Hola amigos! It's been a couple of weeks since I last wrote. I feel like so much has happened!
Arriving in Lanquin we were herded onto the back of a ute and taken to El Retiro hostel where we were welcomed by the sound of the river and the early evening sounds of the jungle. Being in the jungle it was hot and humid and we were grateful to be able to dip our feet in the river.
Semuc Champey is a limestone bridge with a series of stepped turquoise pools and the Cahabón River runs under it. The view from the lookout was stunning and we then had the pleasure of declining back down and diving into the pools where we spent an hour or so cooling off and exploring. It was pure bliss!
What struck me the most about this day was the kindness of strangers and team work. Everyone helped each other, holding each other's candles while scaling rocks, sharing food and water with those in need and general support for those out of their comfort zone. We were no longer strangers by the end of the day.
Hola amigos!! Greetings from Antigua, Guatemala. Well I've been here a week and it's flown by.
By Friday evening I was so overwhelmed that I kept forgetting how to say hola and wanted to say aloha (go figure!) even though I'd been saying hola all week!
However, having had a weekend of cafe hopping, exploring ruins, visiting museums and art galleries and listening to Latino music in Central Park, I'm ready to face another week of lessons.
For those who know me well, you know I have a very sweet tooth. I have been sugar free for almost three months (this is the 3rd time I've given up sugar, the longest time was for 1.5 years, but this time it's forever) but occasionally I like to indulge in some sweet alternatives. These brownies are my current fave and are super quick to make.
You need the following ingredients:
4 tablespoons raw cacao
3 cups walnuts
1/2 cup almonds or almond meal
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons water
1. Place all the nuts in a food processor and blend till they are relatively fine.
2. Add the dried fruit and mix a little more.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Do a little taste test to check the sweetness and add more dried fruit if needed.
4. Remove the blade from the blender add a bit of water and then using your hands, squeeze all the dough together.
5. Transfer to a ceramic dish and mould/push the dough into the dish so that it is one long slab of dough.
6. Place in the fridge for an hour or two to set.
7. Slice and serve!
As far as I’m concerned these are as good as real brownies, but packed full of goodness. ENJOY!
My mama Kristina and I have recently completed a 40 day challenge with the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation. This powerful kundalini meditation uses mantra repetition and mudras (hand movements) and is known as the meditation for TRANSFORMATION. The mantra is known to move through different levels of consciousness when repeating the mantra out loud, in a whisper and in silence.
It also has the following benefits:
A few months ago I went gluten free. Other than a few slices of pizza and the occasional fish and chips, I've found it relatively easy. I've never been much of a bread or pasta eater, so I think this has helped.
However, I do love the occasional piece of toast topped with eggs (or almond butter) and when I was living in Sydney, I used to buy a quinoa and chia seed bread that was perfect for this purpose.
Since being back in NZ I've been experimenting with recreating the same bread. It's taken a few attempts, but I think I've finally nailed it!
Over the past year, as I’ve embarked on my yoga teaching journey, I have experimented with many yogic tools. There are so many powerful tools available and they all cultivate an uplifting euphoric high as well as prolonged feelings of peace, love and joy!
Given my love for yoga and wanting to share the beauty and joy of yoga with others, I’ve developed a three hour workshop that encompasses a selection of uplifting yogic tools that I personally practice. I’m so excited to share these learnings! The first workshop will be hosted by the Bulow’s in Purakanui, Dunedin. I then intend to share this workshop in various locations on my travels. Over the course of the next year I plan to be in North & Central America, Europe, Israel, Egypt and India. So far I have had friends offer to host this workshop in the UK and Egypt. If you are in the position to host a workshop, or know someone who is, then let’s talk! Below are the details for the upcoming workshop scheduled for Saturday 25 January 2014.
Cultivating compassion for yourself and others
You are invited to join us for three hours of uplifting yoga that will work on opening your heart space to cultivate compassion for yourself and those around you.
Date: Saturday 25 January 2014
Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm (followed by a light lunch)
Location: Bulow’s, 23 Osborne Road, Osborne, Dunedin
This workshop will take you on an inward journey and is designed to detoxify, energise and cultivate sensitivity to yourself and others. Using a variety of yoga practices, we will work on bringing awareness to our hearts, opening ourselves to experience more love and joy in our lives.
A variety of yoga techniques will be explored, including:
Numbers are restricted to 10 people, so please RSVP by Sunday 19 January 2014.
The group will enjoy a light lunch after the workshop and we invite everyone to bring a plate of food to share.
Happy new year to you all! I hope 2014 brings all of you everything your heart desires and is filled with an abundance of love, joy and happiness.
In the past I’ve not taken much time to recognise the significance of the new year period, it’s always just been a time for holidays and to be with family and friends. This year, however, I spent a lot of time reflecting. Reflecting on all the amazing things that happened in 2013 and writing down my goals for 2014.
I was away for a few days over the New Year period, and when I got back home, I watched this vodcast from Mastin Kipp, the creator of The Daily Love and it resonated so much that it brought me to tears.
The topic of the vodcast is “Taking an inventory of the people in your life whose approval you think you need and clearing out all the junk around what other people think so that you can start 2014 with a clean slate.”
I realised that I was holding onto a couple of things that were no longer serving me. And by holding on I was not being fully present. I was spending too much time caught up in the craziness of my thoughts. Living in the past and daydreaming of the future.
What stood out for me most in this vodcast was a quote from Mastin:
“When you let people go, you create space, and the Universe loves to fill up these spaces. Have faith, emptiness doesn’t mean abandonment, the space you create will let you discover who you really are and what you really love’.
After hearing this, I knew it was time to let go and move into 2014 with a clean slate. It reminded me of a couple of major life changes I’d made in the past 18 months and how by letting go of the old (giving up alcohol and my job of 8 years) had made way for the new. Such amazing opportunities have come my way since. I’ve been to India, I’ve trained to be a yoga teacher and I’m now putting all my training into practice and am in the process of designing a yoga workshop that I intend to deliver at various locations during my upcoming travels.
I followed Mastin’s easy instructions in the vodcast. At first it was easy, I was excited about being free. Then a part of me put up a huge resistance. I was holding onto the past so strongly that I could feel myself getting fatigued, anxious and flat. I accepted this as being part of the process and eventually I found the strength to let go. At first I didn’t feel the sense of relief that I expected. I felt incredibly sad. But instead of finding an external sensory diversion such as the internet, tv or food, I made myself sit with the heaviness. It hurt. A lot. Then I fell asleep. And then the next day, I woke up feeling incredibly light. And friggin’ excited about the future!
So my dear friends, if deep in your heart you know there is someone or something you need to let go of, I encourage you to find the strength to do so. Clear your space. You will go as far in life as the five people around you. Surround yourself with people who lift you and support you, and great things will come your way.
If you have anything to share, or any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Love Lili x
Last Saturday, my sister Cerridwen graduated from law school at Otago University. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part such a momentous achievement in her life. The day was spent with family and was a day full of laughter, love, sun and food. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family.
Cerridwen has tackled many hurdles over the past four years, these hurdles are her stories to tell, but what I can say is that she has navigated her way through these bumps in a non-wavering dedicated and studious manner, always keeping her morals intact. As a result she has blossomed in to one of the most beautiful and vibrant young women I know. I’m so full of gratitude to have her as one of my sisters!
There is 15 years age difference between Cerridwen and I (I’m the oldest and Cerridwen is the second youngest). When mum sat my sister Annie, our brother Toby and I down a year after she had remarried to tell us that her and John were planning to have a baby, well I was not impressed. There was going to be a screaming baby in the house. Not on my watch I said!
However, the day she was born, everything changed. We went from being a volatile blended family to all having a mutual love for this beautiful creature that had come into our lives. It was love at first sight and has been that way ever since.
Less than two years later our other sister Charlotte joined us and shortly after that I moved overseas and have never permanently returned. It broke my heart leaving them behind, and each time I came home, I had to grieve for the memory of how I remembered them and readjust to them in a new stage of their lives.
Life is a beautiful thing and it’s been such a pleasure for me to be able to watch Cerridwen grow from the moment she was born (yes I was present at her birth!), up till this present day, to see her graduate on Saturday, knowing how hard she has worked, was very exciting and emotional.
The future is bright and full of possibilities, and I am so excited about seeing how her future unfolds.
Until next time….
Love Lili x
I LOVE almond butter. I love it so much I once had to ban it from my cupboard because I would eat a jar in one sitting. By the spoonful! This was my indulgence when I gave up sugar for the first time.
I’m hoping now, that by going through the slightly more onerous task of making it myself, that I can control this yummy love affair.
Almond butter is a healthier alternative to peanut butter. Peanuts are actually a legume and can be quite acidic. Whereas almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium and are a good source of protein and fiber. They are also known to alkalise the body.
This recipe is really simple and only three ingredients are required:
6. At this stage, add a splash of olive oil and some salt to taste.
7. Blend some more and then keep adding oil and salt until you have your desired consistency. Easy peasy!
You can enjoy this nut butter as a spread on toast, mixed in with yoghurt, as a substitute for any recipe requiring peanut butter or if you are after a quick energy hit, by the spoonful.
Love Lili x
This article from Mind Body Green has just come through on my newsfeed and it is so appropriate to the activities of the past week since being home in NZ.
I discovered Kundalini yoga while in Rishikesh, India earlier this year. After practicing it daily for a week with our beautiful teacher Lauren Levine, I felt like a shadow of my former self. This yoga is mind blowingly awesome! Kundalini pushes all your boundaries using mantras, asana, meditation, pranayama, sound and dancing. The effect of these tools leaves you with the deepest sense of joy.
However, the reason this article resonated with me, is that my step father John has been home for the past few weeks recovering from major surgery on his spine. Being a staunch family provider and man about the house, I know that this surgery has forced him to take a step back and be vulnerable.
He has embraced this change and has been treating his recovery as a holiday rather than recovery. What has thrilled me the most though, is that for the past few days, John has joined my mama and I for a daily kundalini practice. Each morning we gather together and chant the opening mantra and then do 20 minutes of pranayama followed by meditation and the closing mantra.
Pranayama is a series of breathing exercises which promote proper breathing to supply our bodies and its various organs with oxygen vital for our health. It is good for eliminating waste products and toxins from our body and it is also believed that these techniques can help the prevention of major diseases and cure minor illnesses.
All of us are enjoying the discipline of this daily practice. The practice is energising, detoxifying and sets us up for the day. Each morning we invite John to stay on and do some more with us, but he quietly declines with a smile on his face and gets on with the rest of his holiday.
Until next time, keep breathing.
Love Lili x