“They thought: happiness comes when you are meditative. It was just the other way around: meditation comes when you are happy.” – Osho
Ah-ha or light bulb moments are my favorite part of life. In fact, it’s a quest of mine to have as many light bulb moments as possible. It’s why I teach and coach and read and listen to podcasts and interviews. I love the feeling of figuring out a new tool, strategy, or more importantly, a new way of looking at the world.
I’ve been suspecting it for a few months, but I can’t deny it: I’m having a Pitta flare up. My skin has gotten red and sensitive if I use essential oils directly, my body odor has been a little extra…pungent… and my default crisis mode has moved from worry (a vata trait) to frustration (all pitta).
There are lots of reasons for this increase in Pitta. I already have a pretty strong Pitta constitution. I teach at a heated yoga studio 7 times per week. I’m running a business on my own, and I’m in the midst of planning a wedding. Life is a bit of a juggling act right now, and there’s a lot to exacerbate Pitta energy.
Do you going over your calendar in your head incessantly? Do you find yourself anticipating events hours, days, or weeks in the future? Do you like to make deals with yourself about treating yourself with food, purchases, or TV based on what your schedule is in the future?
This roasted eggplant with vegan tzatziki is a perfect spring meal. This meal is quickly becoming a staple in our house because we love how the tangy vegan yogurt plays together with the warm roasted eggplant. Even though it’s simple enough for a weeknight, I also make this roasted eggplant for many of my cooking classes because the big pieces of roasted eggplant have a meaty quality, and you can eat this dish like you’d eat a steak – it’s a perfect entry point to plant-based eating.
Your potential expands as you move towards it.
Go beyond the immediate “of course!” Answer truly: do you think success is available to you? I was listening to a fabulous talk by the renowned therapist Marisa Peer, and she talked about how a woman she was counseling who lives in the middle of Nebraska felt like the ocean “wasn’t available” to her.
Many of us walk around feeling that SOMETHING isn’t available to us, whether it’s something concrete like the ocean, or something subjective like success, love, happiness, or health.
It’s rare for us to immediately feel what Deepak Chopra calls our “pure potentiality”: the feeling that we could literally be or do anything.
And this feeling – that there’s a primal need that is literally closed off to us – it can cause deep suffering and sadness.
In her talk, Marisa discusses the various ways that her clients or family have felt that things are “unavailable”, and how that can be not just limiting but also destructive.
She ends with a beautiful exercise: hold the newly born you in your arms, cradle him or her, and tell him or her that love is available. Success is available. You are perfect. You are significant.
Marisa believes that we are children of the universe, even more so than children of our parents, and as such, we have the right to everything the world has available.
If you do think there’s some truth to this statement…the next question is what do you do with this insight? Once you recognize that there are crucial pieces of life that feel unavailable…how do you start to turn the vacancy sign on and move in to those places?
Last Saturday, I taught a workshop at the beautiful Take Care Shop in Georgetown about creating positive, productive relationships with the people of all dosha (mind/body) types.
Give Vatas time to make decisions, for example. Communicate clearly and honestly with Pittas. Focus on small, manageable tasks with Kaphas.
But the ultimate conclusion of the workshop was an important one: Finding balance within yourself is the best way to communicate and be in peaceful relationships with people of all three doshas.
It came up many times through the workshop. We run into conflict when we feel that our needs aren’t being met. And while we think that it’s other people not meeting those needs….there’s often the possibility that we could be taking better care of our own needs, too.
That’s the crazy and cool thing: when we feel like we’re giving ourselves the love, attention, space, and care that we need, we don’t have to look to others to give it to us. On the other hand, we get really clear on what it is we do want from a partner, friend, or colleague, and are willing to wait to find it.
So ask yourself: is there something you’re not getting from a specific relationship right now? How can you give that same gift to yourself?
You don’t have to cook fancy complicated masterpieces just good food from fresh ingredients.
This carrot soup has been on replay since last November when we made a vegan (and gluten-free) Thanksgiving. It won the heart of our guests, and we’ve been dreaming about (and cooking) it every since.
Quick sidebar: vegan, gluten-free Thanksgiving was delicious. We all left the table very full, very satisfied, and grateful for darn good food. Shaun made two vegan cheeses from This Cheese is Nuts, we made dinner rolls (made gluten-free using Bob’s Red Mill flour) and pumpkin pie bars from Minimalist Baker, plus my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
I recently read the beautiful book Real Love by Sharon Salzberg. It was a fabulous deep dive into how to express love for ourselves and for others in this crazy world, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The best part about this book (which surprised even me) was that it was the most practical book I have read in a while for teaching you how to express more love for yourself and others. It wasn’t just “you should” but “here’s how to think about this and put it into practice”.
More big ideas to come from Real Love (get the book here!), but here are some of the quotes I highlighted and loved from the book.
The wave was as tall as a house. It crashed into my body, sending me tumbling into the ocean. Underwater for 3, 4, 5, 10 seconds, until finally I found my footing. Within half a minute, there it was again. Me and my family, stranded in the water, unable to reach the safety of the shore.
Luckily, we’ve never actually been in that situation. But in the dream I had last night, it felt incredibly real.
Chocolate, I am sure, is the concrete manifestation of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today – a simple chocolate recipe that’s decadent enough for a Valentine’s Dessert but healthy enough for a simple mid-afternoon snack.
This recipe is based on a recipe I found at Mountain Rose Herbs, one of my favorite resources for tea and herbs.
This is a good recipe for those with a Vata constitution because it includes peanut butter and tahini. Pittas, you can have some, but kaphas, please skip this recipe and head straight to my dark chocolate popcorn!