Midweek Recharge & Reflection: When did quantity and stuff replace a quality life?

It is my hope to reflect on where I am in body, mind, and spirit each week.  Midweek seems to be a good time for that, as it is usually a time of trying to catch up before the weekend.  As such, I will be as surprised as the topics that come out of this post as you will.

It is so easy to get caught up in the act of racing time.  We have these ridiculous to do lists and self impose expectations.  Always trying to do more.  When did quantity and stuff replace quality?

This is a question that I began asking myself several years ago.  I lived a different life then.  A life caught between the expectations of others, image, money, and the expectations of various social circles.  As time went by I yearned for the days of my youth where I had envisioned a completely different life for myself.  A passion driven life guided by my heart’s desire … little did I realize that the dreams of that young woman were the key for my art of sacred living.

As I felt more and more that I walked a tightrope of anxiety filled days where I could never be myself and had to please so many people, a small voice began whispering “why not?” more and more.  My dreams returned to those of my youth and I shed a lot of secret tears.  I was ashamed to tell my closest friends how miserable I was.  After all, wasn’t I living the American dream?  I had a long term marriage, high paying job, house, and a thriving social circle.

It may have been someone’s dream, but it was not mine.  There was not a house full of giggling children (okay, giggle, crying, fighting, giggling – lather, rinse, repeat), a deep partnership with those in my life, passion, art, magic and mutual respect as well as unconditional love.  The money did not matter to me.  In fact, whenever I had extra and someone I loved needed something I just gave them the money.  To me, money is just a means for taking care of my loved ones.

The magic, the love, the whatever it is for each of us that makes life sacred was very absent from my life.  My heart felt like it was bleeding and my soul felt as though it were withering.  Was it a bad life?  No, but it was not the life for me.  I was living everyone else’s expectations.  My needs, desires, and passions were dubbed unimportant hobbies.  There was a point that I could no longer live that way.

For years I held a picture in my mind of the life I wanted. During that time, I did talk to my now ex-husband about what I wanted.  However, what we both wanted out of life was so different that it led to a lot of strife. Still we endured because of our vows.  Then I could not take another day of merely enduring.  It wasn’t right to anyone.

I knew that if I did not take a leap of faith, then and there, that I was going to whither away.  I had hit that point of no return and I am too stubborn for that.  The passion in me would not allow me.  I truly believed that I could live the sacred life of my dreams … so, I lept, and I fell.  The next two years were so unbelievably hard.  Now, I know it was because I was giving birth to my true self.

It was the most frightening experience of my life.  I left behind all the logic that had kept me in that life, a high paying job, and the security of knowing what each day would be.  Then I embraced true freedom.  The only expectation I had been given was to be myself … that was the most terrifying expectation ever laid on me.  What if I disappointed?  Slowly, through transformation and lots of emotional and mental unraveling of others wants, needs, and desires from my own wants, needs, and desires I realized that the only person I had to worry about disappointing was myself.

That is not as easy as it sounds.  I lived with expectations of perfection for so long that being human has taken a long time to grow into.  As well as, giving myself the unconditional love, compassion, friendship, and support that I have always given those that I love.  Each step of this journey has reminded me of the vision I had of life when I was a young woman.

Sometimes, I wish I had done things a bit differently.  Then Freyrson reminds me that I would not be the person that I am now and Isaura reminds me that everything happens for a reason.  They are both right.  Would I value everything that I have?  I would hope so, but who knows.

What I do know is that I am dedicated to making this life sacred.  I am dedicated to sharing this journey and that I am human.  I do not have the perfect answer for myself or anyone else.  What I do have are very human experiences to share, as well as the tools that I am finding helpful in my journey.  It is my hope that you will share your journey with me and together we learn the Art of Sacred Living.

Question for yourself:  Where in your life do you have quantity and where do you have Quality?  Where would you like more Quality?  What is one simple thing you can do to give yourself the gift of Quality?

Sacred Blessings,

Irisa

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PanAway Essential Oil

The last few days I have been using PanAway Essential Oil on my hip and lower back. My fibromyalgia has flared causing inflammation, muscle tightness, and pain.  I chose PanAway® because the oils within this blend may help reduce pain and stimulate the bodies natural healing properties by the induction of oxygen into the tissue site.*

PanAway® was created by Gary Young following a severe injury to the ligaments in his leg. Containing wintergreen essential oil, which is often used for massage, PanAway is soothing to the skin while providing comforting warmth to muscles after exercise.

Product Tips

  • Rub PanAway essential oil blend across your lower back if you feel discomfort from sitting in front of a computer.
  • Rub PanAway essential oil blend on muscles to help alleviate stressed muscles or other physical discomforts.
  • Rub PanAway essential oil blend on your temples to ease minor head tension.

Single Oils in this blend:

  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) has a sweet, minty scent. The oil is distilled from the small evergreen herb’s leaves. The refreshing, clean taste of wintergreen has made it a favorite in flavoring numerous products. Wintergreen contains the same active ingredient (methyl salicylate) as birch and is beneficial in massage for soothing head tension and muscles after exercising.
  • Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is known for its restorative properties and provides excellent support to the skin, liver, and nervous system.* Helichrysum also provides a defense against harmful free radicals, making it a vital ingredient in several Young Living blends.
  • Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) has a sweet, spicy fragrance that is stimulating and revitalizing. An important ingredient in our Thieves blend due to its wonderful immune-enhancing properties, its principal constituent is eugenol, which is used in the dental industry to numb the gums.
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita) has a strong, clean, fresh, minty aroma. One of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion, it may also restore digestive efficiency.* Jean Valnet MD studied peppermint’s supportive effect on the liver and respiratory systems. Other scientists have also researched peppermint’s role in improving taste and smell when inhaled. Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati studied peppermint’s ability to improve concentration and mental sharpness. Alan Hirsch MD studied peppermint’s ability to directly affect the brain’s satiety center, which triggers a sensation of fullness after meals. This powerful essential oil is often diluted before topical application. Peppermint may also be used to enhance the flavor of food and water.

*Please note: Information on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.You should consult with the appropriate health practitioner in case of any medical condition.

Yummy delights

I am going to post a few days food at a time.  Most of my recipes are made up from what I have on hand.  Meal planning is done on the fly at the grocery store.  Yes, I know Martha Stewart is cringing. However, when you are feeding 6 mouths on a budget, you shop all the deals. This can be a challenging, okay and stressful, way to shop. So, I try to focus on the creativity of the situation *try* is the key word here folks.

Recipe:

Imitation crab meat, yellow peppers, mushrooms, old bay seasoning, and lemon essential oils

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Meatloaf:
1 cup green pepper, 1 cup chopped onion, 1/3 cup almond flour, 2 eggs, 3 roma tomato chopped, 2.5 lbs ground beef, seasonings (to taste) sea salt, pepper, basil, rosemary, and thyme.
Bake 400 degrees. Check in 30 minutes.

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Real life cooking and blogging, lol.  In the middle of mixing everything up the landlord calls, a repairman arrives a day early, and the bear cub wakes from his nap. This results in me forgetting to season this, which I realize directly after I put into loaf pans. As the bear cub still needs rescued from his crib I decide to herb crust the batch …. always be flexible with your cooking and gentle with yourself. This should be fun!

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Next recipe:

2 tablespoons bacon fat, 2 sweet potato, 1 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower, 2 packs of ham steaks 12 oz each).  Sea salt, tri color pepper and pumpkin pie spice to taste.

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1 12 oz bag of frozen green beans. Olive oil, lemon, and dried mint. Medium low heat.

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Salmon (this was a great find $4.99 at kroger)
mustard ground, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, dried dill weed, salmon

Bake 400 35-40 minutes

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Our Love Affair with Scents

There is a powerful magic to scent.  It can transport us to memories of another time, place, or person; stimulate or relax our emotions; promote wellness; and connect our body, mind, and spirit.

Favorite Scents

Smudge.  Smudging is a tribal practice of binding dried herbs together and burning them for the properties associated with the plant.  It is a way of clearing and cleansing the energy of a space … white sage is great for this.  Another favorite is sage, cedar, and lavender.

Essential Oils.  I have desperately been trying to remember when I first discovered essential oils.  It either would have been at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire or my first trip to a metaphysical shop.  I cannot remember which came first.  What I do know is that I have been incorporating essential oils into my life for so long that I cannot picture my life without them.  I have used them for everything from perfume to medicinal to spiritual.

What is your favorite use for scent, especially Essential Oils?

Everyday Oils

Namaste,

Irisa

Who hit me in the face with a cast iron frying pan?

Hello my lovelies!

I have taken a few days off from blogging to relax and get some perspective.  It is amazing the perspective that 72 hours can bring.

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I am a nurturer. I love taking care of those that I love.  I love the warmth of a hearth, smiles over a steaming cup of coffee, and the conversation and kinship shared over a plate of colorful, flavorful food.  This discovery began with my journey into wellness over twenty years ago. 

Over the years, the journey of body, mind, and spirit has become more and more important to me.  In my heart, I have always known the key was simplification.  Even though my life was contrary to that concept. A career in finance that equated a persons worth with their portfolio, social status, and material items warred with my spirit’s need to walk barefoot on the beach, dance in the moonlight, and warm myself in a loving hearth.

After warring with myself for so long, I simply stopped.  I was brutally honest with myself and those in my life.  The last few years have been about healing and releasing.  This kept bringing me back to my body, mind, and spirit connection as well as my love of color, food, herbs, and essential oils.

I have looked at the paleo lifestyle for many years.  At the beginning of this year I took the plunge and began whole30.  This has changed my life more than I ever would have imagined.

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What began as a journey into physical health through diet and nutrition turned into an entire body, mind, and spirit connection.  As I have gone through the detox process, I have become more aware of my body and the effects of what I have been putting into my body on the total package … body, mind, and spirit.

My body feels cleaner, my inflammation is down, pain down, Mobility better, mental alertness is increased, moods better (though they were volitile at the beginning of the detox), blood pressure is stable without meds, and weight loss is happening. 

The result is that without fighting my body I once again feel that my body is my temple. I once again feel that connection between body, mind, and spirit. I have energy to exercise (now to consistently do it) and the desire to tend my spirit. Creativity is being unlocked and I am finding my muse.

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So, why do I feel like I was hit in the face with a cast iron frying pan?  I am an idiot, lol. 

Friday evening I was stressed out and did not feel like cooking. So, we ordered pizza (formerly a favoeite food) and wings.   After it arrived, we opened the box and it just did not look appealing. The wings looked fabulous.  After my third bite of pizza I had a feeling that it was a mistake.  Being dumb and hungry, I continued to eat it.  The result was that I felt like crap that night and was sore the next day.

So, the next morning I was craving veggies and water. In the Sautee pan with olive oil, onion, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, salt, pepper, and basil. Once plated this was paired with bacon, cashews, and pear.

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Later that day, Princess Superhero, Bear Cub, and I went on a date.  The restaurant was max and erma’s where I had a laredo steak, asparagus, and treated myself to fries, oh and a beer.  When the plate arrrived what looked most appealing was the asparagus … and it was tasty.  I remember the steak with its cactus butter being tastier, after whole30 it tasted oily and bland.  The beer did taste lovely but about halfway through I had drunk enough of it to feel full so I switched to water.

After dinner, the kids gave me plenty of exercise as we ran around a play area in the mall.  It was fun but stressful. The play area was packed and any moment I lost sight of a child in the crowd of children was nerve wracking.  I stayed as long as my nerves could handle it and then went to toys r us to use their gift card.  They had as much fun as I did.

Interlude:
It suddenly got quiet as I was typing.  Lol, I look to see why the bear cub is so quiet and he is sitting on the floor undressing. Roflma … he just picked up his clothes and walked them to the hamper.  Well, at least he cleaned up after himself. Now let us hope he keeps his diaper on.

Princess superhero wanted me to post a picture of her latest creation, and yes legos are everywhere. She got two boxes for christmas and he got one, plus they already had a lot.

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I am not good at treating myself.  Freyrson and Isaura are great for me because they push me to do stuff for myself and yell at me when I feel guilty for doing it. With their help I am learning that it is perfectly healthy to take care of my own needs.   This resulted in a girls day for Isaura and I.

Sunday, Isaura and I went to the salon; Freyrson stayed home with the kids.   It was amazing. I haven’t had a haircut in three years, so I had to sacrifice more length than I wanted to but it will grow back.  The deep conditioning treatment has my hair smelling so good that I do not want to wash it, but I will because the hairspray is driving me nuts.

After, we went to bob evans where I got a sweet potato and the farmhouse grilled chicken minus the bun.  The sweet potato awesome, the butter like substance they gave me to put on it gross and very oily tasting.  The grilled chicken, mushrooms, and spinach were awesome. I am not so sure about the cheese. It tasted kind of platic like and it was very oily.

I am mostly down a clothing size ( I say mostly due to the pain in the ass sizing of womens clothing), so off we went to get some tops.  I am not a shopper and I do not like spending money, so I browsed as long as I could.  The end result was three tops and a skirt.

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After that, we came home and Freyrson patiently looked at our finds.  Then I cooked dinner … shrimp scampi. The recipe was from paleo cupboard.  Now, I didn’t have arrowroot flour so I used almond flour. This recipe was amazing!  On the side I made sweet potato, cauliflower, and chopped bacon in the sautee pan.

Okay, time to get baths and out of pj’s.  After that, playtime, working on the letter A, and to work on my Young Living community.

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Have a fantastic day!
Irisa

Daily kitchen delights

Nothing is more fun than the sound of my children playing as we cook in the kitchen. To that end the one year old bear cub is into every little thing!

First is breakfast sausage because it is great to have on hand. When that burner is free, I will make more hard boiled eggs.

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Next, I split a package of chicken thighs.  The first pan has bacon, olive oil, chicken thighs seasoned with sea salt, pepper and paprika. I have been craving fried chicken so this should do nicely.

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The next pan of chicken thighs has been browned in olive oil and a jar of cacciatore sauce added. It has 5g of sugar, so it is a huge treat that is definately not whole30.  Yes, I could make my own but this was on sale. For me paleo is a balance between budget and fresh.

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I also have cod thawing.  I will sautee that in olive oil with salt, pepper, old bay seasoning, and lemon. 

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Finally, I will make mashed potatos with italian seasonings and steam veggies … broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, then do a quick sautee in ghee and thyme.

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I definitely find that taking an hour to an hour and a half in the morning to cook for the entire day worth while.  This takes care of my families needs for the day, as well as their lunches for the next day.

Now to put all the tupperware back in the cabinets! Thanks bear cub!

Namaste
Irisa

Today’s Paleo

I finished the tuna and advocado salad for breakfast.

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Now, I am cooking for the cookbook Paleo Comfort Foods. The first recipe is the morning glory muffins. They are paleo but I do not think they are whole30 due to the almond flour. Tip: use nonstick muffin cups or grease pan and put directly in.

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The next recipe is the mini sliders. Seasoned beef, peppers, and onions.

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Next is chimichurri. I did mine with dry herbs in the food processor. I also added turkey and roma tomatos, pulsing for a turkey salad. 

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The final cook of the day is breakfast sausage with onions and tri color peppers.

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Now tocatch up on my water.  Peppermint is my choice today.