Tag Archives: Spiritualism

It’s Not All about the Food

13 May

My Aunt and I

After over 8 years in the path to health, I can safely say it’s not all about the food. The more I learn, the more I understand that one thing alone is not going to make a difference. It can start the way to a healthier lifestyle, but it’s not the ticket for sure.

My favorite Aunt passed away last year. She was a happy woman who drank coffee and smoke for a very long time and yet she was in good physical health. She was surrounded by friends and family who loved her. She also kept herself very active and had a great memory and would tell me great stories about her family and friends. She worked hard and enjoyed her life very much.

I was lucky to spend a few summers with her and was able to learn so much from her. In fact, my love for romaine lettuce started because my aunt would eat them for dinner everyday. I didn’t know there were different kinds of lettuce back then, but she taught me and inspired me to eat them. We also eat a lot of candy and coffee, but we had a great time!

She taught me to reuse and not create garbage before it was trendy. She was creative and the first marketing guru I learned from. She taught me how to count money backwards and how to clean windows the right way. She took me for my driving test when I first got my license and helped me pass the test. She was very charming and polite to even the hardest people and customers ever and that’s something I apply in my life everyday. She always smiled and kept herself busy and up to date with news and trends.

She was 90 years old when she passed away a year ago, and that’s how I know it’s not all about the food. She was happy with what she had, her work, her daughter, her dogs, and friends, and of course her favorite niece, ME! 🙂

I miss her very much, but I know that she’s with me in my heart and that what I learned from her will stay with me forever. I want to honor her memory with this blog but also share that there is more to life than food. We all need love, purpose, exercise, food, happiness, friends, pets, plants, air, ocean, candy, and more to live a healthy life.

I’m not endorsing smoking or drinking coffee or eating candy, not did I changed my believes about raw vegan organic food. I simply believe that food alone is not the key to a healthy long lifestyle. So today, I encourage you to see what is missing in your life to make it complete, and to remember that one thing alone is not enough. Healthy food is not the only solution!

Green Tips to Decorate Your Home

04 May

It’s always fun to redecorate you living space especially after a nice spring cleaning! I wanted to share some tips to decorate your home without spending a lot of money and contributing to the environment at the same time.


The best way to stay in budget and help the environment is to reuse. Even if you don’t like everything you have at home, there are always items that can be salvaged. For example, an old curtain can be reused to make new pillow covers.  Another way to reuse is to switch things around the house. I do this with a lot of my decorations, frames, candles, and statues. I move things from one room to another or take what I don’t like to my office and stuff from my office can go back into the house. I also switch outdoor decorations or even plants around the house too.

By giving things a second chance in your home, you are also helping to conserve and prevent production of brand new things. Therefore saving resources like logging, mining, and manufacturing.  


If you want to buy new items, try recycled items. For example, recycled glass and “downcycled” wood items. However, if your budget for decorating consists of whatever people are giving away, try Freecycle.org. There is a local chapter in almost every city and many people give away great items in good condition.

Renewable & Natural

Most people are not aware that the best renewable sources make beautiful furnishings and decorations for a home. For example, bamboo, wheat, cork, or wool are easy to produce and grown and require much less resources than say wood or stone.

What to Look For? – Read the Labels

Yes, not only I’m asking you to read your food labels, but also anything that you bring into your home. Here is a quick checklist to keep handy when shopping:

  • Look for locally harvested or made: you will be supporting local businesses that require less transportation and therefore using less fossil fuels. Not to mention that you would be supporting American made products!
  • Non-Toxic substances: Paint is the first one that comes to mind, but also any cleaning supplies and candles or even incense
  • Organic or Non-Genetically Modified: yes there are organic materials and fabrics! For example, organic cotton sheets, pillows, covers, towels, kitchen towels, etc. Hemp and bamboo are also a great fabric to buy. Even Target carries organic cotton bedding and kitchen linens nowdays and not just online, but also in their stores
  • Reusable: I mentioned reusing items from your home, but if you are shopping for new furnishings or decorations, go for items that can be used later with little or no manufacturing

Out with the Old

I wrote a blog about Clearing your Clutter, which I recommend reading before redecorating your home. So after you decide to get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life, what are you going to do with them? NOT THE TRASH!

Recycle and Reuse is always the answer! Sign up for Freecycle.org and OFFER your items to other people that might be interested in them. You can also try to sell them, but that may require more time and effort and if you have a hard time letting things go, you may change your mind and put it back into your life. Donations to organizations are also great. I’ve become familiar with all the local organizations that take donations of furniture, clothes, etc. Most known are Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and Salvation Army. These are also great place to shop for furniture.

I don’t believe in making money of things I’m getting rid of, so I donate everything or offer it in Freecycle.org. I believe in making space for good things in my life. I also believe in manifesting for things. For example, I recently had a purple purse that a friend gave after I helped her clean her cluttered closet, but I had to retire it (to GoodWill), and the next day my boss gave a brand new purple purse that she found while clearing her clutter and that was her closet sitting for a year not being used.

I hope these tips help you in clearing your sacred space and redecorating it while contributing to the environment.

Reusable Picture Frame Photo by Foxtongue

Bamboo Photo by caseyyee

Bicycle Depot Photo by Peter Blanchard

Little Things that Make Me Happy

28 April

There are many little things that make me happy everyday and help me enjoy life. But there is always stress that keeps me from remembering to have fun and enjoy life.

I’m very thankful that my job is not stressful and I do enjoy everything I do. There is rarely anything that gets me upset. Even the time when I was preparing reports for a very important client and my boss made run them about four times on a Friday afternoon when my brain was fried. I didn’t mind because I wanted to ensure the reports were correct.

I work on customer support and deal with a lot of people on the phone and by email. But as it turns out, I’m good at it and I enjoy it. But whenever I need a good laugh or a break, I just go to the bathroom and come back happy.

No, it’s not what you think!  This is what I mean, the signs in our office bathroom are what makes me laugh and enjoy my day. So as I walk out, this is what the door says:

First, there are so many things I would like to do to this sign! If you know me, you know I’m well known for making signs for everything! I would love to change the font, the color, and obviously change the color of the paper.

There is second door that leads to the hallway, and there is a second sign there in case we forget what the first sign said:

OK! So you may know that I think in pictures, and when I see this sign, I picture a woman so angry and fed up at the mess in the hallway that she runs to her desk, sits in front of her computer and writes these words: “TO THE PERSON WHO THINKS THIS HALLWAY IS THEIR TRASH CAN: PLEASE WALK YOUR TRASH TO YOUR OFFICE.”

This sign makes me laugh every time! I feel her pain and frustration in this sign. At the same time, I feel happy when I see it because I’m thankful I’m not that woman who is so angry that she had to make it known. I would have purchased a trash can and put it in the hallway to take care of this problem. But years ago, I may have been that woman, and sent a memo to the entire building, passed out flyers about it, and started a campaign in twitter and facebook, and even written to my state representatives.

I felt compelled to write this blog because I don’t know who wrote this sign, but I hope someday I can tell her that she brings joy to my life every day. Not because of her frustration, but because I’m glad it’s not me writing the signs anymore.

Get Rid of Clutter Now! I mean it!

21 April

Is this what your house looks like?We were living in a small 3 bedroom/3 bathroom house for over four years. When we first moved in, we had nothing and most of what we had was furniture that other friends or family didn’t want. We also had a one-car garage that basically stored boxes and shit from friends and family. It was a disaster that garage!

The Problem

I didn’t enjoy living in such a big space (to me), I grew up in a city in a small apartment, so houses are not my favorite. Plus being paranoid about break-ins doesn’t help when you live in a house with many entrances and windows. So needless to say, I hated the house. I wanted badly to get rid of everything and move to a small space.

Denis had bought me two books on Feng Shui and Clutter by Karen Kingston but I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. It was stressing me out to read the books because I had a cluttered house at the time. The first time we went to Sedona, I decided to take one of the books with me to read in the plane. Of course I didn’t read it on the way there because I was so excited to go hiking in the red stones that I decided to read about Sedona instead.

I  had one of the most spiritual experiences there while in guided meditation and also with a spiritual consuler. On the plane ride back home, I decided to read Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui and couldn’t put it down. When I got home, I decided that I would make the best of the house since we had to stay there to save money for traveling, and once I had a taste of traveling, there was no going back. So I did what a crazy paranoid Scorpio would do, I cleaned the garage.

Where to Start?

I called my uncle and aunt to help me clean and get rid of everything. We made three piles, one for donations, one for recycle, and one for garbage. Oh yes, that one for what HAD to stay. But I was merciless… I donated and recycled away. It took the four of us six hours to clean the one-car garage, but it was done. And once I had finished, wow… what a feeling. It was like I lost 50 lbs. And I was hooked!

Within the next few days, I had cleared a couple of closets that were holding gifts and things people had given us that we had no place for. The next week I moved to our bedroom and clean our closet. Donated clothes we were not using or had never worn. Then it was the dresser and all its drawers with more clothes and things to donate or throw away. After the bedroom, I moved to our bathroom, and this went one for the next few months. Every weekend or so, I would unclutter a small part of the house. One drawer at the time and even our backyard!


As I cleared clutter, I opened space for new things in our lives. Wonderful and amazing things began to happen. The energy flow in our house was better and my attitude and mood improved. I actually stopped hating the house and starting enjoying our space. I also enjoyed having less stuff, less clothes, less shoes, less crap to worry about and collect dust. I became less attached to “things” and open my heart to important things in life.
After living in that house for six years, we finally moved to a smaller space in our “dream” location, the beach. Our new home is so small that it took me 1 month to prepare the move. From a 3/3 we relocated to a 1/1! So I had to use all my un-cluttering skills to ensure that I would only take what was needed to our new space. And even after the move, we still wind up having to get rid of more things.

 5 Tips to Keep it Up

  • I do a routine clutter clean up without even thinking about it or scheduling it
  • I get rid of something if I buy something new or if I receive a gift. For example, my friend gave me purple purse as a gift, so when I got home, I found a purse and donated it. I apply this rule to books too (these are most precious possessions)
  • I committ to detach myself from possessions by understanding that when that object would be loved by someone else who needs it and will cherish it more than I do
  • I abstain from buying unnecessary things that will not contribute to my path… unless they are purple of course! Just kidding!
  • I say to myself and other (as a mantra or affirmation) that I’m a minimalist and will continue to open space for wonderful things in my life

I wanted to share this story with everyone because I strongly believe that when one clears the clutter in our lives, one receives more beautiful things in exchange. Clutter is dead energy sucking the good energy out of life. And one way I measure how uncomplicated my life is is by looking at how many keys I have in my key-ring. At this time, I have three keys, car, home, and office… How many keys do you have?


Garage Photo by Irish Typepad

Feng Shui Photo by Samu73

Manifestation Class

06 April

Marissa Cohen

On Saturday, I attended a manifestation class taught by a  good friend of mine, Marissa Cohen(Channeling/Mediumship/Astrology/Tarot) at Griffin’s Loft.  I’m a great believer in manifestation because years ago, as a child without even knowing what it meant or how to do it, I manifested many things in my life.  

When I was 9 years old, I used to spend recess at the library doing research in astrology. I came across a book about the power of the mind that basically taught me the basic ideas to what we know as manifestation and law of attraction.  I developed my own method of creating/manifesting things in my life by writing them and being very detailed about it. In recent years, this method helped find a new job and a new apartment on the beach.  

A week before Marissa’s class, we had met for a session and when I left I had such an amazing energy that I felt blessed. The next night, something tiny but amazing happened. I signed up for a contest online for a coffee mug from one of my favorite author’s. As I submitted my request, I said “this coffee mug is mine, and is going to be my new office tea mug.” The next morning when I checked my twitter account, not thinking about the contest at all, I get a notification I had won the mug. I started (silently) screaming and jumping as I was at work. I immediately told Marissa about this tiny and insignificant gift. As she put it, I was not attached to the outcome and therefore it happened. So I signed up for her class.  

Marissa explained in class that the universe hears what we say. Whether is positive or negative, it thinks we want that because it hears us saying it over and over again. Once we shift our focus the growth is bigger. Manifestation works better when one is not attached to the outcome of that that we asked, the power of our emotions can affect that outcome. For example, I would have been happy if another fan received the mug if I didn’t get it.  

So here are some of the steps Marissa summarized in class for us:  

  1. Creative visualization: what is it that you see happening -> creativity, and see it -> visualize. If you are writing it, it works best if written in present tense as it was happening
  2. Emotion and intention: Not controlling the outcome or situation but being aware the feelings
  3. Moving beyond and taking responsability for the actions

One of the things I decided to do this year, sort of as a “New Year’s” resolution was to ask better questions. I was watching an online show work-related, and someone said that people “don’t ask the right questions.” That stayed with me and I put it in my list not knowing what it meant for me or how I could “ask better or the right questions” but I wrote it as a resolution. Marissa repeated this statement several times in the workshop, we have to ask better questions when we are in the process of manifesting.  

One of the questions I had was what is the difference between affirmations and manifestation, and she explained that affirmation is a tool in the creativity step or part of the process in manifesting.  

I enjoyed the class very much and was able to share several of my experiences with the other people attending the class.  

Marissa’s website is coming soon, but she can be found in facebook as well as in Griffin’s Loft located in Davie, FL or by email at happyganeshreadings@gmail.com    

More on Marissa: Bob Decker’s Blazing Tarot Blog and on April Claxton’s The Movement Within Radio Show.

Exercise and Motivation: Get Back on That Mat!

03 April

I wanted to start a brand new blog site dedicated to excuses I come up every day when is time to exercise. It would be call 365 reasons to not exercise and it would be one per day so you would have an excuse for each day of the year! But I figured why spend all that energy that goes into creating a new site/blog and instead sit and blog about why I choose to be lazy instead when I can actually put that energy into the exercise itself.

One of my biggest problems is that I need motivation and discipline and/or consequences if I don’t exercise. For example, when I was paying for a gym membership I was going at least three days a week and taking the classes offered to get my money’s worth. That motivated me to go and workout because it would be lost money from my bank account making some corporation rich!  

So on the Blue Moon I decided I was going to sign up for a bunch of classes to get me going again. I signed up for a weight lifting class and Anusara yoga class. I was also planning to take Belly Dance classes again, but found that my favorite teacher had moved and was unable to find another class that would fit into my new tight schedule. The weight lifting class was two days a week, yoga was two days a week as well, and that left me with only Friday night free. My weekends are pretty busy as it is with all the socializing I do at the farmer’s markets and raw foodist hang-outs so weekend classes were out of the question.

The first week of classes everything went great. I was feeling great and both classes seem to be working in sync with each other. Almost as if both instructors had called up each other and agreed on what they were going to be teacher me. I was flying and very happy! My yoga practice (after 8 years) was improving and I was getting strong enough to do hand stands. My arms and my breathing in weight lifting improved so much that my coach was very proud that in such a short time he could see great progress.

At the start of the 4th week, I began feeling the pressure. I was getting stressed out by my busy exercise schedule. So I started skipping class and coming up with all sort of new excuses. I debated and concluded I had gotten my money’s worth for both classes and that I needed more time to concentrate in work and my blog. And I quit both classes and stopped exercising completely.

After about a month, my size 4 jeans were not fitting anymore. I knew it was not the food because I was not eating differently. That motivated me to begin exercising again and I signed for iyengar yoga and even began an online 100 pushup challenge.

Once I got back on the horse, or better yet, on the yoga mat again, I felt so much better. Even though I’m not using financial reasons to get me motivated this time around, the size 4 jeans are. I also decided to keep my weights around my very small living room so that while I take breaks from my busy “online life“, I can workout. In fact, Denis and I made a pact, if we want to watch TV (which is one of my worst addictions), then we will workout while we watch TV.

I’m loving it now, but I know eventually (probably once the challange is completed) I will be bored again and will have to find a new way to motivate myself to get back to exercising. But for now I won’t stress about it and keep going.

Photo by cowbite

Schedule me in, please!

29 March

Every month I find myself complaining that I don’t have enough time to take care of myself. Every weekend I make a promise to spend time on me… what that means is: no cleaning, no chores, no Facebook or twitter, no reading… just a little girl time for me.

In a perfect world, I would enjoy to be able to get a massage, manicure, pedicure, wax, etc weekely. However, I cannot only afford it, but also I can’t find the time to drop everything else I do on weekends (or week nights for that matter) to take care of me and do those things.

I watch Oprah shows about women who let themselves go over the years because of children and other things in their lives, and I always wonder how they got there. But I find myself doing things for everyone else, working from home, preparing food for Denis, Facebooking, and doing chores and no time to take care of me.

At the beginning of the year, I had decided to start doing more for me. I took a weight training class, went back to yoga, and started a Full Moon Liquid Fast. Well it didn’t work out. It made me more stressed than relaxed because I had to leave work on time (yes, I’m not those people who “clocks out” at 5pm, I’m a workaholic and so is Denis) and I still didn’t have time to remove my nail polish at the end of the week! How sad is that? So I decided to quit the classes and concentrate in one thing at the time. But I still didn’t know how to manage my home time.

If you think about it, this is how much time we really have:

Work – 8 hours (but if you are me or Denis 9 to 10 hours), sleep 8 hours (if you are lucky!), commute to work 1 to 2 hours round trip (1 hour for me), time getting ready in the morning – 2 hours (1 hour for me,  I’m quick!). If my math is correct, that leaves us with an average of 4 hours every night. That’s not counting making dinner and getting ready for the next day… and forget it if you have kids! I’m single and only have a cat so I’m lucky I get about 2 hours every night after making dinner and other chores… and that’s with a helpful partner!

A few weeks ago, Denis was listening to the WISH Summit and related some of the information to me, because I myself didn’t find time to listen to the talks. He heard from one of the speakers (sorry I can’t give proper credit, we don’t remember the speaker!) that women should schedule time in their routines or busy lives to themselves. That was my aha moment! So immediately I decided to block two hours a week to do my own version of spa time.

So after careful consideration on what day would work out best for me and moved things around, I squeezed myself in for two hours every Thursday night. So Thursday night came and went and I only managed to get 1 hour to myself. So today I was able to get another hour squeezed in. Got my nails done and other things that I don’t need to share here *wink*. But the point is that it was a great effort in my part to get it going.

I hope I can continue to do this every week and will soon become part of my routine and at least get my nails done! But I hope that by sharing this, you can also find a way to schedule yourself in for time for you alone.


Picture by Nick J Webb

Full Moon Liquid Fast

27 February
Full Moon Liquid Fast

Full Moon in Sedona Arizona - 2007

About four months ago, Denis and I decided to challenge our diets and take it one step further. We decided to fast and only eat, or drink in this case, liquids once a month on the full moon.

We noticed that around the full moon it was hard to deal with everyone’s energy. At work, on the road, online, on TV, at the beach, everyone is more stressed than usual.

A liquid fast entails only consuming liquids such as soups, smoothies, juices, water, puddings; basically anything that doesn’t require chewing.

I am a huge fan of soups and smoothies… always been! And preparing only liquid foods was very easy for me.  I also had great help from several books with not only great raw vegan soup recipes but smoothies and juices.

We start our liquid fast about three days before the full moon and so far it has helped us deal with the “Full Moon” energy around us. I have set reminders in my calendars to let me know when the full moon starts so that we can start our fast.

Here are some of the recipes that I make during the liquid fast:

Miso Soup

Green Soup


Green Juice Delight


Thank God, Orange Juice, & Grapefruit Juice

Happy Full Moon 2010!

5 Hard-Core Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

08 February

Plus Where to get Dinner, Chocolates, and Flowers


Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday but who said you had to stick to the usual gifts that may not go with your green lifestyle? Here are five gifts ideas for your green significant other:

“No-one-died” Jewelry

Jewelry is the most common gift to give to your loved one on Valentine’s Day. So why not make it something eco-friendly that didn’t cause people’s lives? Here are gifts from recycled, reused, and/or natural materials that will go excellent with your “green” Valentine’s Day.

“Good-Cause” Accessories

There are many companies that make accessories that help a good cause. I’m choosing Hemp Sisters (Earth Divas) this time because they have a great variety of green gifts for your significant other.

Romantic Evening – Do a Home Spa

Gaiam is a great site with wonderful gifts for any occasion. I picked this “Healing Home Spa” set because it a great way to show your loved one that you care for their health and the earth.

When you are Ready to Commit

Compost buckets! Not your typical romantic gift, but it will make a statement that you both are ready to take the next step in your “green” path and commit to it.

Compost Bucket

Compost Bucket

Something Practical for All

This is a great gift if you know you significant other has everything and doesn’t need another necklace, ring, earrings, etc., or your family doesn’t exchange gifts. I picked Tonic, formerly Green Dimes, for this occasion because it’s a great way to stay green by eliminating unnecessary junk mailings that are cause trash. Not a typical romantic gift, but a very original idea!

So now that you picked the gift, all that is left are the card, the flowers, the chocolates, and dinner.

The Card

Picking a card that is green is easy. Most places sell now cards made or recycle paper etc. However, if you want to take one green step further, check out these cards that have wild flower seeds that can be planted to grow. Very original and will impress your “green” significant other.

The Flowers

Organic flower shop

If your honey is like me, they won’t want flowers and may prefer plants. However, if they do like flowers, here is an organic shop that has a great variety for this special occasion.

The Chocolates

Take this opportunity to try raw vegan chocolate. I have many raw favorites, but for Valentine’s Day I’m recommending Gnosis Chocolates.

The Dinner

If you are truly green, you will want to go to a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. To locate a local place to take your significant other for dinner, use Happy Cow. And if you are in South Florida and want an impressive restaurant, try Sublime.

Happy Green Valentine’s Day! Remember that the most important part of this holiday is LOVE!

Heart Photo by: qthomasbower

Blue Moon – Set Your Intentions

30 December
Cathedral Rock - Sedona, AZ

Cathedral Rock - Sedona, AZ

Last Blue Moon we had, I was in Sedona, AZ on the top of Cathedral Rock at a drum circle I was invited to celebrate the blue moon. Earlier that day I was told that it was a good idea to set your intentions or goals for your life on the night of the blue moon. So I grabbed a writing pad with the hotel stationary and wrote my intentions at the top of Cathedral Rock while the drums played.

I came home and put the list in my night stand drawer. Months later I looked at my list and found I had accomplished many items from it. A year later I found the list while I was cleaning my drawer and read it again this time crossing every item I had accomplished. When I was done, all of the items had been crossed. So without pressuring myself or recalling the list everyday, I was able to accomplish all the things I had set that night at the drumming circle on the Blue Moon.

This year, the Blue Moon falls New Years Eve and therefore making it more interesting as many people use this time to set their intensions, goals, or resolutions for the New Year.

I invite you to take this opportunity to sit down and write a list of the things you want to accomplish in your life. I’ve created a template here to help you putting down your thoughts.

I would also recommend being honest with yourself as you set your intentions on the Blue Moon. I know I can be honest with others but lie to myself when it comes to knowing my limitations. For example, deadlines; I can tell someone if I can complete a task in certain time, but I lie when I tell myself “Oh! I can write this blog in 20 minutes!” when I know it really takes me 2 hours or more. So, know your limitations and don’t stress about what your goals are. When I wrote my first list, one of the items was to clean my garage and un-clutter my entire house. I started with one closet at a time, one box in the garage, a couple of drawers here and there, and three months later I had completed that item.

Have a Happy Blue Moon, the next one is 2012!

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