THE FOOD TRAIL ¡BUEN PROVECHO!
By: H. Luiz Martinez | Photographs Courtesy of 2KINGs Photography
Originally Published in Connextions Magazine Issue 19: Travel Lite | To read entire article click here.
As a travel journalist, I have wonderful opportunities to visit many countries and “borrow” from ancient and modern food traditions. When I return to my own kitchen, I have all the information I need, along with borrowing other cultural techniques, flavor profiles, food staples, and not to mention my own culinary twists on foods, to create wonderful meals at home. I encourage you to experience in your kitchen. ¡Buen Provecho!
Everybody is thrilled when a sweet or savory tart is in the room – I know I am! My fruit tarts remind me of the baked goods in French Patisseries and Peruvian Panaderias. Confession time: I have not yet been to those countries so how can I reference those far-away bakeries? Well, the woman who suggested I add pistachios to my sweet tarts is a Peruvian baker who studied in France. She told me with such vivid details about pastries from both countries that I feel like I’ve eaten fruit tarts there myself. You see, inspiration comes from life, people, and cultures!
A baking pan, some butter, cream cheese, flour and sugar, and fresh fruit are all you need to make a great-tasting tart. Tart pans are inexpensive but not entirely necessary when making tarts, you can use pie plates or even shallow cake pans. The pan or lack thereof will determine the shape of your tart. You can even buy pie crusts in tubes or frozen from the supermarket, but I wouldn’t recommend that. If you’re going to make a fruit tart, there should be no short-cuts.
New Year is consider to be about new beginnings, new hopes, new inspirations and new aspirations. The new year is usually a chance to "make right" what did not work out too well the year before; the disillusions, the sadness, the anger, the fears.
Many of us put ourselves into gear by making promises, known as resolutions, that we might or might not accomplish: stop smoking, lose weight, be a better parent, a better husband/wife/partner, obtain a new career, go back to school, get a new car, find a new partner/love...
These are all wonderful inspirations and aspirations, but many of us forget or fail to realize that everything starts from the inside out; we must remember to ground ourselves on a daily basis with the heavens, with nature, with our family, with friends - the whole becoming one; tuning in with each other and everything that surrounds us and everything else becomes second nature to our purpose in life and falls right into place like a puzzle. We are not perfect, we will make mistakes along the way, but it is important to recognize it and improve on it and every time we do, we will evolve and better our inner-self.
Meditation helps us to view our inner-selves, our needs and others' needs, it helps us to see how petty we can become by complaining and not appreciating what we already have. So enjoy the New Year, but better yet embrace you to improve you!
Do you realize how many thoughts and beliefs you have about your life that keep you from being happy NOW and living out your dreams?
These are the stories you tell yourself on a daily basis of why you can’t have something or why that goal you have, can only come to you in a specific way. Doesn’t that feel limiting? Don’t you wish you could change the stories you tell yourself that make you feel like there are limited options?
Well, you can. Matter of fact, you are the only one who can change your life for the better and the only one who can keep you stuck. What are you choosing today? Are you ready to set yourself free from all those limitations?
It is my intention that after reading this article you will be in a more "open," "allowing" space where you let in your desires and dreams with ease, because you have less rules of HOW it can happen.
Here’s a little secret … challenge EVERYTHING you believe that makes you feel "less than" or "hopeless," because that is NOT your truth. Matter of fact, those stories that you are telling yourself, didn’t even originate from you! They are lies. Think about that for a second. If you believe that you are "not good enough" or "can’t be successful" … did that belief stem from someone else in your life? Yeah, it’s not even your story! WOW! Let’s ditch the disempowering story and embrace something new!
I came up with these "Who’s to say" scenarios based on my own personal experiences once I started letting go of thoughts and beliefs that felt very limiting and realized that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE once we embrace the "knowing" that there are an infinite number of ways the Universe can bring to us financial success or the most amazing partner or great health and well-being!
The list goes on. There is not just one way to experience these things … there are a gazillion ways! Are you open to receiving it all?
Let this "Who’s to say" list expand your horizons on what is possible when you let go of everything you believe, that doesn’t feel good. Pay attention to what you say to yourself when you read each one, and what beliefs come to the surface of your mind:
• Who’s to say that you can’t be watering your garden and as a result of that pure joy you get a few new clients and your business continues to grow along with your flowers? (This actually happened to me … I was "stuck" and I decided to take more breaks from working on growing my business and do something that brought me joy … and BAM! … As a result of following my "feel good", the Universe brought to me more fabulous clients!)
• Who’s to say that "goofing off" is not productive? What if "goofing off" on occasion and loving every minute of it (with no guilt) was the most productive thing you could do? And as a result of "goofing off", you got that phone call you have been waiting for.
• Who’s to say that daydreaming is futile/useless and is only for the lazy people who want to live in their delusional world? What if living in that "delusional world" (the one that makes you feel good) is exactly what will bring you what you desire in life? When you "act as if " what you desire is already here, before it even comes, that’s when it will come!
• Who’s to say that you have to join a dating site to meet your perfect mate? Maybe you just have to follow what will bring you joy for
that day, go to a coffee shop and enjoy your coffee with your favorite scone and BAM .. he or she just shows up?
• Who’s to say that you have to eat all the right foods to be healthy? What if you just had to think the right thoughts? What if having
abundant energy and vibrant health wasn’t so hard and it was easier than you thought? Imagine that.
• Who’s to say that when you are diagnosed with a chronic health condition that it has to change your life for the worst? You can treat it like "just another bump in the road" like I did, and turn it into one of your greatest success stories and live a more rich and fulfilling life than you did before!
• Who’s to say that your doctor or any other medical professional knows "everything" there is to know about how your future health
will unfold? What if the ONLY thing that determined your overall health from this moment forward was your attitude and mindset, no matter what you are currently experiencing.
• Who’s to say that growing your business is about doing all the right marketing? What if growing your business was conditional on one thing and one thing only … that you were feeling JOY with every action step you took? That you only take "inspired" action steps, instead of forcing yourself to do things because you "have to" or "should."
• Who’s to say that you can’t have it all? Maybe you can "have it all" and then some!
• Who’s to say that when your day didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to that it was a wasted day? Maybe those series of events that seemed like pointless detours are the exact pathway to creating the life you desire. If only you could RELAX about how your day went and embrace the attitude of "it is what it is", "all is well" and ask out loud "how does it get any better than this?" And just TRUST that you will be shown how it does!
• Who’s to say that YOU have to figure it all out? What if YOU just made feeling good your #1 priority and as a result of that, the
Universe delivered to you the HOW of unfolding your dream! AND you were grounded in the present moment so that you could receive the HOW insights!
• Who’s to say that money can’t just show up out of nowhere? It happens all the time. It can! I am sending you a "You’ve Got Money" vibe right now! You just have to be open to receiving money by loving your life, loving YOU and treating money with abundant love, knowing that it will always be there to take care of you.
• Who’s to say that you have to work hard to get all the luxuries of life? I know people that "play hard" and get all the same things.
And they are happier than the ones that work hard! Isn’t happiness the ultimate goal any way? Isn't being happy the "luxury" we are all looking for? Funny thing … we don’t have to look very far, because happiness is found within.
• Who’s to say that all those judgments others have of you has to impact your joy? What if all that mattered was that you got rid of your OWN judgments of yourself and your life?
• Who’s to say what the definition of "family" is? What if that’s all it was – which is a biggie – is where abundant love exists.
Follow your "feel good". Challenge everything you have bought into and realize that it is not the "law of the land". If it doesn’t feel good, then you need to craft a new story and that my friend, is the key to actualizing your greatest desires and dreams.
Sending you abundant HUGS and Lovin' Life vibes that are felt to the core of your being!
Maria Lesetz is a contributing writer for Connextions Magazine. This article was featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 7.
You have dreams that you would like to live out. You have areas of your life that you really want to change for the better. But there is one thing that you don’t have that will stop you from realizing your dreams and desires … an unwavering BELIEF that it CAN happen, no matter what you are facing right now in your life.
With another New Year upon us, it got me thinking about what I can share with you that would positively impact how your 2012 will unfold and have a significant impact on what is possible for you to create in this upcoming year. Imagine if this year could end up being your BEST YEAR YET and that’s all you had to do was just change one thing. How cool would that be?
I started thinking about things that I want to change in my own life that sometimes seem like they are taking longer than I would like them to. Do you ever have that feeling? (I am seeing your head nod!)
I truly believe that if we look for the "proof positive", we will find it. This works both ways, because if you look for the "negative proof", you will find that too! What you choose to give your attention to, strongly impacts what you attract next into your life.
So, I decided to look for the "proof positive". I looked back on my life and thought about something that I changed for the positive, that at the time seemed almost impossible ... it was a BIGGIE, and there seemed to be no proof in front of me that it could change drastically for the better.
I took a pen and paper and started jotting down what I did during those times that I could learn from and apply in other areas of my life that aren't changing as quickly as I would like them to.
And it made me think about answering this question:
What does it take to have 100% Faith and Belief when there is NO proof in front of you that what you desire to change in your life is ever going to happen? (and how the heck do you get there?!)
This brought to mind the time when I was diagnosed with MS. There was something different I did with that adversity ... something that has a lesson in it for everyone who wants to change any area of their life that seems really challenging - those areas of your life where it is very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here's what I did differently or chose to embrace that resulted in a positive outcome for me: (Note … you can apply this to ANY area of your life that you want to change!)
- A conviction of "Hell No", this is not the way it is going to be. I decide.
- A detachment from how or when it is going to turn around; An openness to LET GO of that HOW.
- No self-imposed time restrictions – just knowing it will be fine.
- A belief that it doesn’t have to be that way, things can get better and will.
- A deserving feeling … one that said "I am worth it. I deserve to experience great health!"
- Proof that I had already succeeded at losing excess weight after many years (70 lbs) – knowing that even if it took a long time, I DID IT!
- Having something to live for / look forward to ... I focused on the blessings I did have in my life: the love of my life, the beautiful home I had, etc.
- A strength that came from within (maybe linked to being the strong one in the family) – queen of the emotional fortress. (got to "buck up" here)
- A declaration to the Universe / God of my desire to be drug-free – experiencing great health and taking excellent care of my body the natural way. I declared to the Universe OUTLOUD "I don't know HOW this is going to happen, but one day I will be drug-free!" And IT HAPPENED!
- Having the seed planted in my head by a doctor who said "this can be just a bump in the road". Even though the way he meant it was not the way I took it, the message still resonated on a very deep level and I just took it to the extreme positive. What would it take for you to embrace the attitude of ..."This is just another bump in the road of my life and I will get over it!"
- I had a plan and made a clear-cut decision that from here on in I was going to make my overall health and well-being my #1 priority. I decided to eliminate all sources of stress, since stress is the cause of most illness and dis-ease! And boy, did that have a positive impact!
So, what did you learn from this list?
Can you see where you can apply many of these steps to that one area of your life that you really want to change?
What did you notice as a common theme throughout each of these steps?
I decided that things were going to be different, even when what was in front of me didn't point to that.
I decided. I chose my future path before there was any proof that it could show up.
What would it take for YOU to make a 180 degree change in the #1 area of your life that you constantly want to improve?
What attitude would you have to embody and embrace in order to watch 2012 unfold as your best year yet?
Anything is possible. Can you feel the energy of that right now?
As featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 6.
The integral assessment process helps us to identify urgent areas of distress. This exercise connects you with the natural rhythm of your mind and body. Through meditation, we learn to calm our minds and begin to analyze the roots of the problems that are causing distress in our system, whether they are psychospiritual, biological, interpersonal or worldly. We learn to focus from healing to the integral development growth process, in order to continue to evolve.
This process allows us to resolve any problems and get the necessary tools available to overcome those difficult moments. For example, this process allows me to surpass the situations that my body goes through and its changes and the relationships that I have with the world and those close to me. The area that I always seem to go back to is my personality and my temperament and how I can handle them better.
The universal loving kindness meditation is a meditation exercise, which begins with closing your eyes for a few minutes and easing into the natural rhythm of your mind and body. After you are able to connect your mind and body, you must repeat four different phrases for 10 minutes. The phrases deal with wishing all individuals "well, good health, happiness and wholeness," by allowing the person meditating to become the tool that helps them achieve these goals.
I feel empowered when I am able to see another person in my mind and be present with him/her, this feeling makes me feel as one with another person. This is the opportunity that we have to connect with someone other than ourselves, especially when people are going through so many things in life. For example, I remember those mothers and fathers who may have lost a child, those husbands or wives who have lost their significant other, those children who are now orphans. I even ask for those who have no one next to them and feel alone, sad and desperate. I feel those experiences are a healing process for me and make me grow spiritually; and that is a good thing because this is the final leap to personal development.
The quickest method to meditate and to be able to recharge our batteries is the morning shower. When you are in the shower in the morning, before you finish and begin your day, take a minute a day to just focus on the water hitting your head. Don’t think on anything else, just feel the warmth of the water, and feel it running from the top of your head all the way to the bottom of your feet. Eventually, you can increase to two minutes and so on, until you can do this for five minutes. It is extremely important to take at least one minute of the day just for yourself. I consider this a gift to us.