prepare for whatever comes next. Today’s Word is STORM
Often our biggest dragons are the ones that lurk inside us. Over the years I’ve discovered a number of tools for taming them.
There are a number of different ways to let our inner dragons go. However there 4 tools that have become my favorites over the years.
Conscious breathing has been my immediate go-to for over 3 decades because it is so immediate and effective for instant support. Breathing is something we can do anytime anywhere. As a matter of fact, not breathing is generally cause for alarm 😉 The way we breathe correlates with the way we live. Our inhale represents the ability to receive and take in energy. Our exhale conveys how we let go and release. A basic breathing exercise to start with is simply imagine you are breathing in calmness and ease with your inhale and then let go of any tension or worry as you exhale and relax your body more with each full breath. Keep breathing in calmness and peace and exhaling distress and distraction until all the concern has lifted. Once the stress has been fully released then imagine you are not only taking in calmness and peace but also sending it back out to the world around you.
Emotional Freedom Techniques
Discovering EFT more than a decade ago was a total game changer for me. EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques is also known as tapping is an amazingly effectively way to shift and release the stuff we no longer need to be carrying around. A sort of “emotional acupressure” EFT involves focusing on an issue you want to shift or let go of and tapping or putting light pressure on specific acupuncture points on your hands, head, face and torso. At first EFT can seem kind of awkward or weird especially the head and face tapping, but as you move through a few rounds and start to notice how changes in the way you feel it gets easier and easier. To learn more about EFT and the story of how I discovered it go here.
Flower essences are gentle remedies which work by shifting feelings, thoughts and physical energy in the body. In the same way that a stringed musical instrument can affect another to vibrate in the same tone, flower essences impart specific frequencies which correspond to various mental, emotional & spiritual issues. While essential oils and herbal medicines work with the actual biological/chemical constituents of a plant to stimulate healing, flower essences work through the energetic/vibrational level. Flower essences work on the principle that as living beings we are much more than our physical bodies. It recognizes that we have what could be regarded as mental, emotional and spiritual bodies which though unseen are just as vital for our health and wellbeing. These more subtle “energy bodies” respond to a plant’s energetic imprint which is transmitted through their flower essence. As every plant contains unique qualities they evoke particular shifts when someone consumes their essences. In a similar way that art or music can express meaning and inspiration through the conduit of sound or light, flower essences impart their messages through water. My top 3 remedies for empathic support at Bach’s Rescue Remedy and White Chestnut and FES Yarrow Environmental Solution.
Essential Oils are remarkably versatile. Not only do their scents evoke mental and emotional responses, they can also be used to address and heal a number of physical issues as well as used to cleanse, purify and sanitize our environment. One thing that is important to note, not all essential oil brands are created equal and even the term Therapeutic Grade is only as pure as the standards of the company that defines it. In general the oils you purchase at your local health food store or pharmacy are not as unadulterated as oils you can find from reputable companies online. After working with oils for over 30 years, I decided the quality of DoTerra Oils is a company I can support. To learn more about specific oils and to order your own high quality singles and blends please check out my DoTerra page. BTW My top 4 oils are Lavender (antiseptic, healing and relaxing), Lime (energizing, refreshing and purifying), Peppermint (energizing, digestive aid and analgesic) and On Guard (Antimicrobial, Antibacterial, Sanitizing)
For many years now I have been following a folk tradition from the south that if you eat poor on New Year’s Day you will eat rich the rest of the year. Though hamhocks are not part of my recipe (most due to the fact that they are hard to track down around these here parts sometimes, so I tend to substitute bacon unless I am doing the vegetarian version) my Hoppin’ John follows close to the tradition with annual variations depending on my intention for the coming year.
2017 Hoppin’ John (Luck & Prosperity for ALL!)
It is suspected that the origins of this name comes from the Creole who call black-eyed peas, “Pigeon peas” but in a bastardized french, “poi pigeon”, pronounced “PWAH-PEE-ZJAHN”, is an easy leap to Hoppin’ John.
Depending on whether you plan to share this with many or simply a few adjust your ingredients accordingly. I’ll be bringing servings for all my people so I like to make a HUGE batch.
Ingredients: (organic when possible)
About 4 Lbs (dry) Black Eyed Peas (soaked overnite and drained)
2-3 T coconut oil or bacon fat
4 yellow onions (chopped)
head of celery (chopped) (not traditional but feeling it this year)
1 head garlic (minced)
Water (as needed)
10 bay leaves
2 T caraway seeds
Fresh Rosemary & Thyme (both optional if you have them)
1 t smoked salt
1 t sea salt
1 t cayenne pepper
1/4 c blackstrap molasses (optional)
3 lbs of brown rice (this year I am using a combo of different colored rices, including red rice, japonica black rice, short grain brown rice & wild rice)
12 cups water
Overnite Soak 4 lbs (or more if you have a lot of people to share this dish with or less) Black Eyed Peas
in the AM Drain and Rinse
Chop one large yellow onion per pound of peas and as much garlic as you desire (I use a whole head for 4 lbs of peas)
Chop head of celery
Using your oil or fat of choice (I like either bacon fat or coconut oil depending whether I am making it vegetarian or not) Saute onions in big skillet or heavy bottomed large pot (I used a 7.5 quart enameled cast iron french oven) on medium heat till transparent
Reduce heat add garlic
Add bay leaves (for energy), cayenne pepper (speeds luck and good fortune), caraway seeds (to fire up prosperity), fresh rosemary (for protection & a warm home), thyme (Protection and Cleansing & to Bring About an Increase in Money) and salt & pepper to taste
Add soaked and drained blackeyed peas stir to mix with onions & herbs
Add liquid (I used broth & water to almost cover: about 2 inches down from top) and 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses.
Cover and cook till peas are tender (add more salt to taste, black pepper and thyme optional)
In separate pot make rice to mix with peas
ratio of 1 cup brown rice / 2 cups water
Bring rice & water to boil, reduce to low and simmer for 45 mins or so with lid on tightly, check to see that water is cooked off, turn off heat and let sit covered
Collards for Cash
2-4 bunches collard greens
1 large yellow onion
salt to taste
olive oil, coconut oil or bacon fat (from the bacon you’ve cooked to crumble on top of the greens)
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
wash and trim bottom stems off collard leaves
with sharp knife cut leaves across horizontally into 1″ ribbons
chop onion well and saute with olive oil in large cast iron skillet till almost golden
simultaneously place cut collards in big pot with steamer basket to keep water from touching greens and steam till well wilted but still bright green
Transfer steamed greens into skillet saute and mix well with onions, add salt to taste and about 2T vinegar remove from heat when greens have reduced in size and look darker.(Optional) Crumble bacon pieces over the greens and stir them through
Serve in dish layer collards first, rice next, peas spooned over all of it, enjoy!
For me SHARING is a big part of this prosperity spell. I sincerely believe that we prosper best when all around us prosper too! As I cook I put all my gratitude & visions for the people I love and a THRIVING YEAR for ALL OF US!
You may wonder what food and recipe sharing has to do with bringing more prosperity and mastery into your life. Well in my personal experience what we eat on a daily basis is at the very core of sustained wellbeing both physically and emotionally. I believe that good food is the root of all other wealth. When we eat real food that feels abundant, tastes delicious and makes us feel great in our body and spirit we lay and reinforce a solid foundation for all other aspects of a magnificent life.
Ghee is one of those golden elixirs of life that just makes the universe spin a little more smoothly on its axis. Considered a sacred food in Ayurvedic and Yogic cultures, ghee is believed to contain healing properties and is regarded as the distillation of the purest essence of India’s most Sacred Cow. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as well as lauric acid and butyric acid are but a few of the MANY nutritional components which offer health benefits in ghee.
Also known as clarified butter in the western world, ghee is a very versatile fat which can be used for cooking at substantially higher temperatures than regular butter because all of the easy to burn milk solids have been evaporated and strained out. In the process of clarification, any lactose or casein are removed so ghee is often tolerated by people with dairy allergies or sensitivities and can usually be safely included in a leaky gut healing protocol like the GAPS Diet or the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.
I substitute ghee for nearly all of my butter uses including sautéing, baking and in my morning cup of blessed bulletproof coffee.
It is especially important to note that butter derived from pastured cows who graze on grass is considered far superior to the more common butter coming from grain fed cattle. Fortunately Irish Kerrygold pastured butter is readily available in many conventional grocery stores and is available for around $2.99 for 8 oz at the Trader Joes here in Portland ME. If you’ve ever purchased commercial ghee you’ll know that it generally run between $.60 & 1.80 an ounce depending on brand, quantity and shipping costs, so at 37¢ homemade ghee is quite a deal.
Now perhaps like me you have attempted to make a batch of ghee on your stovetop only to have it go from almost perfect to suddenly burned to a bitter unusable waste of a pound or more of butter, maybe you’ve also tried baking it in the oven and yielded only slightly better results. WELL if you too have suffered the heartache of ruined ghee, grieve no more! I offer you foolproof and crazy easy to make slowcooker ghee!
get 2-4 lbs of the best pasture fed dairy butter you can get your hands on. Note since you are going to slow cook it, raw unpasteurized is not really crucial.
Unwrap & place butter in a 4-6 quart sized slow cooker and LEAVE the cover OFF.
Set your cooker on the low setting and walk away.
In a few hours your butter will be melted and the milk solids will have separated from the fat, and it will look like white curdled milk floating through the whole crock. The butter will still smell like ordinary melted butter. It still has a way to go.
Depending on your slow cooker it may take 8-12 hours to reach perfection.
When your ghee is ready the browned milk solids will have sunk to the bottom and floated up to the top into gorgeous toasted “curds” which can be enjoyed if casein is not a problem for you. The ghee will have a distinctive sweet & nutty caramel scent which imparts a deliciousness to any dish you add it to.
Pour the ghee into a bowl through a sieve to remove most of the solids and then decant into clean ceramic canisters or glass jars using either a tighter mesh strainer or a funnel with cheesecloth or paper towel to get the minute particles out. Stored in a dark cabinet or refrigerated homemade ghee is stable for long periods of time and even kept at room temperature for up to three months as long as you keep it out of prolonged light.
WORRY: I inherited this from my ancestors. Like a delicate porcelain teacup with a little chip on its worn gilded rim and a hairline crack down the side, it has been carefully passed from mother to daughter like a precious relic with the vow that we must all protect and cherish it. I took this for granted. It never occurred to me that worrying was a choice. SO In reflecting on my life recently, I have been realizing just how anxious and fearful I felt through my entire childhood. I had an ancestral agreement with worry which taught me how crucial and virtuous being in a state of constant worry is. I learned as a very little girl that worry is equal to caring, worry can not be stopped or prevented. Worry is necessary and not worrying means you have less regard or concern for others than if you do. This idea of selfless worry and imagining the worst possible outcome was foundational to my view of the world as a child and young adult.
I remember the first time someone told me to “let it go”. I was completely baffled as to how to do it. I did not have the first clue about how to surrender my fear and anxiety and stop worrying. I had been raised to value worry and to believe it was inevitable and the concept that I could simply choose to put it down was inconceivable for me. As a result I white knuckled my way through a few decades of my adult life before I really started to grasp there was an alternative. I have spent nearly 30 years dismantling my fear, anxiety and worry and learning to question the legitimacy of my stress and concerns. Even though I have been on a path of personal healing and recovery since I quit smoking cigarettes on January 4, 1986, a significant turning point for me came when I discovered EFT and then started working consistently with this technique. Miraculously, this has resulted in permanent relief and irrevocable mindset shifts for me! I have come a really long way from the family legacy of worry and I would say at this point my default is now surrender and open-mindedness over worry and projection of worst possible outcomes. I am profoundly grateful for these shifts because I move through life with greater calmness, ease and energy. I choose to honor the delicate relic of my ancestral worry. I recognize it as the only option for countless generations of women who have come before me. Today I leave it carefully placed on a remote shelf with a handful of rosebuds in the cup to soften their fear. I move forward on behalf of all of us free from these shackles.