Friday, December 31, 2010

A tool for you...

Hello Everyone,

I know a million and one people are writing about their resolutions this time of year so I thought instead of writing about what mine are going to be, I would give you a tool to help you figure out yours.  Check out this little worksheet which may provide you with some insight on your accomplishments from this previous year and a few ways to think about 2011 and what it has in store for you.

You can scroll below, or DOWNLOAD FROM THIS LINK.

Most of all...have fun!  That's what New Year's is about right?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cookie Success!

Hi Everyone!  I love these cookies, and I want to share them with please enjoy...

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are one of the standards of our Christmas baking celebrations.  They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  The crunchy pecans and tart-sweetness of the cranberries really make a complex and well rounded flavor and texture.  They are really, really delicious!

Makes about 48 cookies
2 C all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
1 C (2 sticks) Earth Balance, room temp
1 C granulated white sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
2 flax eggs (2 ½ T flax meal 6 T water)
1-3 t vanilla
1-2 pinch cinnamon (or ½ t? ish)
1 pinch nutmeg
2 C oats
1 C dried cranberries
1 C chopped pecans

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flax and water in a separate dish and let gel up.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
Beat Earth Balance in a bowl until softened (but not liquidy).  Beat in flax eggs until well combined.
Beat in vanilla.
Beat in sugar.
Mix in flour with rubber spatula.
Mix on low for 5 seconds.  Batter will be thick.
Stir in oats, cranberries and pecans.
Drop by the rounded tablespoon onto parchment cookie sheet, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart. (Try to keep the dough cool in between baking sessions, I keep mine in the fridge)
Cook 11 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool cookies on sheets for 1-2 minutes then transfer to cookie racks and cool completely (or eat while hot!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Relational Awareness

Relational Awareness is a class that Ruben and I just completed with an esteemed colleague, Donna Blethen.  We will be doing more of them as a series, and I look forward to additional people attending.  It was really a great class!  Here is the flyer for the class from yesterday to give you a sneak peak about what future classes may contain.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thirty Things

As I turned 30 years old this weekend I realized that it might be a good idea to think about the culmination of these years.  What does it mean to begin living in my thirties? Does it mean anything?  What I came up with is pretty simple.  Thirty things that I know, think, feel and love...right here for the world to see.  It may be interesting to you, it may not be...but I thought I would share with anyone willing to read.  

Thirty Things for Thirty Years

1. I am so grateful for finding my soul mate. If you know me, you know my story...and it is truly magical.
2. Grandparents are a treasure I wish all people were able to enjoy. I have learned so much from my beloved grand-generation. Without their love, support and wisdom I would not be where I am today. I am truly grateful for every moment I am able to share with them. And, even though I do not spend nearly enough time with each of them, I feel them close to my heart at all times.
3. Siblings are Spectacular. I never knew being a sibling could be so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have such amazing sisters and brothers. They have taught me so much about compassion, love, growth and connectedness. I have learned that while I may be drastically different in many doesn't matter. What holds us together is stronger than our beliefs, behaviors and idiosyncrasies.
4. Being kind to myself is harder than I thought it would be. It might sound funny, but I can be nicer to other people than I can be to myself. I'm still learning the art of kindness and love when directed inward. The nice thing about learning this art is that when I am able to act loving toward myself it creates a more authentic connection with those that I know and love.
5. I have to live with myself. Advice comes from every direction...but I get to wake up to this fair headed mug every morning, so what I do needs to count for me and no one else.
6. Forcing and manipulating people into doing what you want are two sides to the same coin. I see many people flipping back and forth...using scare tactics, guilt and worry to manipulate people into acting certain ways. If that doesn't work, they'll often try brute force. Either method is useless for creating a better world, and noticing that I was guilty of this behavior was the first step in stopping the cycle.
7. Killing is complex. Period. No matter what your belief system is, there are no clear answers on the life-death cycle. I've learned to listen to my conscious, (see #5).
8. Solitude is golden.
9. Everyone likes to communicate differently. If you want to get in touch with me, it probably won’t be by phone. As I learn more and more about who I am, it becomes increasingly clear that I am most easily reached by electronic communication. I find it easier to communicate, respond and interact through the ethers of the interweb.
10. Snoozing during the day is the best! And I love doing it with those I love the most. Come on over any day and plop down to a relaxing show on the Tele and some popcorn, you won’t hear me complain.
11. I love to bake! Actually, I love the product of delicious baked goods, and baking them is how I get from point A to point B. Vegan baking has become somewhat of a hobby of mine, and I love surprising folks who don’t believe that vegan treats can be yummy.
12. Time is relative. Some “times” seem fast, other “times” seem slow. It’s all perspective, and having control over my reality can be a lot of fun, when I remember to use it.
13. Sometimes I have this nagging feeling that I’m getting too old for ‘this’ or ‘that’. But then I remember all of those amazing individuals who accomplished great things in the later years of their lives and I am encouraged to follow my dreams.
14. My best friends in the world are those that I need not say anything to. We can sit and enjoy each other’s presence without words, without small talk and without insincere emotions. We are real, honest and if time passes between our meetings we pick up right where we left off.
15. Coffee is delicious.
16. When I retire, I’d like to own and run Churro cart.. I have so many fond memories of eating Churros with my Grandpa, and I want to be able to contribute to those great memories for someone else. (and...they’re super yummy)
17. In my darkest moments, I still know everything will be alright. I can thank my Grandmother Carol for this belief. She taught me that no matter what, everything and everyone will be alright and taken care of.
18. I enjoy being a little eccentric. And, I think everyone IS a little eccentric when they’re allowed to fully express themselves. My Nana taught me this. She is brilliant, strong, determined, sweet, sensitive, funny and unique. She does things because of her convictions and not because someone else told her to do it. I can only hope to inherit some of these qualities.
19. Learning never ends. Formal schooling aside, I will never cease learning. Everyday I am fortunate enough to have a spark of realization, a download of new knowledge or a moment of insight. I look forward to these.
20. Never underestimate the power of Listening.  I still find myself wanting to add my input to most everything.  However, when I can just listen to the other person and soak it in…this is when the best moments develop.
21. My life did not end when I turned 21.  I had a mini-breakdown when I reached the age of 21, realizing that I hadn’t accomplished all that I had hoped to by that age.  I understand now that I was exactly where I was supposed to be at the perfect time.  Just like every other moment in my life.
22. If I don’t like something another person is doing and if I find their behavior annoying, irritating, or bothersome.  I can almost guarantee you that I am guilty of EXACTLY what they are doing.  It’s a great reminder that my work here is not complete, and we are all doing the best we can.
23. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.  But I do know that if I keep chugging along, doing things that bring something positive to my life, other’s lives, and the world, then I’m on the right path.  It’s not about ‘doing’ something with my life…it’s about ‘being’ in my life and spreading the goodness.
24. Pets, and the animals in our lives, are a direct reflection of us and what is happening within our lives, internally and externally.  They offer us a mirror to our souls with their gifts of unconditional love.  If you do not have pets, your environment will act similarly as a reflection.  All you need to do is take a look around to get a good idea of what is happening with you, your spirit and your life.
25. Everyone is psychic, everyone is intuitive and we are all connected.  I have no doubts or qualms about this, at all.
26. The soul never dies.  This point has been made obvious and apparent to me again recently, and it is such a great reminder during any difficult times.  Our souls are everlasting, always alive and inextinguishable.
27. Without my Mom I would never have learned the following
a.    One should be cautious of those who do not like animals or who mistreat their pets.  
b.   One should always add a bit of pickle juice when preparing potato salad.
c.    Don’t fill up on snacks before dinner.
d.   Diversity is beautiful.  People (and probably aliens) come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, religious, sexual orientations and ethnicities.  Love and treat everyone equally.
28. Humor is essential in daily life.  Without laughing my life would be dull, boring and unmoving.  If you can make me laugh, we’ll be good friends...
29. Music speaks to my heart and soul.  A good piece of music will lift my spirits, give me goose bumps and make me weep.  It is so important for a balanced life.
30. God is all there is.  Love is all there is.  Is, is all there is.

And of course, there are more than thirty things to write about.  But, these are the things that came to me when I asked.  Maybe one day when I turn 60 I can look back at this list and say to myself, “Wow, you were so young and knew nothing.” or perhaps I say “Wow, you were so wise beyond your years.”  Haha!  I think I like the second one better.  I’ll stick with that.

Happy October 2010 Everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

React, Respond

Just let it go, Renata.  That’s what I kept telling myself for the last two days.  But for some reason there’s still another lesson to learn.  So what is it?

For the last two days I feel as if I’ve been in a spiritual growth spurt.  While I’m learning and ‘knowing’ a lot, it hasn’t been painless to say the least.  I’ve been triggered left and right by those I know and love, as well as perfect strangers.  So, of course, the common denominator is me.  And, what in heaven’s name am I trying to teach myself?

Well, without getting uber-specific about what has been happening I can tell you these things have come to the surface for me.

  • Feelings of anger, irritation, rage and disbelief.
  • Having the desire or need to “prove my position”.
  • Wanting to react with sarcasm, snide comments and rudeness.
  • Confusion about why people feel, act and behave in certain ways. 
  • Not understanding the motives of those whom I thought I knew.

I usually consider myself the type of person that can see all sides to a situation. While I may not agree with every side, I can understand why one would have a belief or act in certain ways.  However, with some of the pressing issues that are occurring presently, I’m at a loss.  I just don’t understand why people believe the things they do.  On top of that, I’m saddened by the shock that some of these people are the closest to me, and I can’t understand them.

Part of me wants to rant and rave about how ridiculous they are and how their beliefs are destroying the world.  But, that won’t do any good.  And, it certainly is not the way I want to respond.

The biggest lesson thus far over the last two days, is that I’m learning how much more adept I have become at responding to a situation rather than reacting.  I would say that for most of my life I have reacted to any given stimulus, without taking all of the variables into consideration.  Now, I feel much more comfortable letting something sit with me for awhile, even if it is uncomfortable.  And, asking myself; how do you REALLY want to respond to this?  What type of person are you, and how would that person respond to this situation?

So for now, I’m sitting, in an uncomfortable and receptive position, waiting for the perfect response to an imperfect situation.  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

om of the day

If you haven't yet checked out my newest "baby" I encourage you to go there now...

Love & Peace!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God’s got a Sixth Sense of Humor.

What does the sixth sense mean to you? 

This morning in the car my hubby was singing this Depeche Mode song and one of the lines is:  I think that God has a sick sense of humor.  Well, it made me think about God having a sixth sense of humor.  And, if it is God…why wouldn’t it be a sixth sense of humor.  I mean, isn’t the sixth sense all about extra sensory perception?  And, isn’t that part of the definition of God?  Limitless, boundless, all knowing and pervasive.  If so, it occurs to me that God might have a sense of humor, and if there were such a sense of humor to be had…I’m SURE it would be extra sensory, perhaps even seventh sensory or eighth!  I wonder what that would be like. 

And of course, if you bring into the equation that we are all a part of this all-knowing force, perhaps it eludes to the notion that we too, have a sixth sense of humor.

I thought it was ponder-ific anyway, and I thought I would share.

Here’s to another beautiful, wonderful day, full of sixth sensory humor!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet Sunday!

Sometimes there’s nothing better than making something delicious and nutritious to share with those I love.  This morning I woke up and had an urge to make something yummy…and this is what came of it. 

 I’m not sure what to call them yet, but they are crispy, gooey, crunchy and tasty!  Rice puffs, nuts, seeds, almond butter and brown rice syrup all mixed together (oh yeah, a touch of vanilla too!).  Kind of like a sticky treat to enjoy with a hot cuppa coffee.  Scrumptious Sunday Sweets…that sounds good to me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy 111 Everyone!

January 11th, 1/11,  I like 111, it’s a great number.  Three ones make 3 which is all about communication and self-expression.  The number 1 is about individuality, determination and independence.  So my questions for the day then, are; How will you express your own creativity today?  How will you stand out as unique and independent, and share with the world your inner gems of perception?  What do you know to be true and how can you communicate it to the world around you?

One way to try this hat on today would be to think about something that you do, say or think that is your very own.  It could be anything from how you enjoy making your cup of coffee in the morning to your ritual for falling asleep at night.  Anything that is uniquely yours.  Think of this thing, and share it with one person today.  If possible, show them in a distinct way that is significant to you. 

In this process of sharing something personal, you will notice a part of you opening up that you may not have been aware of before. Give it a nod and a smile, and realize that no matter what it is that you shared, you shared a part of yourself with the humanity and have connected with others around you in a more personal way.  If needed, rinse and repeat.