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

Ac-ti-vate: to bring to life; to become or make aware

And so it is. The activation of my very first blog. The birth. The creation. The blooming.

The universe has guided me to right now and I feel feelings of gratitude, excitement, and joy (which I have a witty acronym for: “Journey Outside Yourself”) for this special moment. I tossed the idea around and around in my own head, as well as the heads of my friends and family, and it has been made clear to me that this moment right now is right where I am supposed to be. Ah, how nice is it to know and believe that on an internal level!

I welcome you and your energy to my blog! I like to think of myself today as a fun, free spirited bird who is always looking to spread my wings just a little bit further throughout my life practice. I enjoy an array of activities. Given that the name of my blog is Eat.Sweat.Play(now, Soul Feather), I am sure you can piece together some of my interests that encourage those states of being.

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I am 27 years young and the feasting that I engage in and will share with you in this blog are plant-based, a.k.a., vegan, tastings that are created from the happiness and love in my heart. I made the decision to eat this way on October 22, 2012, and I could not be happier! I feel aligned with all living things and each creation I complete makes the cells in my body even happier to be living this way. Not to mention, that when I get to share my creations with you, my energy raises and my heart stretches just a little more! Mmm, lets get hungry!

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I like to get my sweat on the most through my yoga practice, which only sets me up and strengthens me for my life practice, not to mention encourages a lot of other groovy shifts to take place in my mind, body, and spirit. I have been a little yogi for about two to three years now and I am always, always gathering more knowledge from my practice. From learning beautiful poses to gaining life changing awarenesses, there are so many gifts that I receive from yoga, and you can bet I will be sharing them with you!

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My play consists of just about everything in my life. I try to do things that make my heart happy, my body get goosebumps, and my little inner girl laugh. Creating plant-based yummies and standing on my head in yoga fall under play for me. So does making forts, having water balloons fights, cuddling with my boyfriend, dipping my toes in the ocean, dancing around my house, riding horses, coloring, hula hooping, licking cookie batter (vegan, of course), watching my pups play tug-o-war, hosting a party, making a scrap book, visiting family, taking pictures of flowers, and exploring new places. Heck, posting on this blog is play for me! One thing that all of these activities that incorporate play have in common is that they all keep me in the moment, which is what I believe to be the key to life and to happiness. I have learned the most about how to play from the three children that I have had the privilege to nanny for throughout the last four years and by watching my two Labrador puppies, Maya and Leo, romp around the house. Play is a language that is understood and used worldwide, even animals play. It is so important to allow yourself to play and I plan on sharing with you the ways that I do it, because for some time I had forgotten and life was quite gloomy without it. Keep calm and play on!

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I am looking forward to sharing my energy with you in this new and up-to-date fashion.

Light & Love,
Amanda