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I’ve already told you how I like to make myself a healthy “salad” on Sunday that will last me all week. Keeps me from panicking when I’m hungry AND in a hurry since there is something nutritious waiting for me.


I’ve also already told you about my newest obsession: Pinterest. I think the entire US is on Pinterest by now, but if you are new to this site, look at it as an online vision board or scrapbook. Instead of clipping out the article, photo, or recipe (who clips anymore, anyway? It’s all online!) and tucking it in a file or on your bulletin board, you “Pin it” with a click of your mouse to your online “boards.”


I have boards for photos, recipes, books, inspirational quotes, brilliant ideas…


Once you pin your photo, you can click on it and it will bring you back to the original article or recipe. It is so easy to keep track of those great ideas you come across! I used to email myself good looking recipes and keep them in an email folder, but this is much easier…


Which brings me to my Wild Rice and Lentil Salad…because it has been on my Pinterest board to try and I finally did!


It ROCKS! It is hearty and chewy and crunchy and yummy. I altered the original recipe, and mine is much better 🙂



Wild Rice and Lentil Salad

  • 1/2 cup dry wild rice
  • 1/2 cup Edamame
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup broken walnuts (or any nuts, really!)
Dressing:
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of another type of oil (I used walnut)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Cook the wild rice in 1 1/4 cup of water for time on package (about 50 minutes). Drain and cool.

Boil the lentil for about 20 minutes (you don’t want them too soft and mushy). Drain and cool.

Cook/thaw edamame.

Whisk dressing ingredients.

Put rice, lentils, edamame, nuts and cilantro in bowl and toss with dressing.  Add additional salt or pepper to taste!  Eat chilled!



Another amazing and successful Karma Club meeting was held last week at my house. This time, I invited physician and 30+ year practicing iridologist, Ron Logan, to come and talk about iridology and give individual assessments.


I have a really healthy group of friends, but each of them had slight weaknesses. Some of my friends got new information, but interestingly, many were told of weaknesses in areas that they were, in fact, having problems (some already diagnosed by doctors). It was very interesting, to say the least…



What is iridology?


Iridology is one of the oldest forms of alternative medicine, dating back over 2,000 years. It is even thought to be talked about in the bible, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light,” Matthew, chapter 6, verse 22.


Iridology is the scientific practice of using markings on the eye’s iris to reveal the patients bodily weaknesses. Similar to the idea of Chinese medicine or reflexology: one body part (like the hand or foot, but in the case, the eye) mirrors the entire body. In iridology, specific points on the eye correspond to different bodily systems since the entire central nervous system feeds into the eye in an organized fashion. Thus, small markings on the iris, sometimes undetectable to the naked eye, give the practitioner clues into the body’s weakest parts.


An eye with a good constitution


How can you use iridology?


There are over 10,000 iridologists in Europe, compared to 1,000 in the United States. In Europe, it is widely accepted and used to identify a person’s general constitution as a starting point for diagnosis. As Dr. Logan explained, iridology cannot “diagnose” diseases like cancer but can clue into weaknesses that may lead to greater problems in the future. If you have a weakness in your adrenals (like me!), for example, them you can incorporate stress reducing practices like meditation and support your adrenals with natural supplements.


A couple fun things you can check out for yourself are:



– Does your eye have a dark rim around the outer edge? This indicates your skin has a hard time detoxifying. You may not sweat through your pours well so toxins can build up. Solution? Try body brushing.





– Do you see light rings (like the age rings of a tree trunk) in your eye? These are “stress rings” that occur from stress and tension. (I had two! No wonder I meditate…)





– Do you see a yellowing over your eye? This is chemical build up (front things like sulfur preservatives) that settle over your real eye color. Apparently a super clean diet and detoxifying can lighten the eye an show its true color underneath. Crazy!



Should I run out and find an iridologist?


First of all, it would be hard to find one! Iridology is a fascinating alternative medicine practice, but there are other methods that are easier to find and just as or even more effective.


Acupuncture, for example, is older than iridology and finds weaknesses or “blockages” by listening to your pulse and looking at your tongue. Acupuncture has been tested and studied in the greater medical arena. Even Mayo Clinic uses acupuncture! So, it is much easier to find a really good practitioner.



An eye with a poor constitution


Bottom line, there are many amazing ways to uncover our body’s messages! Iridology is another awesome example of how the body is divinely designed to give us answers. If there is a seasoned iridologist in your area, you may find it really interesting and informative. Just keep an open mind to all forms of medicine and you will find one that is perfect for YOU.


If you are in Kansas city and are interested being on the Karma Club email list, send me a personal message and I’ll get you on the list!


After having an interesting discussion with a friend in the medical field, who’s opinions comes mainly from a “Western Medicine” perspective, I realized that most people think that I am anti-western medicine. I think it is interesting that people who embrace other forms of healing arts often seen as opposing the modern medical system. As if the two cannot be blended…



Every practice has its time and place. When a friend was fighting for her life, infection throughout her body, wester medicine saved her! Accupucture wasn’t going to bring her back, homeopathy wasn’t going to solve her problems. She is on her way to a full recovery because of the amazing advances in modern medicine!


Our modern medical system is brilliant for accidents, traumas, emergencies, and dire situations.


But, it is NOT good at uncovering and dealing with the root cause of disease. When our bodies are out of balance, a whole host of things can occur like allergies, auto-immune diseases, thyroid problems, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep disorders, muscular-skeletal problems…the list is endless! Generally speaking, our pharmaceutical products dampen the symptoms without dealing with the genesis of the condition.


Alternative medicine is like a journey to the truth


The foundation of ancient medicine is listening to the body and discovering what it is trying to tell us. Often the answers are simple BUT they require a lifestyle change. They require us to believe in our own body’s ability to heal itself. And, most importantly, they require our patience.


It took you years of eating, thinking, and doing things to get you into this “dis-ease” so it is going to take some time to reprogram yourself into wellness.


We are so lucky to live in a country that allows access to ALL medical genres. We can blend them beautifully, using parts of practices that resonate with us. There is no absolute answer. No right or wrong. We just have to listen to our body’s messages and open to exploring different paths to the truth.


Look out for my next post, which will talk about a fascinating, ancient medical practice: Iridology! We had an iridologist (who has been practicing for over 30 years!) come and speak to our Karma Club and it was eye-opening. (couldn’t help myself)


Foto Friday

Here are some fun inspirational photos to add to your Pinterest Boards from one of of my favorite bloggers, The Wellness Warrior. She has MANY, many more, check them out!


So, for today, remember…



Use this day to…



And, of course…



Have an amazing weekend, friends!


Wow! I got so many off-line questions about meditation, I thought that I would take a minute to answer some of the most common ones. It feels like many of you are really interested in meditating (which really is another form of prayer, so no wonder you are drawn to it!) but are wanting a little more logistical guidance.


1. How long should you meditate?


The pinnacle (according to the Chopra Center) would be 20-30 minutes, 2 times a day.


This is a little lofty for beginners, so I would say once a day for 20-30 minutes is a great start.


If you are using guided meditation, your timer is built in. I use my phone timer (turn the volume down low) if I am not following a guided meditation.


2. When should you meditate?


Ideally, you should meditate first thing in the morning. Why? First, because are mind has yet to get overloaded with thoughts. Second, you will be less likely to skip if it is the first thing we do. And third, it sets the tone for our whole day.


When I’m in my routine, I get up about an hour before the kids wake up and get straight to it! No email or text checking first!


3. Where should you meditate?


You are best off to pick one quiet and comfortable location and stick with it. You will notice your “place” will have a pavlovian effect on you – your mind will settle down be just being in your meditation spot. Make your spot special: I like to burn a little candle when I meditate.


4. How should I sit when I meditate?


You can sit any way you want! No, you do not HAVE to be in a lotus position with your hands in gian mudra…



I like to sit in a comfortable chair because my hips and back distract me if I’m sitting on the floor. I usually choose not to lay down (but you can!) because I’ll fall asleep. I have a blanket handy to keep warm! I usually keep my hand lying in my lap, palms up. That feels comfortable to me.


5. What do I do when I meditate?


If you are using a guided meditation, like the one offered for free during the 21-day Meditation Challenge, all you need to do is listen and relax. Focusing on the words should keep you from thinking too much about your list 🙂 But, if those thoughts creep in, don’t fret or berate yourself for doing it “wrong.” There is no right or wrong! Just gently re-focus your attention.


If you are doing your own meditation there are two easy ways you can do this:


One, is a breathing meditation. During this you focus on your breath. You can count to 6 on the inhale, then count to 6 on the exhale.


The second is a “mantra” meditation. Select a word you would like to repeat in your head as you are relaxing. You can pick words like…peace, relax, release. You can also pick a sanskrit mantra like Soham – pronounce So Hum.


I remember thinking that speaking in sanskrit was creepy and cultish, but now I’m totally over it and actually prefer it. Since the words have no meaning to me, they produce less thoughts.


6. What should I expect to happen during and after meditation?


If you are a really good meditator you should expect a mystical, out-of body experience, wherein your spirit leaves the physical body and travels in your astral body.


Got you! I’m totally kidding.


You should expect to:
a) fall asleep
b) have thoughts
c) pay attention to guided words or your mantra


That’s it, guys!


After meditation is the most important part. As Davidji says, it isn’t about the 30 minutes of meditation, its all about the 23 1/2 hours after. Think of meditation like going to the gym: you wouldn’t expect to lose 10 pounds after one day, but you will feel the benefits immediately. So stick with it.


I hope this helps! Please keep asking questions if you have more! I am so excited that so many of you are willing to try it. Let’s check in after a couple weeks and see how we all are doing!


If there was one overriding message in my recent retreat at the Chopra Center it was…


MEDITATE!


Meditate, meditate, meditate and meditate some more.



Why does it matter if you meditate?


Besides just grabbing some peace and quiet for yourself, meditation has the power to change your life and the lives of others.


It can change you life by slowing you down, stopping the mental chatter and strengthening your connection to spirit so you can HEAR the answers and NOTICE the signs. We are all getting them, friends. It is whether we pay attention and act on them.


As Deepak explained: Karma = Routine (what we keep doing over and over) and anything that breaks our routine is a coincidence that give us the opportunity to break the cycle of Karma. We are not bound by our past to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. The quieter we are the better chance we will hear our message.


Meditation can change others lives simply because we are all connected. There have been many studies, but one that stands out in my mind: A large group had come together to meditate over a weekend and scientist wanted to measure the effects their meditation had on bystanders. So, they gathering stress hormone levels from random people on the street (NOT participating in the meditation) before and after the meditation weekend. The stress hormone levels were down a statistically significant amount after the weekend of meditation in people that didn’t even know the meditation was going on! It is kind of like your home – when one person is out of synch, the rest of the family pays for it. Vice versa, when mom is in a great mood, everyone benefits. We are all energetically connected so our meditation practice helps change the world.


If relaxing for 20-30 minutes a day can change your life and the lives of others, do I really have to twist your arm?


I didn’t think so.


So join me in a 21-day Meditation Challenge!


I know when I’m off my meditation practice I get all wonky and crabby, so I can’t wait for something to get me back in the routine and hold me accountable.


Here is the scoop:

  • Starts Monday, Feb 20th
  • It is totally free
  • Each day, for 21 days, you will receive a guided meditation to listen to
  • The meditations are varied to give you a good feel for meditation
  • Sign up at ChopraCenterMeditation.com (<—click this link)


Easy, Peasy!


And for those of you (I can hear you now!) that are saying, “Lina, I just can’t sit still,” or “Lina, I can’t stop my mind from thinking.”


GOT OVER IT!


You aren’t supposed to sit perfectly still on a hard wood chair and stop all thoughts. You are human and humans think. Humans move. If you didn’t think or move you would be dead. So, celebrate that you are alive and relax. Meditation isn’t something that you should worry about doing right or wrong because there is no right or wrong!


Now that you have no excuses, sign up with me and we can change the world together 🙂


As I sit hear writing this for you, I feel like crying. I’m not even sure why. I think it is a combination of exhaustion from 5 intense, long days and all the emotions that bubbled up from it.


Most of you know that I just finished a five day retreat at the Chopra Center. The retreat name was “Synchrodestiny” and centered around the teachings in Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fullfilment of Desire. This was the last Synchrodestiny retreat after offering it for about 12 years, so the energy of the event was very strong and Deepak’s sessions were particularly intense. There are many things I took away from my five days, but one was Deepak’s incredible intelligence and other-worldiness. He has the ability to blend science with spirit seamlessly. He truly is of another realm.



There are so many things I could tell you about this retreat: give you lists, bullet point main topics, regurgitate mind blowing material. But, instead I think I’ll tell you my story…


I came to the retreat with hopes of getting clarity on what direction to go with my website:


Should I write a book?
Should I pursue an opportunity to develop inspirational products?
Should I think about speaking?
Maybe expand my “Karma Club” idea and take the experiences nationally?


SO many ideas…what should I do?????


I was tired of feeling confused and knew that if I had some direction or intuition, I could commit and take off! I’m good at “doing” things. I excel at trudging forward. I just didn’t know the direction.



So, here I was at a retreat that would help me uncover my path, and the first thing that I notice is how embarrassed I am when people ask, “What do you do?” I felt ashamed at saying, “I stay at home with my kids and have a blog” when engaging with people from across the world with incredible careers and ambitions. Like I had been wasting time.


I tucked that feeling away and keep moving forward, putting my whole heart and soul into each activity and interaction. These sessions were focused on uncovering our true desire – our destiny. So, I keep sensing and feeling around my ideas but I did’t seem to be getting anywhere. Damn. Nothing was presenting itself to me.


Then, in one of the sessions, when the leader asked us to put our hand on our heart and ask ourselves “What do you want right now?” it came to me. I want more than anything to feel totally centered and connected to my children. I want to be excited when they come home! I want to be happy to play with them! I want to look into their eyes and be totally focused on their stories and not distracted by my thoughts and texts and phone calls. I want to be so in the present moment with them that time slows down and I remember all of the details.



What!?! I came hear to find my entrepreneurial path and this is what I come up with! What is the Universe trying to tell me?


So, again, I tucked that feeling away and thought to myself, “Yes, that’s important. I’ll work on my relationship with my kids while I research products and distribution streams.”


That evening, after dinner, we all to came together to play a game called THE WISH. This game would give us clues and guidance through a system of oracle cards. To start the game we each wrote down our desire clearly and succinctly. I thought for a moment about putting, “to be centered and connected to my family” but after seeing the wishes of other players it seamed less-than. How could that possibly stack up with “I open up a substance abuse retreat center in Puerto Rico.”


So, I changed my mind and put down, “I have a company that provides inspirational products” There, now that sounds nice.


The game proceeded and I kept getting cards that I had a hard time connecting to my desire. Things like:


You can only change yourself
You are what you think
To see peace in this world we must first see peace in ourselves
Life if your mirror-it reflects back to you everything you need to learn


One of the teachers came to our table to help us make sense of these clues. She looked at mine and keep prodding and probing and questioning me. “What do you think these are trying to tell you?….What is the message as it relates to your wish?” I was exhausted, my brain was about to explode and I was on the brink of tears. I DON’T KNOW I’M TOO TIRED! I finally said exasperated.


She then said, “I’ve been doing this for some time and what I see is a bunch of cards that are telling you to turn inward and keep working on yourself. It seems like you have some work to do at home before you venture out and start something new.”


Well, I about lost it inside. It felt like a slap in the face…as if everyone had a right to their desires but I had to go back to school. I left feeling defeated and confused.


As I was laying in my bed that night it dawned on me: that was my desire! I did want, more than anything, to feel more peaceful and centered at home. And to achieve that, I DO have to work on myself more! The game WAS telling me my true wish! It wasn’t telling me I can’t do those things in the future, it was reminding me what was important right now.



I have been pushing and struggling for about a year trying to figure out what I was going “TO DO.” I have been DOING things all my life, to the point of losing the present. I am a future addict – I constantly am looking and thinking about the future and how “when I do that I’ll feel more fulfilled.” Noticing that I felt less-than around successful retreat attendees made me realize how distorted my thinking had become. I have been looking for happiness and fulfillment externally and need to find it internally before I will be ready to move to the next adventure.


In many ways, it was quite a relief. It is like I got permission to have fun. The Universe gave me a big green light to be good to myself and good to my family instead of pushing my will and making everyone miserable! I have to trust that things will open up to me in perfect timing. And I am perfectly were I need to be.

With me.

With my Family.

With you.

Thank you for always being there for me when I need to tell my story. You are a Godsend! It’s good to be back home 🙂