COMPASSION FOR ONE’S SELF:
“THE POWER OF A SOFT AND OPEN HEART”
“I find hope in the darkest days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
– Dalai Lama
Winter Solstice is my favourite time of the year to connect and express my sincere gratitude to you all and to express my wishes for wellness and happiness. For many of us, it is often during these days where the darkness is amplified, that can be the most challenging time of the year. It is also in this same darkness, with the help of acceptance and non-resistance, that lies the opportunity for light to be revealed.
Over the years of practicing mindfulness, I came to encounter compassion for myself and discovered “the powerful strength of a soft and open heart”. With the help of this awareness, I have learned to let go of my resistance to feel. And with it came a sense of responsibility for my own experience and of the importance of staying connected inwardly, to be an observer and listener, not just of the world around me, but an internal observer of my own thoughts, feelings, fears, pains and stresses.
Have you ever heard these words: “ What we resist persists?” I have experienced, felt and seen enough pain and suffering in my life to come to understand just that. I have been stuck long enough and often enough to deeply yearn for change, change towards thriving rather than merely surviving. And I did find it! I have found it in the acceptance of the present moment, with what is.
But to get there, I needed to shift my awareness to a different way of experiencing my reality. What I discovered in allowing my heart to open to feel my pain, is the power of compassion. Not only did it facilitate my process in accepting my pain in a non-judgmental and non-resistance way, but it led me to understand and love myself… and ultimately others. What followed was a journey toward my own happiness, which not only continues to affect my children and family, but ripples outward in a contagious manner. I finally understood the words from Gandhi: “You have to be the change that you want to see in the world”.
To be happy is to be our best friend, to accept ourselves first and foremost, to be who we are… in every instant. Only then, can we be there for others.
“ Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded.
It’s a relationship between equals.
Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
― Pema Chödron
HEALTH TIPS OF THE MONTH
Our Kidneys Filter About 200 Litres of Blood a Day
Winter being at our door, it is the season to replenish our energy, kidneys, adrenals, bladder and bones.
Do you know that our kidneys filter about 200 litres of blood everyday?
Since the body detoxifies mainly at night, sitting in the morning with a nice cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice if desired, is a good way to support our organism while connecting to our breath and reflecting upon the new day.
“There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into light.”
BANANA COCONUT CREAM PIE
2 cups walnuts or brazil nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
5 large medjool dates
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
In a food processor, process the nuts, dates and salt until fine. Add the dried coconut and coconut oil and process a little more until the mixture begins to stick together. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9″spring form pan and place in the fridge to set.
3/4 cup coconut cream (*see note below)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
5 banana +1 sliced
1 pinch of vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend everything (except for the one banana to slice for the decoration later) until creamy.
Pour into the prepared crust and allow to chill overnight to set or for approximately 8 hours.
For the whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups fresh young Thai coconut flesh (use only nice white flesh!)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons raw honey (or more to taste)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
Blend until smooth. Allow to set up in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Spoon on to the top of the pie before serving.
*Note: About the coconut flesh in the filling, there are two approaches you can use. You can always use full fat, canned coconut milk or coconut cream, OR you can open a fresh young Thai coconut and puree the flesh and water together until smooth to make a raw milk. Obviously canned coconut milk is not raw, but it will have a more intense coconut flavour if you are not worried about being strictly raw. The content of one young Thai coconut should yield enough milk to make the one cup called for in the recipe.
Adapted from Blissful, Raw Food Recipes by Heather Cunliffe, chef and owner at Café Bliss, Victoria, BC,
and from Rachel Carr, educator chef at Chavela Restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
To continue to be inspired on the power of compassion, enjoy this other short film by award-winning cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg. It is truly wonderful!
“…80% of the information we receive comes through our eyes,
and beauty makes us protect what we love.
We are nature and not separated from it.
The love you give yourself is ultimately the love that will heal the planet. Self-care is world -care.”
– Louie Schwartzberg
In this season where darkness and light are magnified, we are bound to experience a spectrum of emotions going through wonder, joy, sadness and loneliness, often all at once.
We all want to be loved! Have you wondered why it is so difficult for some of us to grasp the concept of loving one self?
Being our best friend, it becomes easier to open our heart and experience the power of love and compassion, to take care of ourselves, of others, to connect to the essential and live in the present moment.
From my heart, I want to thank you for being part of my journey and to wish you all a Bright Holiday Season and a Wholehearted New year!
May we find Love, Peace, and Joy within, and again, let the gratefulness overflow into blessings all around us!
In Health and Happiness,
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature
― the assurance that dawn comes after night,
and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder