Graduate.

Hi everyone!
Ahhh, it feels good to be writing. I have been bouncing around and around trying to keep up with all of these groovy shifts taking place in my life.
I graduated this past weekend! Woohoo! The last couple of weeks have been filled with life celebrations, family time, selfies with girlfriends, catching up with old friends and planning for the future!

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As I have mentioned before in previous blog posts, the girl that moved down to Florida seven years ago is very different from the girl that waltzed across the stage to receive her diploma last Friday morning. Seven years ago, I made the best decision of my life and the first decision towards loving myself. Funny thing is, I didn’t even know it then. What I did know is that I needed help with getting out of the hell hole that I dug and so I transplanted from Ohio to treatment in Florida and never looked back. Almost three years into my recovery, I decided to give school another try. I was terrified. Up in Ohio, I went to two different universities in a year and a half, and for the first time ever, I drove my GPA straight into the ground. I had to drop out because of the unmanageability that drugs and alcohol had created in my life. I remember walking back onto a campus and not knowing what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it and if I would be successful. All of these questions were answered beautifully along the way. Every time I felt discouraged or scared, there was an advisor coaching me along, funds coming through at the right time for tuition, friends loaning me their books for studying, new acquaintances meeting for coffee to chat, my boss giving me the flexibility that I needed for classes, professors teaching me and rooting me on, the sweet and subtle voice of the Universe guiding me through and family members loving me the entire time. Every single time. Every single semester. I went from a broken soul-1 point something GPA- hopeless state of mind drug addict to a groovy-recovery thumpin’-yoga teachin’-light spreadin’-plant based eatin’ summa cum laude honors graduate! Blows my mind! All miracles, all love based! It’s funky to look back at my life and think that I have lived two lives in one lifetime. So, for all of you incredible people in my life that have been apart of this journey and have believed in me until I could believe in myself, you know who you are…thank you and I love you!

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What’s next, you ask!? Pure sweetness! I have been accepted into my school’s advanced standing masters program, which I will begin this fall 2014. This summer will be full of spreading yoga to the little yogis and getting my 200 RYT on to teach the big yogis! Keepin’ the light flowing! And, the fear still creeps in for these exciting upcoming things… Especially, questions like, “How will I pay for it all?” or “Will I be good enough?” These little thoughts can paralyze me,and lately, I have been noticing them and simply responding to myself with this beautiful Gabby Bernstein quote:

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Incredible, right? I can do anything. The power lies in my thoughts and this is confirmed more and more everyday.

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Along with family and friends this past weekend, I whipped up some new yummies inspired by Love & Lemons at http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/04/10/chocolate-chip-carrot-cookies/.

Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookie Bites

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You will need:
-6 tablespoons of gluten free flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds + -1.5 tablespoons water whisked together in a little bowl
-1/2 cup grated carrots
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup gluten free oats
-1/4 cup gluten free/vegan chocolate chips

To Prepare:
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed with the water. Let that sit for a bit and gel up. In a food processor, pulse the carrots until they are a grated consistency. In the medium bowl flour, add in the grated carrots, coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla and the flaxseed and mix until combined. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and add in the gluten-free oats and the chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Then, using a tablespoon, scoop batter into balls and place on the cookie sheet at least a few inches apart from one another. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and the edges become slightly crisp. Enjoy!

Here’s a quote that my beautiful yoga teacher shared at the end of a class a couple weeks ago. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as she read it. Have a great week!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Soul Feather 2/23/14

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Hi everyone!

Just recapping a little of what we covered in Soul Feather this past Sunday! If you missed the meet up, no worries, you can still get your groove on here! I introduced some meditations/breathing techniques that create some serious space for love!

We opened up with a breathing technique/meditation that was inspired by the beautiful author, speaker and spirit junkie, Gabby Bernstein. This meditation comes from Kundalini Yoga and it is absolutely life changing! I give you…

The Inner Conflict Resolver:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mmWVaPWVFAw

We had a fabulous discussion about how to let things go and turn it over to the Universe, which is connected to my blog from last week, Finding the Love in Letting Go.
Remember our simple baby steps:
1: Notice what is going on within you; the uncomfortable sensations, accommodating behaviors and the dialogue within yourself.
2: Create a loving inner dialogue by replacing any negative self talk. Supportive and loving thoughts!
3: Visualize yourself letting go! What would it look and feel like to let this go?
4: Invite Spirit/God/Angels/Higher Power in. Say a simple prayer, such as, “Thank you for helping me to let this go,” or “Thank you for bringing me back to a space of love,” or anything you can think of that supports the direction that you want to go. I dig the prayers of gratitude because I feel that it sets the wheels in motion, connects with the law of attraction and I feel that whatever I am seeking help with is already here and taken care of.

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Then, we wrapped up our time together with two delicious songs that I picked out. We meditated with them for about 10 minutes. You can find these songs here:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mb633y5Vblk

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mehLx_Fjv_c

I cannot wait to connect with you all again at Soul Feather’s next meet up on March 9, 2014 from 5:00-6:00p at Lolë Palm Beach!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Meditations from 1/19/14 Soul Feather Meet Up

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Hello everyone! Today, was Soul Feather’s second meet up! Woo! I introduced two different meditations tonight, both of them were inspired by author of Spirit Junkie and May Cause Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein. I fall more in love everyday with my meditation practice and I am constantly looking for new ones to practice on my own and share with others to call in the peace and raise the vibration.

The first meditation that we opened with was to help quiet the mind and body when experiencing intense moments of either high stress, impulsive thinking or overreactive thoughts and behaviors. This meditation is a Kundalini meditation and it can be done just about anywhere… I have done it in my car, at home and even at my job. It is accompanied with a great mudra, your breath, of course, and a fun shake it out sesh. So, if you like to shake your chakras, hold groovy mudras for focus and feel instantaneous calm… Then, this meditation is for you:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PuUddLtsCHA

Also, we shook it out to Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” song. You can shake it out to your own song of choice, or choose this one by clicking here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WbN0nX61rIs

The closing meditation was another one inspired by beautiful soul, Gabrielle Bernstein. Another simple meditation that can be practiced anywhere. It is a pulse meditation accompanied with a mantra. This one is extra cool because it is regulated by your own heartbeat. The idea of this meditation is to think of a mantra or use the one that is introduced in Gabby’s video and say it a long with the rhythm of your heartbeat. Gabrielle introduces the term “Sat Nam,” which is a Kundalini Yoga mantra that is used often. It is considered the awareness mantra and it is the vibration of this mantra that is so special. “Sat” means “truth” and when it is said or thought it causes a vibration up through the crown chakra. “Nam” means “name” and when is it said or thought it causes a grounding vibration to occur. The words together create a meaning of “true name,” “truth is my name” or “truth identified,” and by meditating on it along with the breathe calls in the vibration of truth.
If this meditation rings true for you, check out this link:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h0y1Lu0L8nU

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Light & Love,
Amanda

hOMework.

Phew! It has been a while, my friends! I thank you for your patience, for the universe has been throwing all kinds of groovy things my way and I simply have not had the time the sit down and blog. Feels good to be back!

Last night, my most favorite author, teacher, and spirit junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein, was at my school. She gave a magnificent lecture and she had her book signing for her latest book that was launched, May Cause Miracles. I love this woman and the inspirational journey that she lives and sprinkles into the world! The energy in the room was illuminating and I think every cell in my body was jumping and jiving out of gratitude!

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Yes, it was a night that opened my heart big, my eyes wide, and I will never forget it!

So, having said that, Gabby B. Is always talking about relationships being opportunities to grow; they are our greatest assignments. Some people will come into our lives for a moment- a stranger at the grocery store, a friend of a friend’s, or someone sitting next to you on an airplane. Others, will hang on for a much longer than a moment- a best friend, a boyfriend, or dun-dun-dun, family members. Either way, they are ALL our assignments while we are here on earth, they ALL have something to offer, and they ALL provide opportunities for us to heal and grow. Wild, right? Ha. So, I love when Gabby B. talks about this because when I am out in the world and meeting people, chilling with people, working with people I’m all bout it bout it, right? But, let’s take a trip into my relationship with my boyfriend and you will see I am “off to see the Wizard” quite a bit; or as Gabby B. would say, “I’m off to crazy town.” I have to bring humor into this somehow! Humor allows me to laugh at myself, let it go, and once again, remember that I am human.
So, I have been trying to incorporate spiritually-based exercises, meditations, suggestions from my spiritual teachers, like Gabby, that have shown up for me BEFORE I make that trip into “crazy town.” Pausing always helps, if I can pause before I pause. Sometimes, I hit the fear-gear and there is no time to pause, so I have to swerve it out or crash. Other times, I pause, and it’s beautiful because I’m not under the fear choke-hold and I can actually converse and respond to my boyfriend effectively. And, those times that I do swerve or make the trip to see the Wizard, I make sure that once I have come back home that I forgive myself and I take what I can from the situation, I learn, and I grow.
A new technique I learned from Gabby was to ask the Universe (or God, or Spirit, or Ghandi, or Krishna, or Jesus, who ever you identify with) to get involved. Again, this requires me to pause and maybe take a breath. I say something like “Thank you for helping me deal with this” or “Thank you for showing me how I can use this moment to grow” or “Thank you for intervening.” I like little prayers that begin with “thank you” because I feel like it attracts what I would like and I’m acting as if the relief or resolve is already present. And then, I listen to the Universe for her response, and the response may be something like I have the exact words to say to response to my boyfriend in a clear-connected way and the conversation between us is productive or maybe, I just feel a wave of peace and calm rush over me. Either way, when I pause and hand it over to the Universe, she is always, always able to swoop in and grace me with just the assistance I needed. Universe is always rooting for me and she always had my back!
So, their you have it. Relationships are our hOMework. I say hOMework with the emphasis on the OM because the meaning of “OM” is the heartbeat or sound of the Universe and it’s just super fun to say it that way! So, just like in school when we have homework assignments to learn from, the same goes for relationships. And my relationship with my boyfriend has been a 4 year science project; but, I’m still learning, I’m still growing, I’m still healing, and I am grateful!

And to wrap up this blog assignment I have a recipe for ya’ll, as always, to fill your tummy and fuel your body. For a couple months now I have been doing the gluten-free thing and I feel good about it. But that means that my sprouted Ezekiel bread had to go bye-bye! Since then I have been on the hunt to find a plant-based gluten free bread that is yummy! I was having a hard time succeeding at that, so I created my own bread!

Plant based/Gluten free Chia Seed Flatbread

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You will need:
1/2 cup gluten free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup chick pea flour or garbanzo bean flour
1 cup + 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons chia seeds

To Prepare:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend together all ingredients in food processor.
Pour a little coconut oil in the pan and warm up the pan in the oven.
I used a 10 inch round cake pan; the bigger the pan, the thinner the bread will come out.
Pour the batter in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove bread from oven and let cool.
Cut up in fun shapes of your choice! Add groovy toppings such as: almond/peanut butter, hemps seeds, fruit, veggies… Endless!

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Most importantly, have fun while you’re doing it and enjoy when your eating it!

La la la la Ommmmm!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Teachers and Donuts

“Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move.” -Louise Hay

Happy weekend!!!

I am always looking for new teachers out there to inspire me, raise my vibration, and create new space in becoming the happiest person I know! My teachers come in SO many forms. They are everywhere and it just tickles me to say that because it just lets me know that the universe is always supporting me and sending me little friendly reminders that their is always more work that I get to do! My teachers include, books, audio CDs, Facebook posts, school teachers, movies, lectures, friends, parents, animals, children, my job, homework assignments, public figures, yoga, nature, the cashier at the grocery store,my boyfriend, and complete perfect strangers; the list just keeps getting greater and they always show up right on time.

Right now, one of my guiding lights has been author and spiritual luminary, Louise Hay. I am currently reading her book, How to Heal Your Life and it is nothing short of magnificent. Funny thing is, this book has been on my book shelf for almost 4 years and I just now I noticed it. See what I mean about the universe being right on time? Comical. When I noticed it, I felt a flutter through my body like every cell jumped up because I knew it meant I was ready to receive this information. Each morning I read a chapter and I sit still and meditate after. Louise has this way of gently breaking down the unproductive thought patterns that we have and how they create our external realities and then substitute those thoughts with uplifting-full-of-love affirmations that are rewired into the brain to replace the old thoughts.

The quote I posted at the beginning is one of my favorites! It rang so true to me. So many times when I am trying to implement a new behavior, it feels as if my body and mind are rejecting it at first and I tend to get really discouraged. One day this week, in particular, I felt this discouragement and it was coming out left and right all over my yoga mat and through my thoughts. But you know what, I remembered this quote and I just kept forgiving myself for the thoughts that came in that were not supportive of myself and I kept saying “I approve of myself” all throughout the class no matter what, and after that class came to an end, I felt lighter and even more ready to move forward as the spiritual warrior I am!

On that note, I will complete today’s post with a dreamy recipe that many of you have requested that I put up pronto! I love it & thank you for asking!

This recipe was inspired by another lovely teacher of mine, Oh She Glows I tweaked a few things to make it gluten-free, but these donuts will have your taste-buds shimmying and your tummy doing a little twist & shout dance!

Gluten-free/Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts

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You Will Need:
1/2 tsp apple cidar vinegar
6 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or white)
1/2 a banana or 3 tbs unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute), melted
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger, + 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 1.75 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other butter sub), melted (approx estimate only)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To Prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two mini doughnut pans or two regular sized doughnut pans with Earth Balance (or other butter substitute). Or if you’re like me and you don’t have a donut pan, take tablespoonful scoops of batter and find something to press into the batter to form your own hole in the center to creat a donut.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, milk, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce or banana, brown sugar (sift if clumpy), and melted Earth Balance (or other butter sub).
3. Stir in in the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flours). Mix until combined.
4. Using a ‘zip-lock’ baggie or pastry bag, spoon the batter into the bag and then secure it with the zip lock or rubber band. Twist the bag slightly and then cut off a hole at the corner to ‘pipe’ out the batter. Pipe the dough around the circle and gently flatten down with slightly wet fingers to smooth. Repeat. Or do the other way that I mentioned in #2 if you don’t have a donut pan on top of parchment paper.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F or until they gently spring back when touched. The bottoms will be brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully using a butter knife to remove. Place on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Cinnamon Sugar: Melt Earth Balance in a small bowl and dip the cooled doughnut top into the butter and then dip top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You could cover the entire donut but I felt like that was too much, so I just did the tops. Your choice!

I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends and I did!

I leave you with a lovely image and quote that was posted on Facebook by my fav spirit junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein.

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Light & Love,
Amanda