Kitchari

We’ve been enjoying kitchari lately so I thought I’d again share my favorite food, the reasons I love it, and how I make it.

Kitchari is Indian porridge made from beans, rice, and spices that has been used for centuries as both food and medicine to nourish babies, elderly, pregnant and postpartum women, and anyone with compromised health. It is also used as a form of cleansing in Ayurveda (a system of health originating in India that truly uses food as medicine).
*So nutritious! The combination of rice & beans contain all the amino acids to form a complete protein as well as dietary fiber, anti-aging and cancer fighting antioxidants, & essential vitamins & minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins. Spices involved reduce inflammation, flush toxins, increase circulation, boost immunity, helps digestion and absorption of nutrients.
*Easily Digested! When made with split yellow lentils and long grain white rice, it does not cause gas. It is often used as part of a mono-diet cleanse to give the digestive system a break so it can strengthen and flush toxins from the body without weakness.
*Easy To Make! Use all organic ingredients to avoid introducing new toxins. I don’t measure amounts of any of this. I recommend experimenting with the flavors, finding which spices & proportions are yummiest to you. You can add more at the end (except for fennel and mustard seed which need to be cooked in oil first) to bring up the spiciness. Over time, you’ll find the right combo for you.

*Recipe Outline

Ghee or Coconut Oil
Split Yellow Lentils
Brown Mustard Seeds
Fennel Seeds
Long Grain White Rice
Ginger
Turmeric
Coriander
Cumin
Black Pepper
Cinnamon
Salt
Lime
Cilantro

1. Heat ghee or coconut oil (if vegan) on medium low and cook brown mustard seeds & fennel seeds until they are “dancing” (jumping, reacting to the oil and heat), then add 2:1, rinsed yellow lentils to long grain white rice.
2. Add salt, water (double the amount of lentils + rice), and ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and sometimes cinnamon.
3. Heat to boiling, then reduce to low for 30-45 minutes and cover the pan, adding water if necessary, and cook to a mushy consistency.
4. I like to add additional ghee and salt when serving, along with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Energy Body

I referenced the energy body in a previous post of mine and a friend asked me to say more. I’ve been wanting to write about some of my experiences for a while so I thought I’d put together a whole post about it. I made notes during my practice today and here’s what I’ve got.
The energy body is a system of the body as real as any other system such as the respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system, etc. It essentially functions as an interface between the mind and the body.
It is made up of energetic lines, like invisible circuitry in the body. These are “nadis” in yoga and “meridians” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are “subtle energies” because it usually requires stillness and awareness to feel them. Once you tap into them, you notice a lot of information is stored here through thoughts and emotions around your life experiences. When this energy is blocked through psychological hangups and physical ailments, the energy no longer flows freely. There is a lack of ease… a dis-ease… the beginning of disease.
My experience.
I practiced yoga for ~7-10 years before actually understanding the energy body. There were often vague and incomplete references to the chakras in my yoga classes, often accompanied by a lack of grounding or experiential wisdom so none of it really landed with me. Then I read Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith. She’s an expert on the energy body and marries eastern and western understanding of the body and psychology, leading to a more holistic understanding of the mind’s presence throughout the body and its effects. She has other books like Wheels of Life, which is simpler, but I think EBWM is her best.
While in Ecuador, I had a few experiences in meditation and also a more dramatic kundalini experience during yoga which I will share about another time. I was also learning reiki on YouTube (ha! :)) and became tuned into the energy centers of each hand. I will describe them as send and receive swirls with a magnetic-like pull.
In India, I spontaneously left my body, saw auras, had meaningful dreams and visions, heard messages, and more. I soon went to a vipassana meditation retreat and felt the actual vibration of each part of my body. (I wrote about this – if anyone has interest, I can find the link to that write up.) I was sober for all of this. Other people have also helped tune me in through healings and conversations. Fortunately things have calmed down since it was overwhelming but I’m still in touch with much of this. When I’m laying still, I can feel the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle vibration of my body. It hums.
It does not have to take 7 years to understand this. Here is how I’d suggest connecting with the energy body:
1. Learn About It.
Prepare for it intellectually by reading or listening to teachers discuss it.
2. Invite It.
Engage in energetic practices like yoga, meditation, reiki, and other energetic practices.
3. Experience It. Knowing it in your body, first-hand.
Once you are intellectually prepared/informed, expect “aha” moments to occur in the experiential realm of learning.
Practice mindfulness of the body while experiencing strong emotions. Do this more and more often – check in with yourself.
You can feel the stream of energy in the movement of yoga or the stillness of meditation. You can actually feel it all the time if you’re tuned into it.

Into The Flow

Yes,
I’ll take you with me
Into the flow,
Sweet Baby.
I need to move!
I need to stretch!
The music grooves.
Vinyasa!
But then a small cry
So I don’t even try.
We both know
This is really your flow.
You don’t want stillness.
And so yoga becomes
A booty-shaking
Dance party!
I can dance all night.
And we do for a while,
But when you say “nay”
Momma knows.
You want to lay down
And suckle the hour away.
Both of us lulled into
This milky flow.
I bring you to my chest,
Latched to my breast
Where we slip into
A most DIVINE rest.
And I don’t mind
Giving you my time.
Just grateful to know
That together we flow.

Seeing The Divine Masculine

I’m not exactly sure why I feel compelled to share this today but after a very clear-thinking shower this morning, it seems necessary somehow. When I was younger, I was constantly hit on by creeps. Close friends would joke about my strange magnetism and all the “alphas” I’d pull in. That doesn’t happen anymore and I don’t think it’s because I’m older or less attractive. I believe it’s because my vibration is entirely different. When I was younger, I walked around with a strong, but false confidence. It was my crab shell – my defense. But, underneath it was a lack of self worth and a deep need for male validation along with deeply programmed beliefs about men. You see, as a child I felt abandoned and disappointed by the masculine. Several of the adult women in my life told me that “men only want one thing”. More specifically, my mother would tell me that the (good) men in my life were around only because of my sexual offerings. These were the energies that surrounded me as I moved through the world and so I pulled in my vibrational matches. Prey needs predators. Through the practice of self-study/svadhyaya, I have grown leaps and bounds over the last twenty years. I have come to see this deep conditioning. And through my work with plant medicine, I have come to know my inherent value as a child of God. Thank you Mother Ayahuasca for embedding a deep sense of self-worth at a cellular level that has remained over the last three years. Through my real-world experiences and clear-eyed evaluation of past relationships, I have come to know and respect many men who are modeling the divine masculine. These men do not move through life as predators, but as lovers and protectors of all that is sacred within me. My vibration has changed. Now I attract lovely “hellos”, genuine interest, and true friendship from men. I have grown and so have the people I’m surrounded by. Again, I’m not sure why I needed to share this today, but hopefully this reflection speaks to someone. With so much love for me, and for you… Blessings on your day and your life. XO

P.S. On February 20th, there is a call to share our stories with the hashtag #thankyouplantmedicine
I will be sharing some of my past blog posts on social media and I look forward to hearing some of your stories too.

Birth Prayer for Lucy

Dear God, Great Spirit

Thank you for the ease and grace through which baby Lucy was conceived. We are eternally grateful for this gift that you’ve bestowed upon us as a family. 

Thank you for a calm and healthy pregnancy, free from distress and filled with love, nurture, and feminine energy.

We pray that Lucy’s life be full of health, joy, peace, love, harmony, creativity, intimacy, beauty, alignment with nature and with her own true spirit. 

May her eyes, heart, and mind, continually take in the beauty around her as she blesses this world with your grace. 

May she sing freely, create authentically, live with a sense of deep purpose and fulfillment, while knowing all that is good and true in the world. 

May she feel secure in our loving care and in herself as we prepare her to walk freely and confidently along her own path. 

May she always know that she is perfect and loved, exactly as she is. 

May Patrick, Lucy, and I grow together in love and closeness through all of our days.

Blessings on our beautiful daughter, Lucy. 

Aho, may it be so.