Wherever my Soul Takes Me

I am the type of person who is always looking for the next place to travel, the next place to lay my head while I learn more of my holistic trade, help others, and write more poetry and stories. I am what most people call a nomad, wanderluster, a wandering hippie who wants to learn everything, see everything, and heal everything. And that is exactly who I am. I am constantly thinking about the next place I want to travel to, and experience the culture surrounding the area. It is in my bones, in my skin, in my heart, and in my soul. This is why I keep a handful of things with me, just a duffel bag of clothes and books, and a backpack.

For three years, I lived in New Mexico, in Taos for a good portion, and Albuquerque for a brief period. While I lived there I ended up going numerous adventures, one long weekend I got in my car and went to Utah and Arizona, and trust me it was amazing. I went to Colorado on numerous occassions to see family and friends, I traveled to Oklahoma to see my parents and younger brother. And at one point I went to California and had a great time. Now, I currently live in Alaska, situated next to Canada, above Washington, and a flight away from New Zealand and Japan. And right now, I can’t wait to see where my soul and feet take me next, because I live for adventures.

When you are nomadic at heart, you are bound to have endless adventures. And there is nothing wrong with that, because that is the soul you were born with. Where do you like to travel? Do you like going on long trips to unknown destinations?

Simple Life, Simple You: Coconut Chocolate Brownies

As many of you know that I am a foodie, I enjoy a lot of different types of food and enjoy creating new recipes for others to enjoy as well. And as many of you know that I am all about healthier versions of foods, which brings to this post. Recently, I have been working on multiple recipes to share with all of you, and this one is the first one I want to share. This recipe is for everyone, and even for those who are looking for something sweet yet a healthier version of the brownies. So, this morning I whipped up a batch and had my roommates try them out, and they loved them!

Brownie Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour
4 tbsp. Gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (melted)
2 tbsp. Brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. Cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 organic eggs
1/4 salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Sauce Ingredients:

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions(brownies):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all wet ingredients thoroughly, then add the dry ingredients. Once batter has been mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
Put batter into a small greased pan, place the pan into the oven for 15 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, add the sauce on top, then place it back into the oven for 5 more minutes. Once done, put brownies into the refrigerator for twenty five minutes to cool down and let the sauce settle.

Directions (sauce):
Whisk all ingredients into a caramel like consistency. When it is at the 10 minute mark, drizzle the sauce over the brownies.

Reconnecting With Yourself

There are times where we need to unplug from our electronic devices, get away from the internet, and the social media wars that seem to plague everyone across the world. The reason for this is to reconnect with ourselves, continue our own growth, and get back to the core of our own being. That is what I have been doing for the past two months, I had rarely made any posts on here, or on any of my social media accounts, because I wanted and needed to reconnect with myself and see where I was going, to see if I was growing in any sense of the word (except for height, because I am always going to be short).

Stepping away from the internet helped me, because I was able to focus more on my poetry, on myself and heal. Knowing that I was starting to become a slave to my electronic devices, I set them aside, and started to focus on myself and see what it was that I needed to do in order to grow more spiritually, personally, and career wise. Plus, I needed to focus on my health. During the two months of not only posting anything, I also ended up not really speaking to many people that I know, this is also due to a fact that I needed a break from socializing, because I was being drained. Drained of my energy, and drained of any thoughts that I harbor. And it was slowly making me depressed and unable to focus on a lot of things.

After spending time by myself, meditating, healing, and just focus on my own well being for a change, it made me happier, and made notice that we all need to make time for ourselves more than just an allotted time each day. And so now, after taking those two months, I figured out how each person, child, woman, or man can create more time to just reconnect with themselves even if they are on a tight schedule and cannot devote an entire month to themselves.

Each morning when you are getting up, or helping your children get ready for school, create a drink  to your liking for each season (hot chocolate or coffee for fall or winter, smoothies or iced tea for spring or summer), to go along with your breakfast. Sit together, you don’t have to speak to each other necessarily, but sit at the same table, and enjoy  the silence or put on some light music, while you prepare yourself for the day ahead. For lunch time, sit by yourself and enjoy your lunch while you read a book, listen to your iPod, or sit with your friends or colleagues and just enjoy a light conversation that doesn’t cause such a big stir (ahem, politics). When it comes to dinner, socialize with your family, talk about your day, enjoy your dinner. But after dinner, make that time for you, and you alone. Put on some music, write in your journal, meditate; just shut out social media for that time period. On your days off, go out into nature, embrace the beauty, the energy that she provides us, and take it all in. Because while you are walking through the hills, forests, mountains, or near by the ocean, your body is healing, your soul is healing. And that is what you are needing.

A lot of people don’t realize that they are needing some time by themselves, so that they can heal, can reconnect with themselves. And that is the problem with social media and the internet, it takes away that time, and instead uses its vortex of search engines and websites to drag you in further, keeping you away from what your body is needing, and what your soul is needing. Always make time for yourself to heal, to reconnect, because if you don’t then you won’t be able to help others. You need to help yourself first before you can help others.

Seeking Answers in Mother Nature

For the past month, I haven’t really written a lot of posts for this site, nor have I really posted anything on my social media accounts, due to the fact that I have been in the process adjusting to my new job, new town, and new state. On top of that, I needed the time to take care of myself, to focus on my health and mentality, and to dive into my art and dreams. 

We’ve all been there, a new place where things seem foreign, a place of isolation even if we know a few people there, a time where we feel a little bit lost and are looking for the right path for us to take, hoping that we can find some sort of guidance to help us out. That’s where I’ve been for the past month. Don’t get me wrong, I love Alaska, it’s truly magnificent and outrageously beautiful. But there has been a few moments of, “is this truly where I’m supposed to be right now?” And so this past month, I had been going out into nature, talking to Mother Earth and seeking answers to my questions, and she answered. 

Being linked to Mother Earth, Father Sky, and my ancestors that roamed around the forests, hills, and mountains, it keeps me grounded, and gives me the ability to receive answers in my dreams. Sometimes they don’t make sense when I’m having the dream, but once they become reality, then I completely understand what they were trying to tell me. And that was what I was dealing with, I had received the answers that I was looking for. 

Not only that, I have been focus on my health and well being, by eating a little differently, going out into nature more since I live just half a mile from a trail that leads up into the mountains. There I can breathe, just stand in silence, and just be happy and healthy once more. 

Sometimes, we just need to step away from our electronic devices, social media accounts, and websites to heal ourselves before we can communicate with others and help others.

The Minimalist Nomad: Traveling Lifestyle

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Recently, while I was working at the clinic today, a coworker of mine had asked me about my trip plans to Alaska (I am moving the first weekend of March). This had started a conversation that begun at 9 am and it is still proceeding. One of the questions had stuck out though.

** K: Are you flying or driving?
Me: I am flying.
**K: Nice. How many luggage’s are you taking with you?
Me: Just my backpack and my duffel bag.
**K: Wait…that is all? How much do you have?
Me: Not that much, actually. I travel light.
**K: What all do you own?
Me: A few outfits that I can mix and match, a set of pajamas my tennis shoes, winter boots, heavy jacket, a few books: 5 reading, 5 writing, some pens, feminine necessities, a deck of tarot cards, wallet, phone and laptop.
**K: Wait, that is it? I have a whole bunch of stuff in my house that I could never get rid of. How do you do it?
Me: I’ve never needed much. Just the necessities and a few things that I know I will definitely want to have on me.

(**Kept my coworkers name confidential for legal purposes.)

Traveling, for many seems like a daunting thing, due to the fact that you have to figure out what you are going to bring with you and what you are going to donate, throw away, or sell. Many times, people tend to develop attachments to inanimate objects and begin to feel as though they must save many things, making it hard for them to get rid of things down the road.

When it comes to traveling, you need to think about many different scenarios from flying to sailing to luggage prices and about what you actually need with you. You also need to think about the others that are coming with you, if you have children, and try to figure out exactly what they need to bring as well. With this much going on in one persons head, it can make you go crazy, and in the end, you wind up with a headache or a migraine over this whole thing.

Minimalism is a Zen-living style where you own less materials and objects, and focus more on yourself, family, and living life. As a society, everyone has been creating attachments to inanimate objects, making them seem like they are a big thing, and in which they are not. When you release the objects that you do not need, you begin to feel better, you begin to eliminate any discontent you have, you are able to live in the moment, able to focus on your health, pursue your passions, and you’ll be able to rid yourself of any excess stuff. Doesn’t that sound grand?

Living the minimalist lifestyle, especially while traveling, makes things a lot easier. From relieving yourself from excess objects, you will be able to enjoy life more, and focus on everything around you, instead of accumulating things.

Simple Life, Simple You: Middle Eastern Pizza

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Everyone around the world loves pizza, they cannot get enough of it, in fact, all over the world there are Pizza Huts in different countries and in so many airports. A nice dough that has the right amount of crunch to it, a delicious sauce that creates a barrier between the toppings and the dough, and the copious amounts of toppings that are available, what’s not to love about pizza? Although pizza is delicious, in the end however, it is not all that healthy, especially when you look at the region of the world it is coming from. However, you can make the pizza healthier from top to bottom, when you make it from scratch at home.

That being said, this recipe is lighter, healthier, yet at the same time, indulgent. The dough is very easy to make, for it is known in the Middle East as lavash bread, and it only requires three ingredients. The sauce is made from scratch as well, and it consists of very few ingredients as well. This leaves the topping choice to you to make it completely individual and to your liking.

LAVASH MIDDLE EASTERN PIZZA:

Lavash (Dough):
1 1/2 cups flour (I use gluten free)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

Sauce (prepared this a couple of days before, to have on hand):
4 lbs. Tomatoes (ripe)
4 large Garlic cloves
1 bunch of herbs (Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary)
1 Black pepper, Freshly ground
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Toppings (as seen in photograph):
2 small bell peppers (with the multi-colored ones)
2 tbsp. chopped onion
Grated cheddar cheese (make it as cheesy as you like)
2 tsp. peppered flakes (I like a nice kick)

Making the Dough:

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour and the salt together first, working it through. Then add the olive oil, then slowly add the water in at first. After mixing for a few seconds, add all of the water into the bowl, continue mixing until formed into a ball. ** If needed, add 4 tbsp. water more in to mix it up more.

Separate the dough into small balls, sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface, then start flattening it out. You can use a rolling pin. Once flattened, put the lavash onto a pan that is laced with parchment, throw it into the oven at 400 degrees, for 15 to 20 minutes, or at until the lavash is golden brown.

** Makes 10

Making the sauce:

Take the four garlic cloves, chop them, and toss them into the pot to sauté. Cut your tomatoes into dices, then toss into the pot(blender is a great alternative for those who wish to make this a little faster), and smash them with the masher. Have the pot on medium heat as you begin, bring to a simmer, adding the herbs on top. Place the salt, black pepper, sugar, and olive into pot, place a lid on top, turn the heat down on low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. **Add onions or pepper flakes if desired.

If not using right away, let the sauce cool, then place into a jar, and place in the refrigerator.

Putting the pizza together:

After the dough and sauce are done, take one of the lavash breads, and put the amount of sauce you want on it, sprinkle some of the cheese, then add the toppings you desire. Before throwing the pizza into the oven, sprinkle some more cheese on top, then put it into the oven at 350 degrees, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle some pepper flakes on top, and serve.

 

**Photo Credit: Loni Hoots

 

Drenching Yourself in Colors: Telling Society to Back off

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We live in a society where it seems that to be your true self is the worst thing a person can do. That if we were to pursue our passions, we could be considered an outcast, that if we wanted to dress the way we want or do whatever we wish to our hair, we would be ostracized. Why? Why should someone feel as though they are an outcast for following their passions and dreams, why should someone be labeled freak, odd, eccentric, for being true to themselves? Why should society dictate how someone thinks, feels, and looks? In all honesty, it shouldn’t.

For thousands and thousands of years, people have constantly felt ostracized for being themselves, for not fitting into the mold that society has created. It seems as though society just wants every man, woman, and child to be the same lifeless robotic shape with no mind of its own and just rely on the opinion of others. However, once someone has stepped away from the social norms that has been dictated all hell breaks loose. Families disown that member of the family for not being “normal”, society shuns that person just as the family did, labels get placed on an individual, leaving an individual all alone and feeling as though they are worthless and at that point they begin to feel the pressure of fitting into the mold that has been created by society.

Not fitting into the mold that has been placed before us by society is invigorating, breathtaking, and it gives us a chance to feel and be free from the social norms. Who wouldn’t want to be free? Free to make your own decisions, to go off and study whatever you want in college or not even go to college at all and just travel the world, or to dye your hair an outrageous color, have a tattoo or piercing that you’ve always wanted.

Let me tell you, to step away from society and do your own thing is the best thing that you could ever do. Saying “screw you” to society will be the best thing you will ever do in your life, for you will finally be in control of yourself and of your life, for you are no mindless robot, you are a human being with a mind, a heart, and a soul that yearns for freedom to be yourself. Isn’t that what you wanted?