New Moon in Leo Ritual

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Please note, while it is great to do this with the New Moon, you can really start ANYTIME, so don't make excuses why you can't start TODAY!

I am not an astrologer by any stretch, but I love connecting with the moon cycles and try not to make it too complicated.  The truth is, you don't have to have any connection to the moon to enjoy these rituals.  At the very least, it is a nice reminder every few weeks to check in on what you want to bring in and what you want to let go of.

Below, I am going to focus on a powerful ritual that will be helped with the energy of this new moon. If you want to know what is actually going on in the sky, take a look at one of my favorite sites to get my astrology report : http://www.mysticmamma.com/astrology-new-moon-in-leo-july-31st-2019/

NEW MOON RITUAL

Again, I'm going to start by creating a sacred space.  For me, that is by my Altar, with all my crystals, which many of you might have already seen on this Instagram Post .  I will light incense and a candle and  play:

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

 

New Moon Playlist

The first Mantra (Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo) is for tuning in.  Connecting to your highest self and the line of teachers that have come before you.  Tapping into your divine flow...I will sit quiet with my eyes closed listening, taking long deep breaths.  Getting quiet. Going in...When it feels ready, I will begin...

The new moons are often associated with new beginnings.  It is a great time to think about the things you want to bring into your life.  The things you want to focus on.  In this particular New Moon, you can also focus on what you has been holding you back and then letting that go.  What obstacles have you encountered and how can you see a way around them.  

With your crystals, candle and incense lit, start journaling, while listen to the Play List .  Take your time.  Reflect.  Think about what has been standing in your way, and see yourself moving it.  Then start focusing on all that you want to bring in.  You can do this is any way that feels comfortable. This can be lists, descriptions, anything that gets you into the feeling of what you want to bring forth.   Get excited about all that is coming.

 When you are done, take out your Palo Santo or Sage and start cleansing yourself and your crystals. I start with myself and the move onto my crystals,  Starting  at my feet and swirling in the smoke.  Releasing it all.  Chanting along with the third song:

Har Har Har Har Gobinde is the mantra of the second and third song.  This Mantra is said to fixe the mind to prosperity and gives power to break down barriers of the past. It converts fear to determination and invokes guidance. (source 3HO)

 "This mantra is to fix the mental to prosperity or power. It will produce money, it will come. Opportunities will come. Richness will come..." - Yogi Bhajan  This isn't just about money, it is whatever it is that you are asking to call in.  
"When you chant this mantra with the breath of life, it's quick, it's purposeful, and it brings in what you need to bring in..." - Yogi Bhajan

Complete Mantra:

Har Har Har Har Gobinday, 
Har Har Har Har Mukunday
Har Har Har Har Udaaray
Har Har Har Har Apaaray
Har Har Har Har Hariang
Har Har Har Har Kariang
Har Har Har Har Nir-naamay
Har Har Har Har Akaamay

Repeating it along with the song as you let the smoke cover your energy.  Feel the blessing of letting things that don't serve you go, and then feeling all that you can be. End at the crown , above the head.

When I am done, I place my crystals out in the moon light. I  like to let my crystals  sit out for a minimum of 24 hours…When you take them back in, they will have the power of your intentions.

Above, is just what I do, but feel free to tweak it and make it your own.  Tap into what feels good for you. 

Please note, the energy of the new moon is not just on the actual new moon, so if you can't do it tonight, don't you fret, you have 3 days before and after...

Enjoy...Drop me a line and let me know, how it went. I would  love to hear from you! 

 If you’re ready to unblock and release patterns that have been holding you back and want a little extra guidance, I would love to see you in New York City in person, or virtually anywhere Schedule a time here. Looking forward to connecting! 

My Podcast with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

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My interview with Jordan, of The Balanced Blonde, is LIVE. And I can’t wait for you to go listen.

As many of you know, Jordan and I go way back.  I have had the pleasure of hosting her at both the East Village and West Village locations of Gingersnap's Organic. We get really deep, and really raw about the scary decisions that have created magical transformation in our lives. How stepping away from one identity for each of us, lead to a magical life of transformation, healing and happiness. 

 

You’ll get to hear us talk about…

 

  • the ONE conversation I had with Jordan that completely changed her eating habits, in a single day (you might’ve heard this story if you know her background as The Blonde Vegan).
  • manifesting the life you want 
  • getting quiet so you can actually know what is best for you 
  • learning to listen to YOUR body to know what is best for YOU to eat
  • my honest thoughts about french fries (and why I sometimes say YES to foods I used to label “bad”).
  • the beauty that can be found in seasons of difficult transitions.
  • why both of us reject labels and choose to embrace a more intuitive eating practice.

 

I honestly can’t wait for you to take a listen. Not only is Jordan filled with so much light and wisdom, but I also know that you’re going to pull so much value from our long-overdue conversation.

Click here to listen to the episode HERE and please, drop me a line and let me know what you think!

And in case you missed it, enjoy my latest Ritual  for going inward and doing the deep healing..

Putting an End to Imposter Syndrome

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Often when I sit down at my desk to prepare for a big interview, write an outline for a speaking engagement, or work on a new article, I hear whispers of self-doubt swirl through my mind.

 

Before I even begin, the fear can start to get to me.

 

You know nothing.

Who are you to deserve this opportunity?

No one wants to hear what you have to say.

 

How many of you have heard those exact words echo through your mind—maybe after a promotion, or after an invitation, or after being asked to pioneer a new project?

 

Well, say hello to “Imposter Syndrome.”

 

Imposter syndrome was first named by a pair of clinical psychologists in the 1970s, who identified the near-universal experience of feeling like a fraud, feeling like an accidental high-achiever, and feeling unworthy in the face of your own accomplishments.

 

When success arrives at our doorstep, we convince ourselves that it was meant for someone else—because there’s no way that we deserve it. We’re too inadequate, too incompetent, too small.

 

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all experienced self-doubt. We’ve all been crippled by insecurities and paralyzed by fear. 

 

But the irony is that we believe we’re the only ones. We fall for the lie that everyone else is confident, worthy, and deserving. And that’s when we start to listen to the damaging voice in our head: I’m the only fraud in the room

 

The truth is, we all have an inner critic, a voice that makes us question our worth and our experience. This voice tells us the same, worn-out story: you’re not good enough. And, ironically, this voice is often triggered by external approval, opportunities, or compliments.

 

These positive experiences unearth our buried insecurities, and spin us into a whirlwind of self-doubt.

 

I see this scenario play out in my clients’ lives all the time.

 

One day, they’re telling me that they have been asked to speak a prestigious event,  photographed a campagihn or  asked to spearhead the next team project. And, the next day, they’re telling me that maybe it’s not the right fit, and maybe they should back out, and maybe it’s not meant for them.

 

Too many times, I’ve experienced this same swinging pendulum of emotions—in one moment, fiercely grateful for new opportunities, and in the next moment, completely trapped by the triggered voice of the inner critic.

 

But thankfully, through all of my years of self work, I’ve learned how to meet imposter syndrome head-on and move through it with mindfulness and intention.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t rear its ugly head every now and again, but I am able to come back to reality real quickly and get my self in a different state of mind.  The mind of someone who knows not only are the capable to doing what they are being asked, but it is their responsibility to do so.  We al have talents and skills and we are doing a disservice to ourselves and the other we can help if we don’t let them shine. 

 

So, now, when imposter syndrome shows up for my clients, I encourage them sit with it. Don’t try to drown the feeling or shove it into your gut. Instead, take long, deep breaths and bring your awareness to your physical body.

 

Once your body begins to relax, bring intention to your thoughts. Visualize your accomplishments,, and the faces of people whose lives have impacted through your work. Remind yourself that it is not only your right, but also your obligation to speak out and show up—so that your healing can serve others. Trace your way back through the work you have done to arrive at a place where you can be of great help and inspiration to others.

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world"
—Marianne Williamson

 

Usually, this moment of intentionality is enough to bring you back into a positive headspace and get you back into action mode.

 

But for the days when imposter syndrome’s grip is especially strong, I’ve developed a series of practices that help to quiet the voice of the critic.

 

Next time you’re battling self-doubt, I encourage you to implement one or more of these practices—and always remember: you’re in charge of your feelings, and you’re always free to recalibrate and reclaim control.

 

1.     Stack the positives. Reframe your inner story by consciously naming your past accomplishments, achievements, and successes. Claim your areas of brilliance and speak your strengths aloud. By focusing on these positives, you take your attention away from the weaknesses and imperfections that your inner critic wants you to concentrate on.

2.     Be of service. Sometimes, when we’re spiraling into a negative headspace and feeling like a fraud, we’re hyper-focused on our ego. When you’re trapped in a self-centered mindset, serving others is a perfect way to recalibrate. Find a way to mentor a colleague, volunteer for a good cause, or help a needy friend.

3.     Get into action. One of the fastest ways to tackle imposter syndrome? Start doing the work anyway. When you show up, in spite of your fear, you leave no room for self-doubt and you create space for others to do the same.

4.     Remember that you’re not alone. Gently remind yourself that you’re not the only one experiencing feelings of self-doubt. Thousands of other brilliant, generous, successful humans encounter imposter syndrome every single day. And here’s some proof.

5.     Practice meditation. A consistent meditation practices allows your brain, body, and nervous system to slow down. And, in that slowness, you create space. Space to choose your actions (instead of living in reaction mode). Space to notice and release your triggers (instead of spiralling into self-loathing). Space to observe a situation and act with intention (instead of falling into knee-jerk reaction patterns). I love active meditations, and I’ve included one of my favorite Kundalini meditations below. 

 

The Caliber of Life Meditation:

 

Start practicing this meditation for three minutes, and slowly increase your practice to eleven minutes. Pay attention to the details of the pose, and don't increase the time until you are practicing the post correctly. This meditation builds self-trust and groundedness.

 

Use this GONG PLAYLIST in the background to cleanse self-doubt.

TUNING IN  

“Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” said three times. Ong Namo: I  bow to the Creative Wisdom, Guru Dev Namo: I bow to the Divine Teacher within. 

Ad Guray Nameh Jugad Guray Nameh Sat Guray Nameh Siri Guru Devay Nameh said three times. Ad Guray Nameh: I bow to the primal wisdom. Jugad Guray Nameh: I bow to the wisdom through the ages .Sat Guray Nameh:  I bow to the true wisdom. Siri Guru Devay Nameh: I bow to the great unseen wisdom

 

Following instructions taken from KRI Teachers Training Manual.

 

1.     Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light jalandhar bandh. (Lift the chest and sternum up while lengthening the back of the neck, by pulling the chin toward the back of the neck. Neck, throat, and face muscles remain relaxed.)

2.     Extend both arms straight forward, and parallel to the ground. Curl the fingers of the right hand into a fist. Extend the thumb straight up. Keep the elbow straight and move the fist to the center of the body. Move the left arm to the center and wrap the fingers of the left hand around the outside of the right hand's fist. Extend the left thumb straight up. Adjust the grip of the hands so that the thumbs can touch along their sides as they point up. The tips of the thumbs will form a little "V" like a gunsight.

3.     Focus the eyes on the thumbnails and through the "V". Look through the "V" like a gunsight, seeing far away and seeing the "V".

4.     Inhale deeply and fill the lungs for 5 seconds. Exhale completely and empty the lungs for 5 seconds. Then suspend the breath out as you stay still for 15 seconds.

Photo: The Library of Teachings

Photo: The Library of Teachings

5.     Continue this breath cycle.

Photo: The Library of Teachings

Photo: The Library of Teachings

A Year After My Life Changing Decision

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They say a lot can happen in a year.  February 1st, marks the 1 year anniversary of my life changing in a way I could have never imagined. I feel as if I’ve lived a lifetime over the past twelve months. It seems like there’s been too much change to fit in the container of a single year, and I open my journal to track the important dates.

I met Lacy Phillips, my expander and life changer, at an event at the end of last September. Within minutes of meeting her, I knew I wanted to work with her, so we scheduled an appointment for six weeks out—November 7th, 2016.

She told me to use the weeks before my appointment to really consider what I wanted to focus on and call in. And that’s when I started to get quiet. Carving out that reflection time wasn’t easy, or at least that is what I told myself...But I needed to do some deep internal work, if I was going to make the changes I needed to make.

And then, in November, we finally spoke. And she asked me casually, what if Gingersnap’s Organic wasn’t my purpose?  And the answers came pouring out of my soul, and I knew that my restaurant days were over. It was time to embrace a higher calling—to work with individuals to call in healing and transformation into their lives full time.

I gave notice to my landlord within a month.

PHOTO BY CAITLIN MITCHELL FOR  A WILD DOVE

PHOTO BY CAITLIN MITCHELL FOR A WILD DOVE

Taking steps towards change by has been a pattern in my life. It started when I switched my major from business to philosophy (plus a minor in psychology) at nineteen years old. My dad wasn’t happy about it, but I knew I needed answers to all my questions about human nature, the mind, and relationships with myself and others.

As I dug into the inner workings of the human mind, I started to lose control over my own emotions and reactions. I got so trapped in my head, and each day felt painful to exist. I felt like there was no place for me. I just wanted to go away, disappear inside myself. 

In classes, I was learning about philosophy, and started really  battling my own mind.  I was  grasping for control in my relationship with food, and spending hours at the gym to fill this hole inside of me. I lost my self and tumbled deep into the darkness of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating. It was my darkest of dark.  

My problems didn’t magically disappear after college, even though I somehow thought they might. After graduating, I moved back to New York to live with my high school best friend. Maybe this sounds like every girl’s dream, but it was the exact opposite of what I needed. I yearned for new people, and a new (and true) identity, but I couldn’t escape the story of my adolescence. I was still struggling to find balance in my relationship with food, and the people around me were constant triggers for my anxiety, and insecurities.

 

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In 2000 I knew I needed to make a big change, if I wanted to live a better life.  I took a leap of faith, quit my job, and moved out to Santa Monica—a place that felt like home even though I didn’t know a soul, except of course my own, for the first time. So, I tossed my Guccis and started walking barefoot in the sand.

In Santa Monica, I met my soul sister Heather, who would have me meet her on the beach at 5AM to practice this kooky thing called Kundalini. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that I felt great. She reminded me of my childhood connection to spirit and trust. I rediscovered my love for crystals and candles and all things mystical. She would give me Reiki and we would talk about the mind for hours on end.

In searching for a place to understand myself deeper, I started my first yoga teacher training with Saul David Raye in 2004, and then went on to finish my 200-hour and 300-hour training with Annie Carpenter at YogaWorks in 2006.  It was in that work that I was able to dive deeper into my body, connecting with my breath and my energy. I began to understand the power of choice, acceptance, and perspective. 

Fast forward to 2008, and this California girl had faced many of her demons. She was ready to come home. Within in months of landing back home, I fell in love with a meat-and-gluten-loving chef—which was quite the surprise for this raw vegan. 

Being back in New York (and with my food-loving husband) inspired me to create a plant based restaurant. I loved the idea of creating healing foods and helping people live nourishing lifestyles. So I charged ahead and ignored my intuition. You see, from my previous experience running plant based restaurants in Los Angeles, I always knew I was building something I didn’t want to run.

Even after years of self-work and discovery, I still wasn’t ready to own my truth, my desires, and my true purpose.

 

A Course in Miracles Community Night

A Course in Miracles Community Night

It wasn't all bad, by any means.  The bright spots were my interactions with my incredible customers. I’d work with them to make food and lifestyle choices that fit their needs, and in these moments I felt alive. I started to coach them in my hours away from the cafe and  I KNEW  that was what I was born to do. We also held a weekly community night where we discussed A Course in Miracles,   Unfortunately, I spent most of my hours solving sourcing problems, managing staff, and dealing with the hectic energy of running a cafe in Manhattan.

And this brings us back to last fall. My lifetimes-ago moment that sparked real change. The last week of January marks one year. One year since I closed the doors to what I once thought was my dream career. One year since I started living my real dream: bringing healing and transformation to my clients through mind shifting and energy work.  This year has gone so fast, yet it seems like lifetimes have passed. Stepping into my purpose and power hasn’t been easy, but it couldn’t be more rewarding.

The transformation process—even good, necessary transformation—isn’t easy, though. For the first few months, I worried that I had lost my identity. At first, when people would ask me about Gingersnap’s or my career, I would skirt their questions or give vague answers. I didn’t feel like I could step into the power of owning that I was a full time coach.

It took a little while for me to fully embrace and step into my new life. It started with a lot of journaling and inner work. And then small, brave actions followed. There were other larger shifts, too. At Gingersnap’s, every day was fast-paced, chaotic, and anxiety-inducing. When I transitioned into full-time coaching, I realized that I needed to reframe my beliefs around work, productivity, and self-worth.

I had gotten used to working fourteen-hour days, and I felt lost, at first, in the sometimes slowness of my new lifestyle. At the root of this lost-ness was fear, of course. Fear of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Fear that if I showed up as myself, people would run away. Fear that I wasn’t good enough. There was nothing to hide behind this time. No staff, no cafe—just me, out there for the world to judge. To keep the voices of fear and depression at bay, I created healthy rituals to anchor my days. I knew I needed to get out of my head and into intuitive action to stay in a healthy headspace.

PHOTO BY CAITLIN MITCHELL FOR  A WILD DOVE

PHOTO BY CAITLIN MITCHELL FOR A WILD DOVE

Over time, I found my own incredible space where I could see my local clients.  And yes, it looks just like the one I held in my vision for the months prior.  I kept pursuing education and growth:  These practices keep me on track, and keep me moving forward, and keep me serving my clients in new and powerful ways.

None of my journey is about slapping a positivity quote on every situation—this is about deeply changing the way I viewed my life and  circumstances so that I could welcome in change. Going back to my days of philosophy, I now understand on a deeper level that we do have power over our minds, as long as we build helpful practices and learn to get quiet. When we can get quiet, we can act from a place of choice, rather than reaction.  We can tap into the pain of our past and learn to release and learn from it.  Even thank it...

Sometimes I wake up and feel guilty...like I’m not working hard enough because I find such deep joy in what I do. I’ll end an afternoon filled with back-to-back appointments or workshops and feel more energized than I have in years. And I take self-care seriously, like it’s my job—and, in a lot of ways, it really is! I do the hard work within myself so that I can show up in the best way possible for the people that come into my life, including my clients. 

Finally, when I’m tempted to wonder why it took me so long to find my true self and my true calling, I consciously sink into gratitude. I thank each part of my journey—from my eating disorder to my time in California—for being a teacher, a lesson, and a test.

My life has been an amazing collection of gifts and opportunities. Every experience brought me to this place where I was ready to bring in a guide and make this beautiful leap. And, while Gingersnap’s brought stress and anxiety into my life for so many years, it also cracked me open to see my truest purpose. And I can’t help but be grateful for that being the greatest lesson of all.

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which.
Lawrence Pearsall Jacks

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Setting Goals with the New Moon...

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Please note, while it is great to do this with the New Moon, you can really start ANYTIME, so don't make excuses why you can't start TODAY!

New moons are the Perfect time to focus on new beginnings and things that we want to bring forth. The first New Moon of the year, in Capricorn, is especially powerful for setting your year in the direction you want it to flow.  The New Moon in Capricorn is all about setting long term goals and taking actions towards them. 

Knowing the power of tonights New Moon, let's really focus on goal setting for the new year. I will still clear my crystals and set them in the New Moon energy infused with my intentions like I  wrote about a few weeks ago, but tonight I really want to get clear and focused.  I want to set my goals with laser focus;

Remember. 

“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” Harvey MacMackay

To start, let's get quiet. For me, I will sit by my Altar, light my incense and candle and play  THIS PLAYLIST .  I find practicing One Minute Breath, before I journal, helps my creative flow. It calms my mind and my body so that my thoughts can flow clearly.  It helps me get into my body, and into the present moment.  

When the gong portion of the playlist is finished (The first 3 songs are 11 minutes, including the Gong),  get out your journal and just start to write out some of your desires for this upcoming year.  The song following the gong, is a very powerful mantra.  Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad, Sat Gur Prasad Ek Ong Kar mantra, the Magic Mantra, stops anything negative and removes all obstacles. It brings great intuition. (3HO) 

This mantra is so strong that it elevates the self beyond duality and establishes the flow of the spirit. This mantra will make the mind so powerful that it will remove all obstacles. We call it the ‘magic mantra’ because its powerful effect happens quickly and lasts a long time. But it has to be chanted with reverence, in a place of reverence.”-Yogi Bhajan

ONE MINUTE BREATH

  1. Sit in Easy Pose with Neck Lock. 
    • Neck Lock: Lift the chest and sternum up while lengthening the back of the neck, by pulling the chin toward the back of the neck. Neck, throat and face muscles remain relaxed.
  2. Inhale very slowly for 20 OR 10 OR 5 seconds.
  3. Hold for 20 OR 10 OR 5 seconds, pull the spine up, drop the shoulders.(the same amount of time you inhaled)
  4. Exhale very slowly for 20 OR 10 OR 5  seconds. .(the same amount of time you inhaled and held)
  5. Continue in that pattern. Just keep the numbers for each part of the breath the same. (Each part of the breath is the same amount of time)

Adapted from The Library of Teachings and KRI Teachers Manual.

JOURNALING AND GOAL SETTING

After you free flow with your thoughts,  start to add structure to your journaling and goal setting. I find the more detailed I get with my goals, the easier it is to see the steps I need to take to create them into my reality. So, be specific with each goal. For this exercise, focus on one goal at a time.  You can repeat it multiple times, but stay focused and bring each goal through the list of questions.

 Start by asking yourself some questions:

1) What is it that I want?

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It is important that we get clear on this. The process of manifesting and creating the life we dream of, starts with us holding a vision of it.  In order for us to create the life, it helps to see it, feel it, breathe it into our energy and hold it on our body.  So, specifically write down; how will you feel when you have this goal met? What will change for you physically? emotionally? visually?  Go through all the different aspects of your life that can change when you attain the goal.  

2) How will you know you have met your goal? 

It is helpful to have clear milestones that show you progress in attaining whatever it is you are wanting to call in.  In this step you want to create timelines where you check in to see the progress you made.  It is important that you take your time with this step.  Putting down right now as when you want to have this goal is not setting yourself up for true success.  When figuring out your milestones and the times to attaining them, you really want to think it through.  What are the steps you will have to take? How long will those steps take? Think about this step as if you are making a map with timeframes on your goal.  

3)What might stop you from having this goal met?

This is not to be negative, but we want to anticipate some of things that might present themselves as obstacles.  This way we go in, knowing how to get around them...So think about some of things that might stop you and then go inside and see the ways that you can get yourself around it.  This includes outside influences, as well as inner stories that you tell yourself.  Walk yourself through your doubt, so that you don't let it stop you.

4) What resources do you have NOW, that can help you in achieving your goal?

Go through and inventory all the things, people, connections and support you have that can help you with achieving your goal.  This could be a friend who is in the field you are looking to move into,  an editor of a blog you might want to be featured on, a Yoga teacher that inspires you etc...More often than not, people want to help each other.  Get together with people that inspire you towards your goals and spend time with them.  Ask the questions, ask for help. It is incredibly helpful to hear other people's success stories.  This gives your mind the conformation of what is possible.  

5) What are your steps?

After answering the first 4 questions you will have the answers to your last question.  What steps can I take to get closer to my goal?  List out the steps you need to make. Give yourself a number of steps you want to take each day, week, month etc...Track it.  Write down what you want to accomplish and when you do, write it down that you have completed it.  Look at it often, SEE your progress written down, in your handwriting.  This can be really helpful when you are having an off day.  

I have used these questions on myself and with clients, and if you do the work, your goals are just moments away... Please  let me know how it goes!

And if you haven't started yet, NOW  is a perfect time to start the New Years Mediation I posted a few weeks back, you can find it HERE . A New Moon is a perfect time to start a new habit. Remember, Yogi Bhajan says practicing every day for 40 days straight will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra.

If you’re ready to really go after your goals and want a little extra help, I would love to see you in New York City in person, or virtually anywhere Schedule a time here. Looking forward to connecting! 

Adaptogens 101 -with recipes

I am often asked about what adaptogens people should be taking, and what do what... So below is a quick easy guide to some of my favorites, and 2 basic recipes for making them...Enjoy!

Adaptogens are a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes and by regulating your adrenal system.  They help you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological function through your adrenal system.  They can be herbs, mushrooms, amino acids etc…

There are many different reasons to take them, and people say different things about how to cycle them, taking too much, taking for long term…I suggest, get in the body and do some “MEsearch”. See how you feel and take that into consideration when playing with them. I personally use them like a medicinal pantry.  When I am feeling like I need a little energy I will grab for ones like Rhodiola and Maca .  If I am feeling stressed and anxious, I will work with Ashwagandha and Mucuna Pruriens.

Below is just a few quick notes on some of my favorites..  They all are anti inflammatory and have immunity boosting effects, amongst many other things not listed.  Ones that aren't in the recipes, but I love as well are Pine Pollen and Astragulus

Ashwagandha- reduces stress and anxiety, decreases cortisol (Cortisol is the principle hormone tied to our innate “flight-or-fight” response, which is how the body reacts to acute stress by either helping us run from the situation or stick around and fight our way through. When short spikes in cortisol/adrenaline happen over and over again nearly every day, they cause wear and tear on the body and speed up the aging process. (Dr. Axe).  This is my go to. I will often take it at night, where for me my anxiety can rise.  Often people take it in the morning when cortisol is at its highest.  The taste can be a little bitter.

Astragulus A great one for metabolism and general energy.  I will sometimes swap this out for other things in my morning tonic.

Cordycepshelps with energy, in both the physical and mental planes.  Boosts immunity and arousal.  I love this one before a work out. It helps with stamina and energy. It is also known to be some what of an aphrodisiac. It doesn't have much of a taste, so it it easy to sneak into things.

 Maca- Definitely my favorite of all, and the one I have been taking the longest.  It gives energy and stamina, helps with fertility and sexual arousal, and balances hormones. It also tastes delicious and creamy, slightly sweet. 

Mucuna Pruriens- is 15% L-DOPA,  a precursor to Dopamine. This is a mood enhancer.  It soothes the nervous system and can take you into relaxation and bliss. It is known as a "feel good" adaptogen.  I am very sensitive to this one, and can feel a bit "out of it", so I tread very lightly with it.  Again, you have to see how you feel, in your body...

Pine Pollen great for hormonal support and energy.  I will sometimes sub this one out for something else in my morning tonic.  It has a mild taste, which is nice.

Rhodiola Rosea- This one is almost always in my morning drink.  It reduces fatigue, can help with focus, improve cognition. I feel like it gives me an extra boost.  It does not taste good, but in the right recipe you don't notice...

Reshi This is a huge immunity booster and known to help connect to spirit and calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. It is actually the first adaptogen I would have back when I was living in Venice and working at Rawvolution.  I loved it from the beginning.  It helps to make me feel connected...


Tocos- The beauty one. It is all about the skin. Bio available form of vitamin E.  Tastes great, sweet. I will eat it straight, and it feels like a treat! 

 

RECIPES

These are all warm tonics, but you can easily add any of them to smoothies as well.  Tocos is the only one you do not want to add to something warm. The benefits of Tocos are minimized if you heat it.

Also, play around with the recipes and what herbs feel good to  you! I would start slow and see how you feel! 

 

My Morning Tonic

2 shots of Organic espresso (You can substitute this for Matcha, Tea, or Water)

8 oz of warm water

½ teaspoon Rhodlola

½ teas spoon Cordyceps

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1 teaspoon of Maca

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ghee or Coconut Butter

Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding.  Blend.  If you don’t drink coffee you can sub out  it out for plain water, matcha, or tea… To make vegan, swap out Ghee for Coconut oil.

My Evening Bliss

10-12 oz of  warm water

½ teaspoon Reishi

½ teaspoon Ashwagandha

½ teas spoon Mucuna Pruriens

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ghee or Coconut Butter

 

Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding.  Blend.  To make vegan, swap out Ghee for Coconut Butter

 

Drop me a line, and let me know what you think!

 

I opened my dream business, so why was I so miserable?

(Original article posted in Well + Good) As many of you know this was a year of big decisions for me.  After 7 years of owning Gingersnap's Organic, I decided it was time to close the doors.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, but thankfully also one of the best.  I wrote an article for Well and Good, to talk about how to know when it's time to walk away. Please see the article below.  The full article is available at Wellandgood.com

photo jay peeples

photo jay peeples

When Gingersnap’s Organic closed up shop in January, it broke (healthy) hearts across New York City who had come to rely on the cult fave West Village raw food and juice bar. Here, owner Jamie Graber talks about how to know when to walk away from something that was everything you ever wanted.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would walk away from my dream-come-true business serving raw, plant-based, healing food to New York City’s West Village—I would have politely ignored them. I probably would have thought they were crazy.

And yet, here I am. I let go of my dream earlier this year. The one I’d worked for years to achieve, and even more years to sustain. And, yes, I mourned it. But how do I really feel? Surprisingly, I am more optimistic and excited about the future than ever.

This is the part no one told me about going after my dreams: that it’s okay to let them go as well.

But “year ago” me would never have believed it. Back then, I knew exactly what my path was and there was no way for it to be different. I was the owner of Gingersnap’s Organic, a successful cleanse company and cafe that ruled my entire life. As far as I was concerned, I had arrived, and it was all about keeping it going—and my day-to-day was going to remain exactly as it always was, constantly solving problems and never getting to exhale.

It is no shocker to hear that running a restaurant, especially in Manhattan, is hard. There are slim margins and lots of chaos. One thing you can count on: Every day you will be faced with a new problem to solve. It can be as small as running out of an item or as large as, oh crap the juicer isn’t working. Either way, I have been the one solving each and every one of those problems for over six years straight, and frankly, I am tired.

When trying to figure out where I go from here, I had a few choices. I could continue with Gingersnap’s Organic and just accept it as my life, or I could have someone else run it. Neither of those sounded right, so I continued to search for a way out of this feeling. Then I went at a workshop about manifestation, and that is when things started to change.

I could have chosen to continue to down the path of frustration and non-fulfillment, or I could turn left into happiness and inspiration. I chose to make the left.

I signed up for a one-on-one session and that decision forever changed my reality. In my first-time session with Lacy, she asked me an important question: “What if your purpose isn’t Gingersnap’s? What if that’s not it?” For a few months, I couldn’t stop hearing her saying it.

I had this dream job, but I would wake up each day in anxiety. I would say to my husband often, “I’m managing employees and vendors instead of healing people. And I just don’t want to do it.”

Finally, I realized: I could choose to continue down the path of frustration and non-fulfillment, or I could turn left into happiness and inspiration. I chose to make the left.

And so the doors of Gingersnap’s Organic closed at the end January, and I’m excited to say I have never been so fulfilled as I am now. I was so afraid to lose my identity as a business owner that I was blocking myself from getting clear on what my purpose truly is.

PHOTO A WILD DOVE

PHOTO A WILD DOVE

 

Throughout the years, I have spent many days at Gingersnap’s spending time with my clients, talking them through their struggles with food, relationships, and just general how to find happiness in the despair. I have been asked to coach, do relationship therapy, give cooking lessons, speak at events, but I rarely had time to say yes. A while back, I started to accept a small number of clients and worked with them in the few hours I had away from the cafe.

The more time I spent with them, the more I lit up. It opened me up to how I truly can serve people in the best way possible. The truth is, I didn’t open Gingersnap’s because I wanted a restaurant. I wanted to heal people and create community—and in the next phase can do that on an even more grand scale.

So, should you quit your job, leave your husband, or move across the world on a whim? I am in no way advocating that. But I am saying that every struggle can be met with opportunity, as long as you are able to see it. It is important to allow yourself to step away from something that is no longer serving you, even when you are afraid.

As Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Finding Peace in a Turbulent Time, with Jamie Graber and Anne Marie Imperiale; three-part program: 7–9 p.m. March 20, March 27, and April 3; New York City (address provided upon registration); $199; organicallyjamie.com