Every Day is Earth Day

So I am a few days late for an Earth Day post, but truly, every day is Earth Day. This place is our home 365 days a year, so perhaps it would be wise to live here with awareness, respect, and intentionality as much as possible.

We are stewards of this land. I think we forget sometimes our inextricable link to this home we call Earth. We forget that our health and wellness as a species is entirely dependent on Her health and wellness. The stewardship of the Earth is not any one nation’s problem or issue, it is a human issue.

With that, I have listed below 7 Easy Ways to Honor Mother Earth:

1. Avoid massive amounts of packaging.

  • Skip the supermarket and try shopping at your local farmer’s market. Not only will you reduce waste from packaging, but you will be able to enjoy fresh, ripe, local, and seasonal foods.

  • You can either buy glass jars like these Ball Jars on Amazon (Made in USA) or just save the glass jars from honey, nut butter, coconut oil etc. and repurpose them to hold bulk food items.

  • Find a local Co-Op or health food store with a bulk section and purchase items like rice, granola, cacao, flour, nuts, tea etc. there. That way you can avoid using packaged goods and you can buy just the amount you are going to use to avoid food waste.

 

2. Reduce Needless Waste.

  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags or use paper bags as trash bags and recycling bags. These African-made baskets are my favorite!

  • Bring your own produce bags like these ones (Made in USA).

 

3. Create a little Earth-friendly travel kit to put in your car or bag.

    What to put in your travel kit:

 

4. Save Water.

  • Put a jar in your sink and in your shower to collect gray water and use this to water your plants.

  • Don’t flush the toilet unless you have to...ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little pee!

 

5. Say a little prayer.

Give thanks and say a little prayer before you eat to acknowledge the bounty in front of you and honor the hard work of the many individuals who helped bring it to your plate.

 

6. Compost.

First, grab yourself a kitchen compost container like this eco recycled plastic one. If you have a garden buy a compost bin or make your own (for tips and further information head here). If you live in the city without a garden find a local Co-op garden to bring your compost to!

 

7. Keep your hood clean!

Organize a beach, neighborhood, or park clean up or just clean up trash as you go about your day! Check out the amazing work that Surfrider does keeping our beaches clean and healthy!

 

 

The Great Mother

The creator and the destroyer. She wields the power to give life and the power to take it away. She sustains me and devours me.

I explore her curves and crevasses. I caress her soft spots and dance around her jagged edges.

She is nurturing and violent. The home to my body vessel in life and in death.

Humbled as I am, I love her unconditionally for she gives of herself without any expectation of return, but return we must.

We must respect her, see her in all her beauty and horror, care for her sacred soul, protect her natural movement toward harmony and wholeness, her innate desire to heal and repair.

The way we have raped, exploited, and ravaged her, mirrors back to me how we relate to the wild feminine in ALL beings. We wish to control, repress, and degrade the raw power that she holds rather than surrendering to the awe she inspires, bowing down in humility to kiss her sweet skin.

I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

 

 

Posted on April 26, 2017 .

Saucha and Self Care

Shot by Vagabond Goods

Within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras lies the Eight-Limbed Yogic Path and within these eight limbs are the Yamas and Niyamas, which are habits and practices that teach yogis how to take yoga off the mat and into their everyday lives as they cultivate health and spiritual enlightenment.

Saucha is one of the many important practices contained in the Niyamas and is translated as purity or cleanliness, referring to both the internal and external worlds of a person. Internally, yogis strive to have healthy bodies, balanced hormones, functioning organs, calm nerves and a clarity of mind. They achieve this by eating clean, pure foods, and by practicing Asana and Pranayama. In relation to the external world of a yogi, Saucha refers to self-care, personal hygiene, and the cleanliness and organization of the personal space. The internal is inextricably linked to the external and we see this in many ways, for example, external spaces tend to mirror the state of our mind. The more scattered our things, the more scattered our minds and vice versa.

As a yogini, my practice of Saucha has changed and transformed over the years as I have committed and recommitted to the yogic way of life and continued to refine my standards of purity and cleanliness.

I grew up on processed foods, I ate poptarts for lunch and fell victim to the marketing schemes of big companies touting the benefits of their toxic products. My subconscious thought was, maybe if I buy that Maybelline product or acne cream then I will be beautiful and worthy of love. Since that time I have learned of the incredibly harmful side effects of using conventional  products, one of which is hormonal imbalance, which can cause acne, PMS, heavy bleeding, no bleeding, weight gain, fatigue, digestive issue, PCOS, Endometriosis, and even difficulty getting pregnant. Not surprisingly, I have since struggled with hormonal imbalance and sensitivity that among other things,  has caused breakouts on my skin throughout my 20s.

I began to switch over to natural products when I went to Tanzania to work for and NGO. We were living in huts with no electricity and no running water, taking bucket showers, and using products that would drain out directly into the earth by our hut. It was the first time that it hit me:

Using conventional products was not only harmful to my body but also the body of mother earth.

From then on, I was adamant about using all natural products but as the years passed I discovered, even “all natural” products have some very sneaky ingredients that definitely did not sound natural and after continued research I found that many of the products I bought at health food stores were nearly as bad as the conventional stuff. As a result, I have continually disposed of personal care products as I learn the truth of the industry.

I recently went through a major purge after listening to Daniel Vitalis’ podcast “Rewild Yourself,” where he interviewed Nadine Artemis, a beauty philosopher and founder of Living Libations. They discussed how to best care for your skin and I was blown away by her knowledge and integrity. As a result I have completely transformed my self care regimen yet again and have a feeling that this one is here to stay, finally! (I highly recommend taking the time to listen!)

I am aware that it can be very challenging to give up our personal care products and I think women have an especially difficult time with this, simply because we use so many! Truly natural products can feel quite different from their conventional counterparts, lotions might feel oily, toothpaste might taste different and have an unfamiliar texture, shampoo might make your hair feel flat or not as silky, but over time as we heal, our bodies adapt to natural products and, speaking for myself, have incredible results. 

Through this podcast, I found Living Libations and now swear by it. The founder and CEO of the company is a real wellness warrior woman, she uses only the purest and most natural, beneficial ingredients in her products, everything is unadulterated and from the earth. I plan on buying all my future beauty products from this company because I trust her standard of purity and since using some of her skin products I have no longer felt the need to wear makeup to cover up breakouts, because my skin is clear and glowing!

More on Living Libations:

  • If you are local and live in Venice, she has a storefront! The women there are extremely helpful and understanding, check them out!
  • If you are not local, she has an extremely extensive line of products on her website livinglibations.com (the site has a bit of a 90s feel, but it has some really incredible information).
  • Currently I use her face oil called Best Skin Ever Rose which I use to oil wash my skin and as a moisturizer for my face and neck, BeDew Dab for spot treatment of pimples, and Happy Gums Clay Toothpaste.
  • For more information on harmful ingredients check out her blog post here.
  • If you’re curious about the best way to care for your teeth and mouth check out her information on successful self dentistry see here.

At Your Local Health Food Store:

  • If you just want to grab products at your local health food store try the oil cleansing method using pure, organic jojoba oil which mimics the skin’s natural oils and has an incredibly long shelf life, just make sure you’re always getting the good stuff!
  • You can use pure, organic rosemary, lavender, or tea tree essential oils to spot treating acne.
  • I really like Booda Butter as lotion (doubles as low SPF sunscreen).
  • You can use pure, organic sandalwood essential oil  for your underarms.
  • You can use raw organic honey or clay as a facial mask.
  • You can try clay toothpastes from the store and see which one you like.

**I have no affiliation with Living Libations, I am merely a big fan of the products and I wish to spread the love and see the world get healthier and happier!**
 

Again, if you are interested in checking out the Daniel Vitalis Podcast go here!

 

 

Posted on September 12, 2016 .

The DivaCup Rocks My World!

We bleed. We bleed the vital elixir that blesses us with the ability to create life. We bleed each month following the sweet cycle of the moon. We ebb and flow like the  ocean tide. We shed, we release, we let go. How sacred, to be connected to the cyclical nature of all things. We must slow down and take time for self care, to nest  and to nurture ourselves.

I am so grateful to be a woman, a creator of life, a mother to all, a sister, daughter and friend.

I exude the power of the divine feminine and I bleed.

 

 

Since I’m all for talking about the things that may seem taboo to some, let’s talk about menstruation! Our periods are not scary, or gross, they are sacred and divine.

Why aren’t we talking more openly about our periods?! Let’s talk about menstruation with our boyfriends, our sisters, our mothers, our children, our next door neighbors, the guy behind the counter at the corner store!  Okay maybe not the last two, but you get my point…

I remember when I was a young girl how much of a mystery my body was, how much shame was associated with my period and how embarrassed I was to tell my parents that I had gotten it (actually, I don’t think I ever told them...surprise Mom and Dad!).

On the flip side, I felt like I was finally part of the club, I was becoming a woman, I could talk the lingo with my girlfriends and ask them for tampons at school and complain about cramps, yay!

Needless to say I was pretty clueless and didn’t have much guidance in this department, so I would buy conventional tampons and pads. As the years passed, I finally wised up on my tampon game, I switched from toxic tampax (I don’t even want to think about those things did to my body)  to all natural organic cotton tampons sans applicator.

About three years ago, I took it a step further and began using the DivaCup and haven’t looked back.

Here’s why I am wild about my Diva Cup:

  • Sustainability- instead of disposing of my cotton tampons into our landfills I use the Diva Cup, which is a reusable silicone cup that I can use  month after month

  • Economical- instead of spending at least $10 a month on  a box of cotton tampons, I spent ~$40 on my Diva Cup and will use it for at least one year

  • Connection- perhaps most importantly, I have never been so in touch with my own body, to actually see the color and consistency of my menstrual blood each day of my cycle has been such an exciting and educational experience as these can be indicators of healthy or potentially imbalanced hormones.

If you’re still not into the idea of the Diva Cup, I get it, it takes some warming up to, but please consider, for the health of your body, going 100% organic for all of your lady products and buying tampons without wasteful applicators, you won’t regret it :)

Much love to you!

 

Posted on June 16, 2016 .