” It Is Only With The Heart That One Can See Rightly.”
” It is only with the heart that one can see rightly…What is essential is invisible to the eye.”~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
On this last day of 2018, it is time to turn the page, and to wish you all a wonderful New Year! No matter what seems to be happening in your world there is always so much to be grateful for. There are a myriad of unseen wells of wisdom waiting to be re-discovered and lived for, to fecund and nurture your hopes and visions. What may seem too simple, can also be the most essential….
As a little girl I always felt connected to the Earth, her rhythms and seasons. I loved to predict the weather from the light, the clouds and the breeze. I loved and cherished every moment sitting under a tree listening to the leaves dancing in the wind, breathing deeply into their smell; or, looking at the sky at night feeling infinitely small while gazing at the stars and the milky way. I knew every single plant in my surroundings, knew its shape, smell and taste as well as their favourite places to grow. There was something profoundly reassuring, nurturing and grounding about being in touch with Mother Nature. Children are naturally connected to The Source…to The Essential. Unfortunately the tendency in our societies is to forget and distance ourselves from what we don’t see…which, however is at the heart of our existence!
Recently the south piece of land adjacent to Sequoia Naturopathic Centre got completely shaved from its natural beauty and boundaries. Hundred year old cedar and hemlock trees which previous generations surely enjoyed and admired, under which they may have sat and dreamed are completely gone…pulled from their root beds as insignificant rightless sentient creatures. My heart ached. How can certain individuals have so much control on our environment knowing how many years it takes for a single tree to grow and considering how shortly in comparison these same individuals will even live on the land they just purchased. How can we bring awareness and consideration on how these destructive actions affect the adjacent neighbouring ecosystem, trees and natural life. What about the precious irreplaceable forests that are at the heart of our communities? Think of Mount Elphinstone and of all the people whom for decades have given their time and energy here on the Coast to protect it for future generations. Are we not supposed to be the guardians of the land? Ancient wisdom and first nations knew that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. We live in societies which depend on economic systems that have no eyes for the essential and that have lost their ways! As Saint-Exupery said so well: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
More than ever, to be there for the future generations, we, as a society, need a conscious will to review and redefine what matters most. We are beings whom depend on our natural world not only for survival but to learn, grow and thrive. More than ever, to find our way back to what matters most we also need to reconnect with the natural world within…with our intuition, feelings, to the truth: a live tree; a forest; a thriving ecosystem; a simple life; a safe mother to be there for an innocent child to grow confident; adults and parents being attuned to the children; health, pure air and water; naturally grown organic food for our bodies; a roof over our head with accessible nature; joy and space for creativity; and finally, a community to hold us, to be a witness for each other. When we are connected to our heart, we are connected to The Essential, and we know what matters most…The most precious things in life can not be seen only with the naked eye…but felt from the heart!
“Love is light. This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits. After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer. Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet. However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released. When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.“~Letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter Lieserl.
HEALTH TIPS OF THE MONTH
Simple but Powerful
What a wonderful way to start the year than to cultivate daily meditation! As you are learning to get back to the essential and live more from the heart, you are also learning to simplify your lives. Meditation is a good way to start, to put you in touch with The Essential…the connection to the heart, to your intuition.
Meditation calms the mind and brings it down to the well of your heart. It enables changes in perception that reduce the stress response, anxiety or depression, while increasing clarity of mind, well-being and deep connection with the self, others and your environment. Start with 3 minutes first thing in the morning and repeat last thing at night. Gradually increase to 15 minutes a day and eventually to twice a day. Just focus your attention on your breath and belly, and let go of any thought. That is all. To know more, see below the inspiration of the month for a guided meditation with the beloved world re-known monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
“I do know that there is more to what is true than is currently visible and accessible to many. What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”~Le Petit Prince by A. St-Exupery
RECIPES OF THE MONTH
Chick Pea Soup with Fennel Seeds
With the winter solstice, comes the time to nourish our bodies with warm nutritious and soothing dishes with root vegetables. These two recipes have been part of some of our family’s favourite . Enjoy!
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 carrots
- 4 small or 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil until zucchini start to be tender
- 6 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons of dill, 1 tablespoons of parsley
- salt, black pepper to the taste.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the vegetables for about 10 min, making sure to stir regularly.
- Add the broth and cook gently for 20 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups of cooked chickpeas, bring to a boil.
- Remove from the fire and blend in your processor until smooth and velvety.
- Serve. Decorate with parsley. Enjoy!
Maroccan Couscous with Quinoa
- 2 cups of quinoa
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion – cut diagonally in large pieces
- 2 carrots – sliced diagonally in large rounds
- 2 large parsnips sliced diagonally in large rounds
- 1 turnip sliced diagonally in large rounds
- 8 small new potatoes, peeled – cut in 2 pieces
- 1 green pepper – cut into large slices
- 1 red pepper- cut into large slices
- 4 oz green beans or sweet peas
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thick
- 1-2 inch-es fresh ginger
- 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 Tbs ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 Tbs red lentils and/or 8 oz of cooked chick peas
- 12 oz of fresh, frozen or canned tomatoes, sliced into small dices.
- 4 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
- 4 Tbs raisins
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon – zest and juice
- Optional: Harissa paste
- In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the vegetables for about 10 min, making sure to stir regularly.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and spices, stir again and cook for 2 min. Then add the lentils, tomatoes, stock, raisins and the spices.
- Bring to boil, lower the heat, cover and steam gently for about 20 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
- Meanwhile, cover the quinoa with cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and and cook with 1 Tbs of olive oil.
- Just before serving stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with sea salt and pepper according to your taste.
- When ready, serve the quinoa on deep platters and spoon over the stew.
- Serve with harissa paste for those who like the spicyness of the traditional maroccan couscous.
Optional: 15 minutes before serving add chunks of roasted chicken or lamb cooked in olive oil with plenty of garlic.
“Three things shine before the world and cannot be hidden. They are the moon, the sun, and the truth”
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, invite you to a 15 minute meditation. Through mindfulness, he teaches us that we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
The heavens so blue, the sun so radiant,
The clouds so playful, the soaring raptors,
The meadows in bloom, the woodland creatures,
The rivers singing their way to the sea,
Wolf song on the land, whale song in the sea,
Celebration everywhere, wild, riotous,
Immense as a monsoon lifting an ocean of joy
And spilling it down over the Appalachian Landscape,
Drenching us all with a deluge of delight
As we open our arms and rush toward each other,
You and I and all of us,
Moved by that vast compassionate Presence
That brings all things together in intimate Celebration,
Celebration that is the universe itself.”
~Thomas Berry-From: ” Every Being Has Rights”
“May the light crack through our shadows, bringing global healing to our individual, collective and earthly wounds, so that we may become united to cultivate love and peace for all beings on earth!”