MY MYSTICAL LIFE: AN INVITATION TO CHOOSE PEACE, EVERY DAY

Our #TuneInPeaceOut initiative is an invitation to choose peace, every day and in every way…

:: MONDAY ::
Got to see Deepak “the don” Chopra speak live for the first time, at the launch of his Radical Beauty book with nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. TOTALLY get why he is who he is. The charisma! The effortless way with a deeply spiritual insight! A fave takeaway were his quotes about our relationship to our bodies: “Your body is an activity, not a thing. It’s not a sculpture it’s a river.” And how, since our cells are in a continual process of rejuvenation: “I’ve had this jacket longer than the body I’m wearing today.”

:: TUESDAY ::
Another day, another book about feeding our body right with Nicole Centeno’s Soup Cleanse Cookbook. Nicole is the founder of Splendid Spoon, one of our sponsors at Club SÖDA NYC, and she’s all about the healing power of soup. As Nicole tells it, souping changed her life (a low-calorie way to stay fuller for longer, the mindfulness of making soup, AND a totally practical way to cook and eat big batches of seasonal veg). All I really need to know is, my body just sort of gives me a big, cozy hug from the inside just looking at some of her recipes—which feels like an intuitive “yes” to a lot more souping this fall to me.

With Juquille, Eddie, Jaytaun, Tyrell and Raheem of the Urban Yogis, and Erica and Prince of Life Camp.

:: WEDNESDAY :: (Lots to say here, you might want to go make a cup of tea first…)
So roughly three weeks ago, I had the idea for #TuneInPeaceOut—an initiative to celebrate the UN’s International Day of Peace. This following some work I did with my coach Cherie Healey, when I was thinking about the big, underlying message of The Numinous. “If I gave you the loudest megaphone in the world, and put you on top of the highest mountain, what would you say to the world?” she asked. The words came immediately: “Can everybody just stop fighting. We’re all human. We all have the same needs, and the same fears. Please can we remember that we’re here to help each other work it out?”

Because essentially (besides me just being a massive pacifist), all the practices, philosophies, and ways of healing that we cover on The Numinous are about forging a deeper connection to our true nature—and therefore a deeper sense of connection to ourselves, and to each other. Two things I believe are fundamental to any conversation about creating more peace in our (inner and outer) world. This since a) connection to self is what fosters the resilience needed to respond to life’s trials in a calm, non-reactive way; and b) it becomes pretty much impossible to want to harm somebody once you recognize that we are all part of one big human family!

And then “Summer 2016” happened. Week after week we were slammed with reminders of the rampant divisiveness, hatred and violence in our world right now, and often stemming from a place of separation, of “us” v. “them.” Which is not exactly anything new. Bombings, shootings, rape, hate crimes, and other acts of terrorism are happening all over the world, every day. But what struck me was the emotional charge in the way we responded to the events of this summer. How personally we all took each heart-wrenching episode of violence and injustice.

I think this is because we’ve reached a tipping point in how we consume our news. It used to be that we first heard of such inhumane acts as mass shootings and racist police brutality from people in suits, reading from scripts, in newsrooms far away. Now, this information first reaches us via our social media feeds—the same place we connect with our family and friends, and share our own lives with those we love. As a result, it has become impossible not to empathize with the people being violated against as we would our own brothers and sisters, parents, friends, and colleagues. The veil of separation dissolves…and we are reminded that we are all part of one big human family.

And with this, comes the remembrance that it is all of our responsibility to look out for one another. To speak up. Literally. Like, “WTF, that’s not how we do things in THIS family!!” No matter how scary, or how uncomfortable this might feel. And to take whatever (non-violent!) action we can to change up the status quo.

The above is pretty much how I introduced my event in NYC for #TuneInPeaceOut, which ended up being one of 20 or so IRL gatherings held by the Numinous tribe globally. Earlier in the day I also hosted a live webinar with Bri Luna from The Hoodwitch and my dear friend and collaborator Alexandra Roxo (you can listen to the recording here), in which we spelled out what this initiative is really all about—empowering all of us to use our voice and take action to choose peace, and help create more peaceful communities from the ground up.

After all, as a friend in the UK pointed out on one of my posts about #TuneInPeaceOut, since it was inaugurated in 1981, it would not appear that the UN’s International Day of Peace has actually done much to end—or even lessen—violence. Since September 21 was subsequently declared a day of of ceasefire and non-violence in 2001, US military spending has increased dramatically—rising from under $400 billion to almost $800 billion in 2011 (there has been a slight drop during Obama’s presidency, but spending is projected to increase again in 2017). I see this as yet another reminder that it is actually on YOU AND ME to demand a different way of resolving conflict. That the power, truly, must be claimed by the people.

This message is why I partnered with the amazing Urban Yogis for my event tonight, since here are some people who are walking the freaking talk. Based in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood where violent street crime fueled by prejudice and lack of opportunity is a way of life, the courageous and progressive human beings behind this initiative are bringing the tools of yoga and meditation into their local community. The results? Less reactivity. Less violence. More listening. Increased feelings of self-worth, leading to more empowered and empowering lifestyle choices.

And, most importantly, the slow chipping away of stereotypes (about the “kind of people” who do yoga, for example—or who perpetrate violent crimes) that are the sick, Monsanto seed of so much separation, fear, and hate.

“Real change needs all year round effort, not just a day,” my friend noted. And I could not agree more. Which is why it is my sincere hope that the conversations sparked by #TuneInPeaceOut will continue today, tomorrow, and every day going forward. That we will continue to choose peace every step of the way. On our webinar, we asked people to share what this looked like in their lives, and what they do to bring more peace to their communities, so we could all be inspired by each others efforts. I’ve created a post with the transcript from our chat. Check it out here—and add your feedback in the comments, so we can keep the conversation alive.

:: THURSDAY ::
Pulled the above card in a mini meeting oracle deck reading with my girl Lisa Barner. Thanks for listening, angels.

:: FRIDAY ::
And all that said, with the Moon in Cancer today, sign of nurture and self-care, I shall be mainly tuning in…and peace’ing out.

GASTROLOGY: A RECIPE FOR VIRGO SEASON

A unconventional lentil soup is the perfect recipe for Virgo season…Concept and styling: Georgia Ashdown, Dish Pig; Words: Mojave Rising; Recipe: Alex Watts, Dish Pig; Image: Chris Chen

Virgo season conjures careful concoctions, herbaceous blends, process-based cooking, and the delicious sensation of detoxification. The zodiac’s most meticulous minx invites us to break out our measuring cups and to revel in acts of sorting, discerning, and finely chopping.

It’s a month to celebrate how singular flavors contribute to the integrity of the whole, hearty stew of being human, and how complex proportions demonstrate that in doing the difficult work we are sumptuously rewarded for our care.

We’ve chosen a spicy, delightfully intricate yet simple, sweet and sour soup for Virgo season—perfect for channeling the earthy goodness inside masked by outer complexity. There’s also the collisions between perfectly proportioned piles and the glorious moment of blending, where we let distinction merge with the world as it is and serve it on up.

Astrology’s so-called “virgin” is actually a wild, witchy woman who lives by her own code and gathers provisions for a proprietary brew befitting a self-contained queen of everyday alchemy. Her soup is for celebrating each piece of ourselves: from the tangy lime cheeks, to the sweet, sweet coconut cream on top!

RECIPE FOR VIRGO SEASON :: SWEET AND SOUR LENTIL SOUP

serves 4-6

Chefs notes ~ with the addition of some a dollop of coconut cream and harissa this soup can really come to life.

1 red onion diced
1 red capsicum, charred and peeled
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground coriander
100ml grapeseed oil
600g Kumera diced approx. 1cm
4 ripe tomatoes diced
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 long red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
1tbs tamarind pulp
100 ml boiling water
1 tbs vegan fish sauce
½ tsp tumeric
1 cup Red Lentils, soaked
1.5litres veg stock
1 handful chopped coriander
1 handful shallot (scallion) rounds
2 Lime cheeks

Wash the lentils under cold water, and repeat three times then strain off the water.

Soak the tamarind pulp in boiling water and pass through a sieve to remove seeds.

In a heavy based saucepan, fry the onions and garlic in grape seed oil until, soft but not coloured. Add the chilli & spices and cook for a further 5 mins stirring constantly. Add the kumera, red lentils, tomato, tamarind, red capsicum and veg stock. Cook until the Kumera just begins to soften and remove from heat.

Season with fish sauce, chopped herbs and serve with a grilled lime cheek.

THE MAGIC INGREDIENT: HAVE A HIGH-VIBE THANKSGIVING

Blindside your folks with these tasty vegan, gluten-free dishes, for a totally high-vibe Thanksgiving y’all! Recipes by Raquel Griffin. Photos: Oliver English

:: CHIA CORNBREAD WITH CARROT MAPLE MISO “BUTTER” ::
This is the perfect crowd pleasing vegan, gluten free Thanksgiving comfort food that even your SAD (Standard American Diet) loving relatives will enjoy. And it’s also easy-peasy to make. Vegan, Gluten Free Chia Cornbread with Carrot Maple Miso “Butter”. It’s a recipe. Make this.

Vegan Gluten Free Chia Cornbread
Makes 16 servings
1 – 20 oz. package gluten Ffee cornbread mix (like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 ½ cups fresh almond milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 6 tablespoons water
½ cup coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously grease a 9 x 9-inch pan. Place cornbread mix in large bowl. Add milk, chia and water mixture, and oil. Mix until blended, then mix vigorously for 30 seconds more.Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake until golden-brown, about 25 minutes.

Carrot Maple Miso Butter
Makes 1⅓ Cups
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 6 medium sized carrots)
2 tablespoons chickpea miso (like South River Organic Chickpea Miso)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
Place the carrots into a pot of simmering, salted water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are very easily pierced with a fork. Drain the carrots. Place all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water as needed to get a light, spreadable texture. Store the butter in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to five days. Serve with cornbread.

(Butter recipe adapted from The Full Helping)

:: COZY GREEN SOUP WITH SPICED PUMPKIN SEEDS AND HORSERADISH CREAM ::
This is the perfect winter soup when it’s cold and blustery outside and all you’re looking to do is cozy up under the covers. It also helps that this recipe is pretty flexible and can be whipped up with virtually whatever green items you’ve got on hand – that wilted kale, failing broccoli and any other sad sack green veggies taking up residence in the back of your fridge. Cozy Green Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds & Vegan Horseradish Cream. It’s a recipe. Make this.

Makes 6-8 servings
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup chopped leeks (or onions if you haven’t got leeks)
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups fresh almond milk (or store bought…if you must)
5-6 cups of whatever green veggies you’ve got on hand, roughly chopped
(Escarole, Spinach, kale, purslane, celery, broccoli, even cauliflower will do.)
2.5-3 cups cooked quinoa
1 avocado
2-3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons each of sage, basil & rosemary
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the fresh almond milk
6-8 tablespoons of raw almonds (soaked overnight)
6 cups of filtered water

For the spiced pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or any nut except peanuts
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon smoked salt (garlic salt will also work)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander

For the vegan horseradish cream (optional)
½ cup plain Almond Milk Yogurt (like So Delicious Plain Almond Milk Yogurt)
3-4 tablespoons Vegenaise (or any non-dairy style “mayonnaise”)
1 tablespoon horseradish
Sea salt & fresh black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
To make the cozy green soup: Begin by sautéing the leeks and garlic in a pot until the leeks are translucent. Then add all the chopped vegetables along with the fresh almond milk, basil, sage and rosemary and simmer for 8-10 minute or until veggies are soft. From there, transfer the contents of the pot into your blender or food processor, then add the avocado, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, nutritional yeast and quinoa and blend until mostly smooth (about 2-3 minutes on high). Serve topped with a dollop of horseradish cream and a sprinkling of spiced pumpkin seeds.

To make the fresh almond milk: Combine soaked almonds and water in any high-powered blender and blend on high until the consistency is smooth, frothy and light about 2-3 minutes.

To make the pumpkin seeds: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the seeds with coconut oil and spices. Spread onto a sheet pan and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Cooled pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

To make the horseradish cream: Combine almond milk yogurt, Vegenaise, horseradish, salt and pepper in bowl. Whisk ingredients together until smooth.

 

What’s your favorite high-vibe Thanksgiving dish? Please (really, please) share in the comments below, or show us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

COMFORT EATING: THE FOOD THAT FEEDS MY SOUL

They call today Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year (which, if you’re feeling that way, is really just another reason to enquire after your Dharma, darlings). In the meantime, what better excuse to indulge in some serious soul food. Here, members of the Numinati share the dishes that make us tick…

Healing Blueberry Ginger Oatmeal by Breakfast Criminals

 

:: Ruby Warrington ::
“It’s all about the oatmeal. I went into denial for a phase back there, when the whole green-smoothie-for-breakfast thing kicked in, but now I’m back on the oats I would say I’m starting the day at least 20% happier. I make mine with half water, half almond milk, a handful of raisins (while it’s heating, to plump them up), a sprinkling of cinnamon, maybe some walnuts, and serve with half a banana sliced on top. It’s essentially baby food, creamy and mushy, and reminiscent somewhere at soul level of my first nourishment I guess. I go to bed at night thinking about it, and after my morning oatmeal, I feel full.”

:: Madeline Giles ::
“Baked sweet potato, mashed with melted coconut oil and a bit of pink Himalayan salt. It tastes like salty sweet velvet candy! I love it because it’s super nourishing, easy, energizing, and – something I need the most – grounding. I love sweet things, and while in my mind my favorite food is probably milkshake smoothies from Cafe Gratitude, I’m annoyingly sensitive to even the ‘healthy’ kinds of sugar – so sweet potato has become my go-to.”

:: Dani Katz ::
“I tend to walk a rather intense path, which is reflected in my diet – super clean and sparse and vegan – lots of greens and cultured veggies…simple whole foods that multitask for my body and soul. That being said, my soul food is…brown rice. Brown rice, for me, is like an Amma hug, a little bit of warm, yummy, maternal respite from the challenges of the Earth game, and all the rules I set up for myself in playing it ‘right.’

Here’s how rice became my surrogate mother: Over a decade ago, I combined syrian rue (an MAO inhibitor) with a heroic dose of mushrooms, turned out all the lights in my Los Feliz guest house, and buckled up for the ride. During the trip, I was shown a tiny treasure chest. It took me a minute (or an hour or a lifetime – hard to say on psychedelic time) to think to open the treasure chest, and when I did, I couldn’t have been more shocked to see what was inside:

A grain of brown rice.

I know it’s tied in to a past life (or two, or twelve) as a Tibetan monk. There’s something about the size, and the shape, and the feeling I get as it passes through my lips, and down my throat, and into my belly – I think: Wow, I’ve done this for thousands of years.

Brown rice is familiar. It’s family. It’s home.

Brown rice means me giving myself a break. It’s sattvic. It’s grounding. It reminds me that life doesn’t have to be so hard, and so intense, and I can be cozy and still be on my path, and in alignment. I know that in the grand scheme, brown rice isn’t all that unhealthy, but as a super strict ascetic who rarely allows myself grains or carbs, or anything that isn’t totally packed with nutrients, it is – for me – a little vacation from my otherwise ridiculously disciplined daily routine.”

:: Betsy Cohen ::
“Fresh coconut water from a coconut. I sort of can’t explain it, but it feels like the perfect fuel for what ever I’m needing at the time. It feels like a meal for my mind, body and soul.”

:: Sarah Durham Wilson ::
“My current obsessive soul food is a rich kale salad at night. I have a lot of theories about the powers of green food, mostly that if we want to align with the powers of the Earth, i.e. the powers of self healing, self-regeneration, death, rebirth, cycles and seasons, and infinite wisdom – which is also to say Magic, the forces that govern the universe, then eat as close to the Earth as possible. And if you want to feel alive, eat that which is alive itself. And I’m a vegetarian, so I mean, fruits and vegetables that grow from Mother Earth. Also, green is the color of the heart chakra, which is unconditional love, which is also Source. I feel more ‘sourced’ when I eat rich green foods. I feel more expansive, nourished, and alive. Simply put, food from the ground grounds me.”

:: Jennifer Kass ::
“My soul food is dark leafy greens because they are the highest vibration foods, grown in the sun, made of pure LOVE energy! Greens are the anchor of every meal and I love how I can do them raw when I need that, and cooked when I need something more grounding, and that they’re easy to mix with everything else that I love. They literally feed my soul because they keep my energy high and my connection to spirit wide open with their clean, pure energy.”

:: Victoria Keen ::
“Bone broth all the way! For winter it feels like the best way to infuse my body with warmth and nourishment at soul level. The alchemical act of making my own broth from bones, roots (like burdock and astragalus), seaweeds (like kombu and kelp) and mushrooms (like chaga and maitake) is love itself. This touches me at soul level, and the strengthening, immune building action of the broth itself nourishes the physical body. Essentially, it’s a gentle and powerful homemade medicine. (And p.s. veggie broths can easily be made with the same love and awareness especially fortifying with sea minerals).”

:: Raquel Griffin ::
“Nothing says soul food to me like homemade soup…bone-broth to be exact. Maybe since I cook it myself and get to infuse it with love, herbs and healing magic, it just feels like self-lovin’ in a bowl. And when I’m sick or it’s ridiculously cold out nothing hits the spot quite like it.”

:: Sophie Teakle ::
“Coconut – it gets itself into almost everything I eat, starting in the morning with my porridge…I use heavy coconut milk and simmer it with oats, chia and cinnamon for some serious winter nourishment! I use lighter milk in my tea and coffee, oil in everything I cook, coconut butter in my raw chocolate, and coconut flakes as garnish/in my granola. Coconut is one of the world’s miracle foods.”

:: Laurie Di Biagio :: 
“I am grew up on the Jersey Shore in an Italian American family, and we call Sunday ‘Red Sauce Gravy day’ around these parts. A pot of gravy with meatballs, sausage, and pork chop on the bottom is the classic, but my favorite is to make it with squid and sauteed calamari or blue crabs. Growing up on the water and surrounded by fisherman, the combo of classic Italian comfort and the treasures of the sea bring me home wherever I roam.”

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