Picnic Lunch: Treat Yo’ Self!

Happy Thursday Everyone!

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Yup! A double dose of Picnic Lunch this week! Why?

Why not?! Welcome to the first installation of Picnic Lunch: Treat Yo’ Self!

BTW we’re sure Donna meant, “Fine {Faux} Leather Goods.” 🙂 Here’s one of my favorites… eco-friendly Matt & Nat Bags. On my “to treat myself” list… but I digress…

Something that comes up a lot when talking to folks about veganism is the question, “Isn’t it hard to stick to such a strict diet?”  

A) Nope. It’s awesome.

B) It’s not really restrictive. It’s awesome.

C) We’re looking at this all wrong!!!  It’s awesome!

My decision to not consume animal products isn’t a punishment or a sacrifice. It’s something I get to do! It’s a privilege. It’s a privilege that I honor and hold in high regard AND it’s a way that I “treat myself!”

For folks that are thinking about taking the plunge into compassionate waters, for folks just trying to make more space for different nourishment options and even for you folks who feel that a bacon sealed tomb is a sign of a life well lived– I hope you’ll open yourself up to this point of view.

The food that we, choose or have access to, put in our bodies is literally what’s fueling us. Our caloric consumption literally gets sent out and enmeshed with all the fibers of our being. So, if we are lucky enough to have some choice around our food, it seems like we should consume consciously.

We’re giving our bodies the right materials to go forth into this sometimes challenging and chaotic world. And it’s my belief, that this extends beyond the physical. {I’m not going to talk ya’ll yet about energetic components of this, cortisol and biological evidence. I meant what I said when I invited you bacon lovers to the conversation.. I’m going to ease ya’ll in… I’ll be gentle.} This means that when I encourage you to “Treat Yo’ Self!” with a diverse and nutritious plant based diet to fuel your body, I also think you should engage and try to satisfy your sight, smell, heart and spirit!

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Treat Yo’ Self Mindfulness Practice

IMAGINE (meditate or practice) THIS:

Carving out some space in your busy week to treat yourself to a date night at home. Pause. Take a breath and ask your body what it needs. Something warm? Something light and green? Something quick because you want to take a walk after dinner and still get to bed early? Something you ate as a kid?

Plan accordingly and include prep time! Dinner prep reservation at 4pm? Sure! It’s five o’clock somewhere!

Set out all your ingredients like they do in those cooking shows! Stay present with each step. Have you ever seen that shade of golden beet before… seriously… like ever in nature? Have you ever stopped to smell a meyer lemon versus a regular one? Do you notice how the smells of herbs intensify as you chop them?? Have you ever minced something and paid attention to the wonder of your body’s ability to… mince something?

Everything done? Feeling like you’re going to finally represent and bring plant based honor to Top Chef??? Everything look less than perfect but smells delicious? Awesome.

Take a seat. Don’t turn on the television. Maybe turn on some music but not too loud. Get yourself a large glass of water with some citrus or cucumber (oh, you fancy huh?) Take a look at your masterpiece! Bring it up to your noise! Waft like you’re a sommelier at a five star restaurant!

Take your time taking bites. Taste parts of your meal separately. Taste them together! Use your fancy water to toast your fabulous self dominating another day and taking time to honor yourself with a date night and a great meal!

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Feel any differently about the relationship to food, your body and your heart?

I know that our lives aren’t setup to have these luxurious date nights all the time. I’m as guilty as the next person of eating in front of my computer while I get some work done now and then, but I try to keep it at a minimum. This practice can be done in so many different variations and at different levels. Maybe it’s just five breaths before you start eating. Maybe it’s a slow down after to see how you feel from what you consumed. Maybe it’s just a quick internal toast to yourself!

Here’s one of my favorite meals to treat my mind, body and spirit. Fancy finger food night: Bread, Almonds, Vegan Cheeseball, Olive Tapenade, Dried Fruit and Roasted Broccolini!

unnamed-1This meal is quick, easy and has so many different combinations! It also slows me down and cues me into the process as I assemble my plate and then assemble each bite before I eat it. Most importantly, it feels fancy like I’m treating myself!

It’s all a practice in mindfulness and a celebration!

So is it hard to stick to such a “strict diet?” Click on some of the links above and you tell me! The food industry in our country is a complicated one and not without conflict (including vegan food industry) but we can minimize our harm to the world around us. There are so many beautiful and delicious ways we can treat ourselves and, though some would like to have us believe it, our pleasure doesn’t have to be another’s pain. This way you can enjoy, celebrate and consume with no conflict to your mind, body and spirit!

Go ahead revolutionaries- the hustle is real- take a night to “Treat Yo’ Self!”

In COM|PASSionate and RAVENOUS Appetite,

Traci

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Traci is a COM|PASSionate vegan foodie and diligent student of interconnections.  COM|PASSion (Intention towards passionate compassion) drives their own healing journey as well as informs their healing practices. They offer themselves here to this space to feed, nourish and create dialogue over shared conversational meals and celebrations.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

 

 

 

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The Magician: A Magical Lunar Cycle Spread

TarotTuesdayBannerLet’s talk about magic.

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When The Magician came up for today’s card, I had to grin: of course! Today’s a big magical New Moon, and new moons are generally a great time to play with tarot for divination, exploring thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve you and are ready to be released, planting new seeds of intentions, or making reflective space for new ideas to come to the surface. Today’s new moon in particular comes right on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, as we straddle the boundary between the gravity of tradition that weighs on our bones and the electric future sparkling before our eyes. It’s also conjunct Circe, an epic magician adept at powerful magic in the service of self-care and transformation. Tomorrow, Mercury turns retrograde, which deepens the pull to slow down and turn our gaze inward. Time for tarot, meditation, or journaling during this window promises to yield some pretty powerful and useful insights.

The Magician asks us to take advantage of this opportunity. The Magician is all about taking our awareness of cycles, patterns, environment, and energy and introducing our will, our hopes and desires, into the mix. The Magician reminds us that we can not just notice all these things, but take action and participate!

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Attribution disappeared into the internet – if you recognize this image, let us know ❤

Here’s a spread you can use to explore the opportunities this period holds for you. It follows through the lunar cycle as it interacts with Mercury for the month – because what better structure to follow for magic-making reflection than the dance of the moon’s own rhythm with the hermetic magician himself? You can lay it all out at once, or pull cards for each part of the cycle as we move through it – or both!

1TheVision0° Aquarius New Moon + Circe (Jan 20): The Vision.

How am being called to evolve beyond my traditional or habitual boundaries? How does this image illustrate possibilities for serving my community, in a way that actually meets my needs and serves me too? What intention can I set to participate mindfully and heartfully in this magic?

2TheKnotMercury Retrograde 1° Aquarius (Jan 21): The Knot.

Where is the Trickster drawing my attention? What kink is being unraveled in the service of this magic? What needs to be lost or released in this process?

3TheGardenWaxing Quarter 0° Taurus (Jan 26): The Garden.

How do I meet my intention in the sensual world? How can I enjoy myself and find pleasure in this process? How can I get creative with this magic?

4TheRoaringHeartFull Moon 14° Leo (Feb 3): The Roaring Heart!

This is where your intention for this cycle finds full expression. How does the card you pull here reflect an image of your own power? Are you aligned with your own power? Do you feel overwhelmed or disempowered? What do you need to express out loud?

5TheUnexpectedLessonMercury Direct 17° Aquarius (Feb 11): The Unexpected Lesson.

How does this shift your intention, moving forward? How can you adjust to weave this into your ongoing magic?

6ThePurgeWaning Quarter 23° Scorpio (Feb 11): The Purge.

What has surfaced in this cycle that you no longer wish to house within yourself? What can you do to shed these elements and make fertile room for new growth?

7Renewal29° Aquarius New Moon (Feb. 18): Renewal.

An image that reflects your dedication to honoring yourself as a part of your beloved community. Rinse yourself clean after the lessons of the last cycle, and know that you are devoted to your own process of evolution, whatever your journey is. What is your vision, moving forward from here?

Blessings on your magic-making endeavors!

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Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

Slowing down…

Good morning COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES!

We  hope that you had some time for self-care the past couple of weeks and that you feel rejuvenated and/or recovered from the winter holiday season.

We’ve been meditating on slowing down.

There’s been a lot of movement over the past year. We set our intentions high and seeing some of those intentions actualize into fruition is pretty amazing. Some of them have manifested in ways that are recognizable to the seeds of intention that were planted in our mind’s eye. Some of them have taken on a life of their own. Plans have been made, re-made and scrapped. Around mid October we realized that we had fallen into a productive but frenetically energized wind tunnel. It took us until mid November to realize that it might serve us to set our sights on getting a bit more grounded. We didn’t feel like we had started to find our footing again until a couple of weeks ago.

So we’ve been meditating on slowing down.

We’re still saying yes to movement. Especially, movement towards this amazing healing community we’re starting to see actualize. However, we’re doing so with a grounding breath of gratitude so we don’t miss everything there is to be grateful for already in existence all around us.

If you’re also coming back and sinking into the schedule and present-ness of the new year we’d like to offer this meditation to settle in and slow down.

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Meditation on Slowing Down

Find a comfortable grounded seat. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to find some warm outdoor space like us in Southern California or can find a quiet place to bundle up and enjoy the winter chill we highly encourage you to take your practice outside.

We’ve been loving a winter warming hibernation oil mix that we made for this meditation. It contains Orange to cheer and lift any seasonal lowness, Pine Needle to clear and open ourselves up and Cloves to warm and comfort.

Get grounded. If accessible actually on the ground but any comfortable seated or standing position will do. If utilizing oils place some underneath nose, on temples and heart space.

Palms up on the knees or open forward (if standing) is always a little bit more receiving. Palms down or near sides is always a little bit more grounding.

Start to take deep full breaths stretching your capacity for prana or life force. Find the edges of your breath- the biggest inhalations and fullest exhalations you can take. Feel your breath come up against the edges of your body container. Then return to a grounding count (i.e. an inhalation/exhalation count you can hold for the same amount of time.) Start to concentrate on your edges against your clothes and then transition focus to where your clothes or feet meet the earth.

Feel it solid beneath you. Draw breath up from abundant earth into body. Sit up taller with each breath or if standing let soles of the feet root downwards, arms become engaged by sides and crown of the head pulls up towards the sky. Radiate.

Enjoy this grounded radiation good for settling in, practicing being present and being open to the coming moment for as long as you’d like. When you feel sunken in and refreshed. Invite your breath to gently return to it’s natural meter and softly open your eyes. It’s completely normal to find that your breath’s natural meter may be a bit more expanded than when you started your practice. Stay seated or still for at least five breaths after you have opened your eyes before returning to normal activities. Take time to process after if your mind wishes. This can be done via conversation, art, journaling or within community sending us a comment here!

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In present COM|PASSion and Gratitude,

The REVOLT