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3-Day Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse

Clean out the Toxins and Boost Immunity

with an EASY and gentle Cleanse that does not require suffering through cravings and hunger pangs!

 

Now is the perfect time to begin to shift out of the damp heaviness and stagnation of winter and do some Spring Cleaning! Personally, I hate most cleanses. I just don’t enjoy the process and it sometimes makes me feel so much worse than I did before I started. Headaches, body aches and pains, exhaustion, starvation, etc.

However, I began studying and practicing Ayurveda several years ago and was introduced to the Kitchari cleanse. This is a gentle and effective mono-diet that removes the toxic build up in the intestinal lining, improves digestion, optimizes absorption of nutrients and improves the health and functioning of the whole body.

 

Weak Digestion = Weak Immune System

 

Our bodies are amazingly intelligent, and they know how to heal themselves. However, we are constantly bombarding them with toxins day after day, year after year and this can cause our self-healing mechanisms to begin to break down. Most cleanses suggest a lot of raw greens because of the high nutrient and enzyme content. Unfortunately, I know from my own experience that this can cause bloating, gas, headaches, nausea and other side effects. Although raw food may contain many important nutrients, your body can have a hard time assimilating them if your digestive system is slow and weak or filled with toxic buildup. Having a healthy digestive system is the key to properly absorbing nutrients and eliminating toxins.

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years and Kitchari is an ayurvedic prescription for removing toxins and improving digestion. In Ayurvedic philosophy, immunity is achieved through building Ojas which is described as “the glow of radiant health”. The unfortunate fact is, most of us live a lifestyle that depletes our Ojas. We are overworking, under sleeping, not getting enough exercise and eating unhealthy nutrient deficient junk food. We are rushing, stressing, worrying, arguing, and multi-tasking ourselves into anxiety and exhaustion. The result is depleted Ojas and a weakened immune system.

 

Kitchari is an Anti-Inflammatory Gut Healer

 

Kitchari is an easy to prepare dish made of rice, mung beans and spices that are packed with health benefits. Mung beans are known to remove toxins, pesticides and other chemicals from the body and help to purify the blood. They are a good source of protein and fiber and provide high levels of essential micronutrients to nourish the body.

The rice combined with the mung beans creates a complete protein dish that provides all the essential amino acids the body needs in an easy to digest form. The spices in this dish have an impressive list of healing benefits and will improve the digestive fire (agni in Ayurveda) and stimulate the metabolism. Strong Agni is key for proper digestion, assimilation and elimination and these processes are the most important factors for health and immunity.

 

Spice Up Your Life for Radiant Health (Ojas)

 

The ingredients in Kitchari provide nourishment to all the tissues of the body and provide a boost in strength and vitality to the whole system. The blend of spices used in Kitchari are chosen not only for how they taste, but for the qualities, properties, and action they have on the Doshas (imbalances) in the body. The purpose of this cleanse is to eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation and heal the digestive system, thereby boosting the immune system and creating a powerful increase in Ojas (Radiant Health). Once you understand and experience the healing properties of these spices you can use them as often as needed to bring your system back into balance.

Ayurveda uses combinations of herbs and spices as medicine to heal all sorts of ailments in our bodies.

 

Here are some of the medicinal properties of the ingredients in Kitchari:

Organic Coriander Seeds

  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves gas
  • Helps with urinary or digestive disorders
  • Increases Agni (digestive fire)
  • Improves absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract
  • Calms muscle spasms
  • Reduces inflammation—even shown to help with rheumatoid arthritis

Organic Cumin Seeds

  • Stimulates agni (digestive fire)
  • Decreases gas
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Relieves congestion
  • Contains antioxidants and iron
  • Soothes inflamed mucous membranes
  • Improves elimination 

Organic Fennel Seeds

  • Strengthens the digestive fire
  • Stops cramping
  • Increases mental alertness
  • Relaxes the digestive tract
  • Increases the burning of fat
  • Aids in moving lymph
  • Helps regulate blood pressure
  • Reduce water retention
  • Reduces constipation, indigestion, IBS and bloating
  • Reduces asthma symptoms
  • Helps purify blood
  • Preventative against cancer of the skin, stomach and breasts
  • Improves eyesight
  • Great for acne

Organic Cardamom Powder

  • Rich in antioxidants for anti-aging benefits
  • Boosts immune system
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Reduces cold and cough symptoms
  • Stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes
  • Has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties
  • Fights streptococcus, candida that cause gastrointestinal infections
  • Supports kidney and bladder Health
  • Supports healthy blood glucose levels
  • Promotes healthy metabolism
  • Support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Organic Turmeric Root

  • Reduces arthritis symptoms
  • Boosts immune function
  • Helps support cardiovascular health
  • Helps prevent and treat cancer
  • Helps manage irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
  • Prevents and treats Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases
  • Builds Immunity
  • Reduces Body Pains
  • Boosts Skin Health
  • Aids Weight Loss and Digestion
  • Good for Liver Health
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory

Organic Ginger Root

  • Reduces pain and discomfort in joints
  • Helps with nausea
  • Relieves Gas
  • Facilitates elimination of wastes
  • Clears the microcirculatory channels of the body
  • Facilitates better absorption of nutrients
  • Stimulates digestive fire to improve digestion
  • Helps clear mucus
  • Soothes nerves
  • Improves circulation

Organic Coconut – Raw Unsweetened Flakes

  • Helps boost metabolism
  • Aids in fat elimination
  • Aids in detoxification of the body
  • Balances and soothes the digestive tract
  • Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Aids in the removal of free radicals that cause premature aging
  • Restores oxidative tissue damage
  • Supports immune system health
  • Acts as an anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic agent
  • Good source of healthy medium-chain fatty acids
  • Improves insulin secretion and symptoms associated with diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and improves good cholesterol (HDL) 

Organic Bay Leaf

  • Anti-Cancer properties
  • Protects against oxidative stress
  • Protects against bacterial infections
  • Helps alleviate flu symptoms and reduce fever
  • Slows the aging process
  • Speeds wound healing
  • Optimizes the digestive process, stimulates digestive juices, reduces gas
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Alleviates respiratory issues
  • Helps manage diabetes
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • May reduce celiac symptoms

Organic Cinnamon Sticks

  • Helps alleviate cough and phlegm
  • Prevents growth of acne causing bacteria
  • Good for skin and complexion, relieves dry skin
  • Enhances blood circulation
  • Promotes hair growth and strengthens hair roots
  • Reduces triglycerides
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol
  • Reduces symptoms in type 2 diabetes
  • Dramatically improves digestion and absorption
  • Acts as an anti-bacterial agent that heals infections in the GI tract
  • Relieves sinus headaches

Mineral Salts

  • Helps eliminate waste from the body
  • Aids in the proper function of the digestive system
  • Boosts the digestive fire
  • Relieves pain in the colon
  • Soma Salt Reduces inflammation
  • Himalayan Pink Salt good for all constitutions
  • Sea Salt is heating and increases digestive fire, improves circulation

Organic Lemon Juice

  • Provides the sour taste
  • Stimulates Agni (digestive fire)
  • Helps relieve Gastritis pain
  • Relieves Cough
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Relieves thirst

The Miracle of Self-Healing Begins Now!

 

In preparation for the cleanse, I recommend minimizing or removing some things from your diet for at least 1 to 3 days before your cleanse. I usually start to taper off on a Monday and then begin my cleanse by Friday. The great thing about this cleanse is that it’s an easy reset and will conquer any cravings you are currently struggling with. If you’ve been craving sugar after every meal or craving too much caffeine, this will give you a clean slate and inspire you to eat healthier and get more exercise.

Begin limiting the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar, and foods that contain corn syrup and other processed sweeteners
  • Flour products such as cookies, pastry, cakes, doughnuts
  • Canned and Highly processed foods
  • Cold and Raw foods such as raw veggies, salads
  • Cold cereal, granola
  • Frozen smoothies (fresh smoothies and juices without ice are fine)
  • Fried Food
  • Candy and Chocolate

Eat whole fresh organic foods, mostly cooked from scratch, avoid cold leftovers from the refrigerator. Eat easy to digest foods such as veggie soups, fresh steamed veggies like broccoli cauliflower carrots zucchini. Roast veggies such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potato or butternut squash. Use cooked grains like quinoa, barley, farro, millet or rice. Eat lots of fresh whole fruits and berries. You can make baked apples or pears with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and sweeten with maple syrup or honey for a delicious desert.

 

Eat with the Cycles of the Day

 

Each day of your cleanse you can prepare some fresh oatmeal for breakfast and then make a batch of Kitchari which you will eat for both lunch and dinner. You can make enough for 3 days and keep it in the refrigerator if that’s easier for you, however I prefer to make a fresh batch daily. Your lunch should be your biggest meal of the day and have your dinner no later than 6 pm. This is an Ayurvedic Dinacharya (daily routine) practice of eating with the cycles of the day. Lunch is the time of day when the Sun (fire) is highest in the sky and this is believed to be the time that your digestive fire is the highest, enabling you to digest a larger amount of food more efficiently. Try not to eat anything after 6pm, your digestive fire weakens after this time. Ideally you would have breakfast at 7 am, lunch at noon and dinner at 5 pm.

Take a teaspoon of Tahini and 6 Golden Raisins before each meal and in between meals to stimulate the digestive process and lubricate the digestive tract. This will help eliminate the fat-soluble toxins as well as excess cholesterol in the body. Tahini is high in alkaline and high in minerals which will help strengthen the immune system. Tahini has more protein than milk and is loaded with B vitamins and Vitamin E, which will help with brain function and energy during the cleanse. Tahini is also an excellent source of calcium. Golden Raisins are also high in calcium, minerals and antioxidants loaded with health benefits and will insure against constipation during the cleanse.

 

Add Some Fuel to the Fire

 

Try not to overeat. The rule in Ayurveda is to keep your stomach at least ¼ empty. This includes liquids. It is also recommended that you avoid drinking cold drinks with meals. This will dilute your digestive juices and put out your digestive fire. This is the big mistake most of us make every day. We drink cold beverages with our meals. In Ayurveda you drink between meals but never or very little with your meal. The maximum you should drink is ¼ of your stomach capacity. Following this rule, after a meal your stomach is ½ food, ¼ liquid and ¼ empty. After learning this practice it became a healthy habit for me and I now eat this way all of the time. It’s easy once you practice it a bit.

Between meals it’s good to sip Fresh ginger tea. Ginger is a heating spice that stimulates your digestive fire. We want to keep our fire hot throughout the cleanse by only drinking hot or warm spiced teas and no cold beverages. Drink as much water as you like, however hot water is best or you can have it at room temperature.

To make Fresh Ginger Tea use a piece of organic ginger root about the size of your thumb and slice it into strips (no need to peel), boil it in 5 cups of water for 5 minutes on med heat, then reduce heat to low for 10 minutes. Strain and put in a thermos and drink throughout the day. If it tastes too spicy you can add a little honey.

Another option for increasing the effectiveness of the cleanse is to make up a batch of CCF Tea. This is a classic Ayurvedic detox tea made with Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel. This combination of spices builds the Agni (digestive fire) and stimulates the lymph to release toxins and flushes toxic waste out of the body.

Follow this easy recipe to make CCF Tea:

  • ½ Teaspoon Organic Coriander Seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon Organic Cumin Seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon Organic Fennel Seeds
  • 4 cups of spring water

Boil the water and seeds over medium heat for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the water to remove the seeds and pour into a thermos to keep warm. I like to combine the two recipes personally. I just add the ginger to the water with my seeds and prepare it all together. I make a big batch and keep it in the refrigerator and heat up a cup at a time when want it. At first I thought the taste was a little weird but now I love it. It makes me feel good to be consuming something warm and spicy that’s good for me. Again, add a little honey (after you brew it; do not add honey to boiling water) if it seems too spicy for you.

 

Circulate, Detoxify & Nourish

 

Exercise is also recommended to stimulate blood flow and circulation throughout the body and facilitate the elimination of toxins from the blood and lymph. Exercise just enough to break a light sweat, do not overdo. Try going for an early morning walk outdoors at a brisk enough pace to stimulate a sweat. You don’t need to sweat profusely, just dampness on the forehead, armpits, or back of the neck is enough. You just need to stimulate the sweat glands. Also take a hot bath, hot shower or steam bath or use a sauna to help the body sweat. Try to do one or more of these activities for at least 20-30 minutes each day.

Nourish yourself. Get a massage, facial, craniosacral therapy or acupuncture treatment. Walk barefoot on the beach. Breathe deeply. Take a gentle flow yoga class or restorative yoga. Many of the studios are offering online classes now, so you don’t even need to leave the house. Read an uplifting book or listen to soothing music.

Pay attention to what you are taking in. Avoid negative energies such as TV or movies with violence, crime, intense suspense, etc. These will cause you to feel negative emotions which will release stress hormones into your body. Spend time in the garden or go to a park and picnic under a tree. Do things that open your heart and nourish your soul.

Goodbye Toxins! Hello Radiant Health!

 

There are many different versions of the Kitchari Recipe and you can find them easily with a quick google search. I am sharing with you my favorite, which I have made many more times than I can count. This is a delicious blend of ingredients that includes all 6 tastes, which is another lesson learned from this ancient practice. Ayurveda believes that in order to have balance in our body and mind, we need to include all six tastes in our meals. Each individual ingredient (food and spice) has an individual quality, energy, action and effect on our being. The six tastes are Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Astringent and Pungent.

This is one of the reasons Ayurveda is considered “The Science of Life”. Ayurveda looks at the 5 elements; Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether, the cycles of the day, the seasons, and the climate and tries to live in balance with all of these qualities and energies. We each have a constitution (Prakriti, Dosha) that is made up of a combination of these elements and each person has their own individual combination. In order to balance the energies, you need to find where you are out of balance, what elements are being affected, and then bring them back into balance. One way to facilitate balance is to reset the digestive system with healthy medicinal meals that contain all six tastes. So, let’s get started!

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Here is the GROCERY LIST.

Buy everything ORGANIC, you don’t want to add more pesticides when you are trying to detox:

  • Split Yellow Mung Beans or Sprouted Mung Beans
  • White or Brown Basmati Rice (white is easier to digest; brown has more fiber)
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Turmeric Powder or Fresh Turmeric Root
  • Ground Cardamom
  • Fresh Ginger Root
  • Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Kale or Spinach
  • 2 Lemons
  • Coconut Oil
  • Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (or homemade)
  • Fresh Vegetables (choose 2-3, avoid nightshades)

Vegetables may be added to your dish or served on the side. Consider carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, broccoli rabe, butternut squash, beets, green beans, cauliflower, rutabagas, yuca, kohlrabi, or radishes. I usually do sweet potatoes roasted with Garam Masala Seasoning with mine (recipe below) and I serve them on the side. However, you can choose any vegetables you want as long as they are fresh and organic. You can roast them, steam them or cook them in the Kitchari. Avoid frozen or canned as the necessary enzymes and nutrients are depleted during processing. Avoid nightshades due to the fact that they have a natural built in pesticide called glycoalkaloids which can affect the nervous system and cause inflammation in the body, exactly what we are trying to combat.

Ayurvedic Kitchari Recipe

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Makes enough for 3-4 servings depending on portion size

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Split Yellow Mung Beans soaked overnight (or already sprouted mung beans)
  • 1/2 Cup Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1/2 cup of Spring Water
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds or Powder (seeds have a very strong flavor, I like it, some don’t)
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or 1 tsp of Fresh Grated Turmeric Root
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 1 Bay Leaf  1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1-2 tsp Mineral Salt to Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 1-2 wedges of Fresh Squeezed Lemon or Lime (to taste)
  • 2 Kale Leaves, stems removed, torn into bite sized pieces or a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • Optional: 1-2 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice

Directions:

Rinse the rice and mung beans and set aside.

In a small glass or measuring cup mix the grated ginger with the coconut flakes and water and set aside.

Using a 3-quart pot melt the coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the cumin, coriander, fennel, turmeric and cardamom to the pot and cook until sizzling and fragrant (1-2 minutes).

Now add the ginger and coconut mixture along with the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and cook for 2 minutes.

Now add the rice, mung beans and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Once you have a good rolling boil going you can add your chopped vegetables (optional). Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Set timer for 30 minutes.

Now is the time to prepare your vegetables if you are serving them on the side.

Check your Kitchari occasionally and add extra water if needed.  If you want a more soup like consistency you may need to add more liquid. Otherwise it should be more like a porridge consistency.

After 30 minutes stir in the salt and taste to see if your rice and mung are soft. If you used white rice and sprouted mung beans your dish should be just about done. If you used brown rice and split mung beans, you may need to cook another 10 minutes.

Now add your chopped kale or spinach and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Lastly, top with fresh cilantro and squeeze of lemon or lime juice and serve.

 

Sweet Potatoes Roasted with Garam Masala

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mineral Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400

Wash potatoes and cut into wedges. Place in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the garam masala, coconut oil and salt. Toss well to coat wedges with the spice and oil. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Turn over with spatula and cook another 10 minutes. Serve with Kitchari.

I hope you enjoy this cleanse as much as I have throughout the years. It’s actually so easy to stick with and the results are amazing. It will motivate you to take better care of yourself on a daily basis and give you the jump start you need to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Ayurveda played a huge part in my own recovery from 30 years of addiction and depression which had taken such a toll on my physical health that, at 48 years old, I felt like I was living in a 90 year old body. My healing journey began in Bali in early 2012 where I met an Ayurvedic doctor who showed me how to heal myself. In a few short months, I completely recovered and have been pain free for almost 8 years. I hope this inspires you to learn more about these ancient practices that heal the Body, Mind and Soul and teach you how to live a beautiful, joyful and healthy life!

 

Many blessings to all,

 

Kay White

Founder of Villa Kali Ma

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Sustainable Recovery: Right Actions in Surrender-Based Spirituality

I have tripped and fallen many times over the same knotty root, that bulges up from time to time in the path of my sustainable recovery: how to find the right balance between action and non-action.

In some moments of pause I’ve reflected and concluded, “I see, it’s all about right action – right acting my way into right thinking!” (as the AA slogan goes). At other bends of the path, the truth seems to be the opposite. I find myself thinking that at the end of the day, the true success of recovery is nothing more than the simple-but-not-always-easy art of surrender. Not doing, not planning, not acting, but rather learning to receive – in the spirit of a bumper sticker I’ve seen and liked: Don’t just do something, sit there!

Normal people may have the dubious privilege of continuing to direct their lives from a mindset that favors self-directed and willful action over surrender. They might enjoy the (I would say illusion of) mastery, control, and dominance over their life’s unfoldment. People of this orientation may pride in being masters of their own destiny. But those of us in recovery, through the curious humbling awakener of addiction, have learned to be wary of the perils of running our lives from our small, limited, and at times, quite corrupted egos.

Living life from the ego, or the small self, doesn’t fit with sustainable recovery, and yet there are still times when, as I said, heroic, willful action is required, when it seems that we are being asked to battle, fight, and be strong to protect our recovery from the menacing return of a spirit of addiction, and to maybe take some of our destiny into our own hands. After all, God helps those who helps themselves, and so on.

I believe that both are true: Success in recovery hangs on the ability to move into action when everything is lined up for action, and sometimes we even need to get out the inner warrior and fight tooth and nail for our sobriety. At the same time, there are many spiritual rip tides which may overcome us, where the key to passing through them alive is to “let go and let God.” The question of when to take which actions, and in which spirit, probably perplexes many of us recovery sojourners as we pick our way along the path.

A metaphor I’ve been finding useful lately is to think of the relationship between a gardener and nature. Nature is the larger force, both kind and fierce, to whom the gardener is attuned, dedicated, and ultimately submissive. The thought of this relationship allows me to hold a conception of “right doing” that is anchored around being proactive about taking those actions which will actually facilitate and allow growth of recovery. In other words, to be like a nurturing, wise gardener who can feel through the rhythms of nature what actions are required, when.

In tune with the many messages of light, season, warmth, and the cycles of change, always taking her cues in surrender to the laws of nature, a good gardener is able to see that the window for action is now, and understands which type of action to take – is it time to prepare the soil, to add nutrients? Is it time to start seeds, to transplant, to thin? Is it time to water and wait, having patience and faith in spite of no outward sign of progress? Is it time to see that fruit is coming, and to do everything in the world to protect it against corroding forces? Is it time to harvest and share? Or is it time to accept that harvest is over for now – is it time to call something done and cut it back, bury it, let it rest and decompose?

With this mindset the question isn’t whether it’s me-generated action or total surrender that fits, but rather how I can join these – how can I, little me, take actions which arise from a larger surrender, in acknowledgement of the fact that I play only an assistant role to the life force within me that is driving my sustainable recovery. With this frame I see that recovery, like nature, grows on its own in spite of many obstacles, and was always there, growing, even when I was completely in its way. Imagine how much it might thrive if I don’t interfere, if I listen to it, if I align myself and my actions to it, instead of throwing myself against it.

There are actions which facilitate, support and enable the guiding spirit of our recovery, that life force to which we surrender our lives, to really have space to grow and expand here in this world. With this idea my job becomes simpler: it is to understand what my recovery needs every day, and in every season, and give that to my sustainable recovery.

What might my recovery need? Like organic life, my recovery needs a combination of things: exposure to sunlight, water, air, and nutrients in the right amount at the right time. Time overwintering in the dark, as well as time in warm moist nutritious soil. It needs different things at different times, depending on what’s going on in the environment around me as well as my own developmental stage.

A key ingredient for supporting our recovery is light, which may be analogous to how much exposure we are able to give ourselves to the “sunlight of the spirit”. How can we arrange our lives so that our recovery has enough transformative exposure to spirit? Can we go to meetings that have many spirit-filled old timers in them, can we listen to sacred music, read texts that open up the spirit inside us, expose ourselves to people and places that carry higher frequencies and vibrations? Are we placing our recovery enough in the light, or are we in the shadow of someone or something in or outside of us that blocks out our ability to receive?

Likewise, is there enough fluidity, succulence, and “wetness” in my recovery? Is there enough emotion, enough yin, enough female principle, or have I become too rigid, bossy, or dry in my approach? Action steps to support my sustainable recovery with enough “water principle” may include letting myself participate in yin yoga, tai chi, to be in and near water, to drink water, to learn from it, to allow myself to get slow and receptive enough to savor, to not be rushed.

Plants also need space and air – this may be analogous to the breath, and whether I am giving myself enough space. Am I letting my recovery “breathe”, do I let a gentle breeze touch its leaves, or am I in an overly stagnant, too-sequestered space? Or am I expecting myself to thrive in an overly challenging gale of forces my recovery is not rooted enough to withstand quite yet? Do I need more protection?

Am I nourished? Am I making sure that I add to, give increase to, give back to, and enrich my recovery, feeding my sustainable recovery nutrients which cause me to feel that I am satiated, that I have enough? Do I insist that I be around people and places that are genuinely nourishing, whatever that means to me?

Finally, do I let my recovery “overwinter” sometimes? Do I allow the death and decomposition principle to work in peace, to take from me that which is no longer vital and alive, which needs to be dropped off and allowed to become something which is fed back into the soil?

With a gardener’s mindset, I can focus on which actions will support the life of my recovery to thrive. Nourishing the ground of my recovery so that its roots are fed, defending the space around my recovery so that it can breathe, moisturizing the ground of my sustainable recovery so that it can grow succulent and supple, exposing myself to the sunlight of spirit, and finally, honoring the cycles of death and life, understanding that death of outdated and done parts of me and my life creates nutrients my recovery needs in order to continue to grow strong.
May these words be beneficial to you today.

Are you or a loved one looking into recovery? Click here to visit our site for more information. 

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I Am Already All That I Need

I love this quote by Nisargadatta Maharaj. This is such a great reminder of how beautiful life can be if you live by these principals.

I used to have an attitude or belief that my problems were all that mattered. I was always thinking about my problems, my life, my wants, my needs, my stuff, my lack, my suffering, etc. I was very busy trying to get things to be the way I wanted them.. the way I thought they should be. I was always a victim and something was always happening to me! Everything that happened in life that didn’t fit with my set of personal preferences was a problem, so I had lots of problems. I had an attitude that I deserved a better life and it was not fair when things didn’t go my way. One of my frequently used phrases was “why does this always happen to ME?!!” All my bad choices and circumstances (alcohol, drugs, abusive relationships, etc)  were because somebody did me wrong, either in that instant or at some distant time in the past, and It wasn’t my fault!

Through my process of recovery, I was able to change my attitudes and beliefs and realize that most of my suffering was caused by my own self-importance and misguided sense of what life was all about. Once I started practicing yoga and meditation I started to see everything more clearly. I began to have the insight through the practice of self-inquiry, and I was able to see the truth in each situation and how my attitude about it could change everything! If I practiced having an attitude of gratitude, my life looked much better than if I had an attitude of entitlement. Slowly, I got down off my high horse and began to live more humbly. One of my favorite quotes is from Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” which says:  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less”. I found this to be profoundly true in my own life. I had been thinking about myself and my perceived problems constantly. I was making unimportant things important and leaving behind the most important things; like my children.

Once I began practicing humility, I became willing to see my own neurosis. The more I lived from this place of humility, the more real and honest I became, and the better I felt about myself. I had to stop pretending to be someone I was not and accept myself just the way I was, a train wreck, which would take a long time to clean up and get back on track.

Eventually, through continuing to practice gratitude and humility and by letting go of self-importance and entitlement, I began to see myself in a better light. I began to love the real me. I finally found the love that I had always been seeking, and it was right here inside me. I had been seeking love outside myself for decades, living the life of the “hungry ghost” that Gabor Mate talks about in his book about addiction and trauma. He describes the hungry ghost as “the domain of addiction, where we constantly seek something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfillment. The aching emptiness is perpetual because the substances, objects or pursuits we hope will soothe it are not what we really need.”

What I learned from my own experience is that what I really needed was to love and accept myself. Love is knowing I am everything…already! There is nothing I need to do, be, acquire, aspire to, perfect, etc. I just needed to be me, and love who I am. So now, years later, the train of my life is flowing pretty smoothly along the tracks to wherever life is taking me. The things I thought mattered most, the things I thought I had to GET in order to be HAPPY, I still don’t have them. Life still happens without concern for my list of preferences. Life is still life but I have changed my attitude about it. Now I practice acceptance and gratitude, which gives me FREEDOM from wishing that what has already happened were different than it is.

Now, instead of thinking about myself all the time, I think about how I can make a difference in the lives of others. How can I help another person find the love inside themselves? How can I help others to find FREEDOM from suffering?  How can I show up in a way that inspires and uplifts everyone I meet? Now I know that life is not about getting…It’s about loving and giving and connecting to others in a meaningful way. Turns out, if you align yourself with love and humility, life is beautiful, and you don’t need anything to make it so.

Wishing you all love and happiness!

Namaste

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Rise Up Warrior Women

Be yourself and love who you are! Don’t judge, don’t compare, don’t worry! That is your mission! To boldly go out and be yourself!

I know this is a daunting mission. It took me awhile to get there. But don’t give up! Don’t give in! Make a commitment to this mission of loving who you are. Loving who you are right now, not who you will be someday if you do this, that and the other thing. You are a divine spiritual being who is perfect exactly as you are right now! The only problem is that you have not taken the time to get to know this being and fall in love with her. Instead you have spent all your time judging and criticizing her. So get to know your real Self and start looking for the things that are right and good and great about yourself!

MAKE THIS YOUR MISSION and you will find out what a miracle you are, how powerful you are, how beautiful you are, how amazing you are, how loving you are, and how blessed you are!

“If you look for the bad, you will find it. If you look for the good, you will find it. We always have a choice between two realities: the positive and the negative. The reality we invest our energy in is the one in which we exist.”  ~ Yehuda Berg

You will know you are making progress when you find yourself being more tolerant of others, more compassionate and less judgemental. When you catch yourself putting others down, stop and forgive yourself for that bad habit. Judging others is a sure sign that our inner critic is alive and well, and it judges us more harshly than it judges others. Just becoming aware of this is the first step toward conquering it. Catch yourself judging and re-direct those thoughts and inner comments into something positive.

Rise up warrior woman! Take on your mission! Conquer the negative mind! Train yourself to think happy thoughts. Find peace within yourself. I did it, and I am no different than you. You have the power….should you choose to accept it  :))

Peace & many blessings,
Kay

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Break the Cycle of Karma

“The Idea of Karma is that You Continue to get The Teachings You Need to Open Your Heart” ~ Pema Chodron

Before my recovery from substance abuse and love addiction (dysfunctional relationship addiction), I always blamed everyone else for all the things going wrong in my life. I was the perpetual victim and everything was happening “to me.”  I always felt like, “Why is this happening to me? Why do all the men in my life cheat on me, lie to me, put me down, call me names and abuse me?” Through my recovery process I came to understand that nothing was happening “to me,” it was all happening “for me.” These lessons kept coming for three decades, until I finally got it.

The great Law of Karma states, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” This applies directly to what I was experiencing, even though I felt I was the victim. My Karma was that I would continue to get the lessons over and over until I learned from them. I was unconsciously choosing to continue this cycle of suffering by not learning from the lessons that were being presented to me. These lessons were trying to teach me that NO relationship, except the one with myself, was going to give me the love that I needed to heal. I was not going to heal my wounds by finding the right man to love me.

Yes, I had been a victim when I was an innocent child, but that was long ago. The situations that I was participating in as an adult were happening because I had not healed from my childhood trauma, which had left me with insecurity, shame, guilt, and lack of self-love. Because I had not healed, I kept getting into relationships that would ultimately cause me great suffering. I would then blame the other person and make myself “right” and them “wrong,” which kept me stuck in that never ending cycle of blaming and justifying.  I could then justify my coping mechanisms, which were self-sabotaging and kept me stuck in the proverbial “vicious cycle.”

The lesson that life was trying to teach me was that I needed to heal from my childhood trauma and open my heart to the love that was buried under the layers of fear. The love that was hidden under the fear was the love for myself. Once I truly faced my fear, I was able to tap into that deep well of love that was there for me. I was able to see clearly that life was not happening “to me,” it was happening “for me.” It was trying to teach me the ultimate lesson. That there is nothing out there to “get” that would provide me with the love and happiness that I was seeking.  All that I needed and wanted was with me all along, all I needed to do is look within.

Looking within is not something that happens overnight. It is a process of healing, forgiveness, self-compassion and self-inquiry. It takes time and perseverance, but it has the biggest reward if you do it! It is the Hero’s Journey. You become the hero of your life when you get tired of being the victim of your life and become willing to face your fears. When you learn to love yourself unconditionally, your whole life heals. You break the cycle of Karma.

Dive deep into your own heart, discover your own true self, and you will find everything you were searching for “out there.”

Peace and Many Blessings,
Kay

“We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong.” ~ Pema Chodron

 

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Who Am I Really?

Who am I really? I am Consciousness. I am pure love, light and beauty. I am infinite and unknowable. I am the unmanifest experiencing the illusion of human form in order to know myself as love, as you, as the earth, as the sky, as the ocean, as the animals, as the stars, as the universe. All of this is the Divine Play of life. Life is amazing and beautiful.

Kay White is not just who I am. I am not just the Ego-self with the story that goes with that identity. That is just something I am making up as I go to help me “fit in” with society’s rules and expectations, but it is not who I am. No, this Ego person that I am making up has had many personalities and many different bodies over the decades. I had the 5-year-old body, the 12-year-old body, the 30-year-old body, and now I have the 50 something-year-old body. Each of these bodies had its own Ego. But throughout all of this, the consciousness, the pure awareness of being, has stayed the same. I have learned that I am not the circumstances of my life or the things and people I get attached to. If I make those things who I am, if I identify myself by these circumstances, then I will feel annihilated if I lose them.

I am not the voice in my head that tells me I am not good enough. That is just what the Mind does when it has been trained by society and implanted with false judgments, expectations and rules passed down from parents, teachers, communities, cultures, and religions. We don’t choose our beliefs, they are programmed into us depending on where and with whom we grew up. The Mind can be programmed to be your enemy. It can go against you your whole life if you let it. No, my Mind is not just who I am. I have the ability to separate myself from my Mind. 

This ability was not available to me before 5 years ago. I didn’t know about it yet. I had no spiritual life or beliefs. My life was painful because I was identified with my thoughts.  My thoughts were the brutal gatekeepers that kept me locked inside feeling hopeless, alone, ashamed and broken. I was constantly sitting in judgment of myself, and my belief system was programmed to make me suffer. I was a victim of my past and my thoughts about myself. I didn’t know that I was a powerful creator with my own Free Will that could be used to create beauty and love in my life instead of fear and self-doubt. I didn’t know that I could reprogram my Mind to see beyond the veil of illusion to the truth of who I am. No, I was lost in the fog of my Mind and could rarely see the beauty of life.

I learned to reprogram my Mind through the principles and teachings of Yoga and through the practice of meditation. Yoga is an 8-limbed path to self-realization. Anyone can learn and practice the path of Yoga. It is a step-by-step guide to reprogram and train the Mind to allow happiness and joy to come into your experience and to let go of all that negative bullshit you’ve been telling yourself. I learned to use my Mind to create and manifest positive emotions like love, joy, peace and contentment into my life. I can flow with life now instead of suffering it. There is no purpose for negative thoughts except to create fear and project it into an imaginary future situation that doesn’t exist. The daily practice of the Path of Yoga has taught me to live in the moment and focus on the good in each day, one day at a time.

I learned to control my emotions. I still have them and feel them, but they don’t take over my life. I can experience a wide range of emotions and then let them go. I do not have to judge myself and I do not have to judge others. If I slip into judgment, I recognize it immediately. I know it is a choice I made and I can choose not to do it. I no longer feel like a victim, I don’t feel sorry for myself, and I don’t blame others for any of the circumstances of my life. I left the old body and the story the Ego was telling, behind. I am not my thoughts and I am not my past circumstances. I am the conscious presence here in this moment writing these words and right now, I am happy, joyous, and free!

Yoga has given me choices. I can choose happiness now. I can choose love. I can choose forgiveness for myself and others. I am no longer programmed to be my own enemy. Now I am my best friend. I love me, I love life, and I love you. I love you because you are me. Yoga has helped me to see beyond the veil, beyond the illusion that we are all separate and we must compete to survive. There is nothing to get outside myself to make me lovable and acceptable. I just needed to look beyond the veil, to the truth of who I really am. When I got a glimpse of that magnificence, that undeniable truth, I loved myself instantly and I instantly knew that this was the truth for all beings. Yes, you and I are the same. If I can learn to love myself, so can you!

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself”  ~ Diane Von Furstenberg

“You are searching the world for treasure but the real treasure is  yourself” ~ Rumi

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Yoga Is Not About Being Bendy

I knew nothing about yoga therapy five years ago. I started practicing in rehab at 48 years old with sciatica down both legs and degenerative disc disease in my back. Within a few months, I was healed. I can tell you countless stories of transformation by following this path. This thing called yoga is much more than being able to bend over and touch your toes (which, by the way, is not necessary). It transformed my body and mind and introduced me to my true Self. To my Soul. It taught me how to love myself and others. It taught me how to live. It taught me to believe in myself and become the woman I am meant to be. Yoga is a spiritual path to discover your Self! You don’t even need to do a single downward dog! The hardest thing about this practice is to show up for yourself every day. You don’t need to go to a yoga class for an hour and a half. You can get ideas and create your own practice by finding videos on YouTube or on Yoga Journal’s website. Practice your own breathing (pranayama), moving (asana) and meditation ritual for 20-30 minutes every day. This is when the magic happens. When it’s just YOU doing YOUR PRACTICE. It’s like a ceremony that is calling your best self into being. It will transform your life in ways you have never dreamed possible.

 

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Love Who You Are!

I love this quote, “Imagine a woman who Embodies Spirituality. A woman who Honors her body as the Sacred Temple of the Spirit of Life. Who breathes deeply as a prayer of gratitude for life itself. You are that woman.” It’s a reminder to tell myself, “Love who you are!” as much as I possibly can.

It is so amazing to look back on this journey I have been on over the past few years and see the amazing changes that have taken place. To know who I am and love who I am is a miracle in my life. I have a daily spiritual practice that connects me to this truth and to my deeply felt gratitude for knowing this truth. My daily ritual nourishes my body, mind, and spirit. It reminds me of the beauty and magic of life itself. My wish is for all women to know this truth…to feel this magic.

Namaste ~ The light in me sees and recognizes the light in you!

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Self-Love, Self-Respect and Self-Worth: The Keys to Happiness

I spent decades looking outside myself for someone to love me, treat me with respect, and make me feel worthy, but because I didn’t love and respect myself, I attracted relationships that reinforced the lack of those things I was seeking. I spent many years in relationships that were not healthy; self-medicating with alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of not having Self-Love, Self-Respect, and Self-Worth. Of course, this only reinforced my thoughts and feelings of unworthiness. The proverbial vicious cycle.

I never found healthy love, respect or worth until I learned to love and respect my Self. The Self that I had never realized. The completely lovable Self residing deep in my heart. Through the discovery of this aspect of my being, came a complete transformation of my life.

If you don’t love your Self, it’s a thinking problem, a belief that you have agreed to. It’s all in your mind. You are judging yourself and condemning yourself. Or maybe you feel unlovable because of things that happened to you in your past and you feel like a victim of circumstances. Either way, it is a disconnection from the truth of who and what you really are. This is because the Ego self is ignorant of the truth. I learned to overcome the negative aspects of the Ego by spiritual practices such as yoga, breathwork, meditation, and studying spiritual philosophy. I found that you can learn to love yourself no matter what happened in the past. You can forgive yourself and others and overcome anything that is keeping you from being happy. You can let go of being the Judge and the Victim. I did! And I am just like you! We are the same, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. 

The reason we are here, having these experiences, is to transform. We are here to experience Self-Realization. To learn to love ourselves unconditionally. We can free ourselves from the mind (judge and victim) and become who we came here to be. We can discover our gift and begin to share that with the world. We can leave behind the negative thought processes and begin to vibrate a positive energy into our lives and the lives of those around us. When you discover the truth of who you are, you will no longer think you need people or things to “make” you happy. Happiness will come rushing into your life!

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” ~Bob Marley

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.” 
“You must be what it is that you are seeking- that is, you need to put forth what you want to attract.” ~Wayne Dyer

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How Anita Moorjani’s “Dying to Be Me” Helped Me Rediscover Myself

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~Wayne Dyer

I was lucky to see world-renowed author Wayne Dyer speak at Wanderlust Festival in Lake Tahoe shortly after I got sober. During his talk he suggested the book, “Dying To Be Me” by Anita Moorjani. This memoir about Anita Moorjani’s experience during a very struggling time in her life which she was close to dying lead to a resilient realization of her inherent self-worth. This incredible story had a major impact on the way I see myself and the world. I was healed from most of my fears after reading it, especially the major fears that most of us share, like the fear of death or the fear of what other people think of me. Anita’s message helped me see clearly that I am a Spirit embodied and that I am full of potential to manifest whatever I choose to become in this lifetime.

I knew that I was much more than I had ever believed I was. It empowered me to be courageous and take on life in a new way. I learned to love myself for who I am now and stop waiting until someday when I accomplish all the things that I thought would make me lovable. I changed the way I look at things, and the things I looked at changed! I highly recommend Anita Moorjani’s book to all of my friends, clients, and colleagues. Wayne Dyer recommended it to, “anyone who is ever going to die.”

 

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