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Food as a Mirror for Personal Growth

Learn to let your intuition—gut instinct—tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you (and conversely, when what you’re doing is just right).
~Oprah Winfrey

But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.
~Carrie on Sex and the City

Who is your significant other? The answer may surprise you. Your relationships include your relationship with nature, people, pets, career, money, food, and anything else with which you form an attachment. How you experience these relationships is a reflection of the greatest relationship in your life–your relationship with yourself. Because eating is an everyday ritual, your relationship with food is an important reflection or mirror of your relationship with yourself.

Your life experiences are based on your perception of these events. It all begins with your view of yourself. Are you living authentically or are you living by other people’s beliefs? You can find the answer to this question by looking at your relationships. Are your relationships supportive? Do they have healthy boundaries? Or do your relationships bring up inner fears? By deconstructing your stories or limiting beliefs behind your fears, you can find out more about yourself and how to listen to your inner voice instead of following other people’s stories.

Your relationship with food can also reveal limiting beliefs about yourself. If you choose foods that distort thinking, such as alcohol, this may suggest that you want to avoid facing your fears. Mindful eating without distractions allows you to focus on the present moment and nourish your inner voice. Then you honor and respect not only the food you are eating but also yourself.

Healthy Relationship Tip

To connect with your partner and yourself on a more profound level, follow this exercise:

3 Appreciations

  1. Sit crossed legged in front of your partner. Say three things you appreciate about your partner.
  2. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about you.
  3. You say three things you appreciate about yourself.
  4. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about himself or herself.

This exercise allows your partner to hear how you value him or her. You also hear how your partner values you, and you both hear how you value yourselves.

Walking Meditation

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
~Navaho Prayer

Mindfulness is a state of being in the present moment. It is common in your day-to-day existence to “walk” through life unaware of your present experience. You may hold on to thoughts about the past or the future. Practicing mindfulness through walking meditation allows you “be in the present moment.”

Connecting with your body, emotions, and thoughts can help to bring you back to the present moment. To become more mindful, use this process as you begin walking meditation:

  1. The first avenue of mindfulness is body awareness. Your body has a sacred language which can communicate when something is out of balance. Begin the walking meditation by “grounding” yourself in your body. Notice any physical sensations as your feet touch the ground.
  2. In Buddhism, the word “citta” refers to both mind and heart. As you do walking meditation, become aware of your emotions and state of mind. Follow your emotions on your journey, and watch how they change as often as your state of mind changes. You may start off feeling curious and interested about the practice, but by the end, you may feel joyful and relaxed.
  3. Notice that your thoughts also change throughout the exercise. They may be busy and distracted at the beginning and become more focused and calm when you connect with the meditation practice itself.

Being aware of your emotional and mental states during walking meditation helps you practice being in the present moment. As you fill your mind and heart with beautiful experience of walking, you focus less on distractions and illusions. Rather, you are deeply aware of your present experience as you become more centered.

As you practice, you develop greater awareness of your emotions and state of mind. With this awareness, you can be more receptive to universal energy as well as inner guidance. As your mind becomes more centered, you are more open to the beauty of the world both inside and out.

Cleansing Your Aura

Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.
~Gary Zukav

Today, people believe their thoughts are their own, quickly choosing words and speaking without showing proper respect to the spiritual origin of the thoughts. However, all thoughts are not your own; they are from the spiritual realm.

You transmit your thoughts into the universe like a radio signal. Other people can pick up these signals and react to your thoughts. You may even react to other people’s thoughts. If you are sensitive to other people’s thoughts, you may feel drained around someone whose aura (energy field) is heavy and dark. Cleansing your own aura can help you feel lighter and more receptive to universal energy.

Because your thoughts make up your energy field, you can keep your aura clear with positive thinking (affirmations). Choose your words carefully. Before you speak, feel those words in your heart and know they convey the truth. Then you can speak the words from your heart, allowing universal energy to flow through you.

If you come into contact with someone who has limiting thoughts, use sacred rituals to cleanse your aura:

1. Visualization

Close your eyes and imagine your aura becoming cleansed with showers of white light.

2. Burn Sage or Incense

Fire and smoke have cleansing power. They have the ability to alter the energetic field of a person or a space.

3. Spiritual Thought

Chanting, meditation, or prayers, which invoke your spiritual source, have the power to attract assistance in achieving your goal.

4. Loving Shield

Love heals all things, so imagine yourself surrounded by a protective loving shield.

5. Water

Water symbolizes new birth and change. It cleanses your energetic fields on all levels, recharging the mind, body, and spirit.

6. Nature

The easiest way to cleanse your aura and ground yourself is to connect with Mother Earth. Use natural elemental forces in food and plants to brighten the energy in a space.

7. Animals

Intuitively, animals can pick up your thoughts and emotions. With their unconditional love, they help bring you back to the present moment.

In your journal, make a list of inner and outer resources that help ground you when you feel tense. Inner resources may be meditation, humor, or prayer. Outer resources may be writing in a letter, listening to music, or taking a walk. Finally, write positive evidence that validates your ability to stay in your own energy. Remember, you’re a work in progress, so enjoy the journey!

Journal Break!

I’ve spoken a lot about the power of your journal, and now it’s time to take a break and make sure that you are keeping track of all your progress. This will help you immensely as you look back on how you started your spiritual journey and on how far you have come since you first started.

Use your journal to document three major elements of your life.

  1. Body
  2. Emotions
  3. Thoughts

This can help you discover areas in your life that you would like to change. Of course, this is your journal, so you can feel free to add in any other relevant areas of your life. Just be sure to write about the above three issues, though, because that is how you will really be able to document your progress.

Recipe for Success: Positive Evidence Journal

Develop your awareness of Spirit by writing positive evidence in a journal. Follow these simple steps:

  • In the morning, write your screenplay on the left page.
  • In the evening, write what happened during the day on the right hand page.
  • Remember to express gratitude for the abundant opportunities and blessings in your new life.

It is acceptable behavior in this society to put other people’s needs first, while sacrificing your own needs. Living within this norm, it is easy to set the intention for going to work and spending eight hours a day at the office, since people are often reluctant to set the intention to put their own needs first. Here are some hints for when you want to connect to your truth.

  1. First, listen to your inner voice, and then, set the intention to receive help from your Bliss Guide.
  2. Second, be as detailed as you can in the creation of your day. For instance, when you are planning your day, include the times you will do something and how long you plan on doing it. Include time for your passions. Be specific.
  3. Pretend that you are a secretary, making out the schedule for your boss. She is relying on you to plan out her day, minute by minute. She trusts you to create a day filled with important appointments as well as relaxation time (down time). You will find that not only will you will get more done, you will create the day that you want. You will live from your truth.
  4. Then visualize your day in Technicolor, Techni-smell, Techni-sound, Techni-everything!

Your thoughts and words have the power to create endless experiences. All it takes it your imagination and listening to your heart to be who you want to be. Have you ever envisioned your day and then lived it moment by moment, watching the drama play itself out? It’s almost like déjà vu, except that you created the day through visualization. When you have envisioned a scenario, it is as if it has already happened, because the spiritual world will manifest the desire into action. Now’s your chance, so live your life to the fullest!

Awakening to Your True Self

You can live the life of your dreams. All it takes is shifting from the limiting thought paradigm you’ve been living up until now, to the thoughts and beliefs of the ideal role you want to play. Remember that this is your authentic self. By living your passion, the things that you desire and the opportunities to create your ideal life will appear at divine right timing. You become one with the Divine, and you will be amazed at what you can create.

First, you must shift from a place where you feel safe, which is your comfort zone, to a place where you live from your authentic self, unafraid to take risks and leading with your energy.

Recipe for Success: Awakening to Your True Self Meditation

Traditional cultures used meditation as a way to connect to the Divine within. The word “meditate” means “to reflect on or contemplate.” There is no one way to meditate. You may want to focus on your breath, an inner light, or a sacred mantra. Choose whatever feels comfortable for you. Peace is your ultimate sanctuary.

Just follow the simple steps below to meditate. Don’t forget to mark your mental experiences in your journal so that you can track your success and see your progress!

  1. Find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed.
  2. Sit in a way that is comfortable for you. You may choose to sit cross-legged on a cushion, or you may choose to sit in a comfortable chair.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Initially, you may wish to focus on your breath, an inner light, or a sacred mantra.
  5. You may notice that you have many thoughts which come and go. After a while, your thoughts will become quiet.
  6. Notice the peace which lies within. The more you practice, the easier it will become to find this peace. This is your sanctuary.
  7. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

Your journey will not end overnight, so it is important for you to see how far you have come. Remind yourself that you can and will meet all of your dreams that you may not even realize yet. Just stick with your journal, your meditations, and all of your dreams. Before you know it, all of your dreams will become your reality, because you are ultimately the choreographer of your own life.

Unveiling Your Authentic Self

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~William Shakespeare in Hamlet

Some people say that we must not be attached to our expectations. However, it is important to think about the end result, because the level of thought is how the visualization materializes. There is a difference between being attached to the end result and being focused on creating. Focusing on creating the goal with passion and emotion allows universal energies to flow, bringing about circumstances for the image to appear on the physical plane. But attachment to the goal with fear that it will not materialize creates suffering and blockages in the flow of universal energy through the energy centers of the body, called charkas. Focusing on what you desire rather than how it may appear moves you ahead with greater efficiency.

Move from holding onto the past to creating new opportunities and experiences in the present moment. Live from your true self, which knows no judgment and preconceived limitations. This your Life, and you are one with the Divine, living in the eternal present without boundaries of any kind.

There are four levels of living your truth. First, do what you can, setting aside the time and energy to create your dreams. Second, do what you must, performing the actions and priorities that define your life as you see it. Third, do what you love, following your calling and reason for living.  Finally, be Love, just resting in your being-ness as human being, not human doing. At the fourth level, you realize your true self and co-create with the universe. What is your passion? Passion drives your soul to choose your experience. If you determine what you are passionate about, you will have the motivation to see it manifested.

Actors have the great challenge of incorporating a role so well into their being that they become the part. They take on the core character and identity so well, in fact, that they think, feel, and behave as if they had been born for the role. People who live from their passion are open to universal energy, and thus integrate their power and confidence to manifest their dreams. To create your vision, you must take on the core character, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, of your true identity. The first step is to unveil your authentic self.

Recipe for Success: Unveiling Your Authentic Self

Ask yourself these questions to help you uncover your Authentic Self. Remember to write your answers in your journal.

  1. What is your passion? If you had all the resources (money, time, etc.) in the world and could create anything with your life, what would you do?
  2. What is stopping you from living your life to the fullest now? What are your fears and limiting beliefs?
  3. What are your perceptions of who you are? What role are you playing now?
  4. What role do you want to play? Who is your role model? Tune in to the energy of the person. As if you were researching a role for a play, observe how your role model acts and lives. Take notes and pictures. Practice that person’s movements and dress in every detail.

Remember to follow the great Indian Guru Paramahansa Yogananda’s advice: “Do not take life’s experiences too seriously. Above all, do not let them hurt you, for in reality they are nothing but dream experiences. If circumstances are bad and you have to bear them, do not make them a part of yourself. Play your part in life, but never forget that it is only a role.” Now is your chance to let your true self shine. You are beautiful!

Transforming Thoughts

A man should learn to watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament, of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more abiding lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our own spontaneous impression with good-natured inflexibility when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you identify with your past and all its events, you can become like a robot, performing roles that are created by society. You may identify with the tribal stories that have been told to you from childhood. You may limit your growth, weighing every choice you make against the beliefs you perceive are true. You may be afraid to venture out into the wild blue yonder, creating imaginary boundaries about how you are not good enough, not old enough, etc. Behind these stories and limiting thoughts is the foundational thought that represents who you think you are, the underlying thought of love or fear. This thought creates corollary thoughts, such as “I can’t afford that,” “I am not worthy,” or “there isn’t enough”. However, when you connect with your higher self and receive the true foundational thought that represents You, you know that Love, Peace, Joy, and Freedom are the truth of who you are. As you become more aware of the limiting thoughts you have been carrying around, you can choose to release them and create new ones that reflect your true self.

How you see the world and what opportunities appear to you depend largely on the way you are thinking. When you see the world as a hard place, you will tend to see your life as half-empty. But if you see problems as opportunities, you will tend to see your life as half-full. Depending on your point of view, you can choose to be open to receiving the gifts from the universe or limit yourself by seeing only hardship and suffering. Your potential is unlimited. However, if you perceive yourself as small, you will remain unaware of your power and your connection in an expanded universe.

Perhaps this can be described best by Vilayat Khan, an Indian/British Sufi Master and writer who once said, “Those issues that you face are not fixed in time and space; they are relative to your particular viewpoint and subject to constant change. In fact, much of the pain caused by our problems stems in part from our own unchanging biases in terms of how we interpret our personal difficulties to ourselves.”

Philosophically, the cause of illness is the disconnection from your source, and as the ego’s thought system separates you from others, you tend to make judgments and conjure up stories that you believe are true. When your ego defends itself and you think you are your stories, your body becomes sick trying to maintain this illusion.

It is well known that prayer and laughter have been shown to reverse illness and diseases without resorting to conventional treatments that are relied on in Western medicine. Though there is not a concrete scientific explanation to describe this phenomenon, the fact still remains that prayer and laughter do wonders for the soul. So if you are feeling sick or sad or even helpless, remember that doctors do not hold the cure for everything. In fact, sometimes the best medical cures lie within yourself.

In reality, you are not your body, and so you cannot die. There is nothing you can do that can hurt your body. Attack comes from within, and when you attack another, you attack yourself. Through judgments on others and yourself, you have created the opportunity for attack. These judgments and stories give you the illusion of power, but real empowerment comes from within when you realize that you are not separate, that you are one with your absolute source.

Your thoughts create your reality, so that what you experience is how you perceive the situation. If you believe that you can die, you will perceive the world as attacking you, and your body reacts to your beliefs by growing old and becoming sick. It is your stressful thoughts along with unhealthy diet that cause your body to become weak and vulnerable to attack from pathogens. Furthermore, universal forces are attracted to like frequencies, and if your thoughts are vibrating at a frequency of death and despair, the universe will provide the forces that support death and despair. However, if you think thoughts of peace and well being, the universe will provide situations in which you are at peace.

Often, self-limiting thoughts or judgments create blockages in the flow of universal energy in the body, which lead to stagnation and illness. Holding on to the past and playing a role of who you think you should be leads to live a life that is disconnected from your truth. Self-love, forgiveness, and speaking your truth are the keys to opening up and releasing blockages to healing.

Recipe for Success: Changing Limiting Thought Patterns and Beliefs

This is a very important exercise that will leave you with a much deeper understanding of what holds you back and what you can do to move forward. Remember to write down your answers in your journal.

  1. What limiting thoughts and stories do you have?
  2. What feelings do you have associated with these thoughts?
  3. Examining each limiting thought, what choices have you made based on that belief or thought?
  4. What new thoughts or mantras do you want to hold that reflect your true self?
  5. What choices do you desire to make to live the life you create?
  6. What inspired actions do you have to amp up the energy and carry you forward?

Throughout the day, notice your thought patterns and write them down. What is your foundational thought? Notice your feelings and how your feelings change when you change your thoughts. Praise yourself each time you create a new more positive thought pattern. Keep a journal and note how often you give yourself permission to love yourself. After a while, you will notice positive changes in how you perceive yourself and others. Your transformed thoughts will reflect your authentic self. Welcome to the new YOU!

Healing Inner Child

My sister came rushing into the room. “Where are the things in the garage that I was going to give to my friend’s husband?” She was agitated and upset.

“I thought they were garbage so I threw them out,” I said.

She shook her head. “I’m working on cleaning out the garage. That’s my project. See? I have everything organized, so I know what to give away and where everything goes.”

“Tell him I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” I said.

After she left, I re-lived that event over and over in my mind, feeling defeated. I felt as if I had done something wrong. What I was actually doing was experiencing the event as real through my perception.

Because you determine what is real through your perceptions, you may also hold onto the past by re-living experiences in your life. As if they were purple hearts won on the battle field with your suffering, you pledge allegiance to memories of hurts, identifying with them, and building your life around them. You may think that the past is who you are. Yet, the past is only what you remember and is subjective based on your perception. The past is filtered through your thoughts and feelings when the event occurred and becomes real when you re-live it over and over again. Doesn’t it wrench your heart out when you tell people about something so meaningful that happened in the past, but they don’t even remember or acknowledge it? Time is an idea held in the human mind, so when you allow a shift in perception to change your experience, the past changes, too, which allows you to let go of your need to hold on to the past. Playing with your inner child—recreation (re-creation)—allows you to heal that place of hurt in your soul. By re-living the event the way you would want it to happen, you can re-create new energy that you carry and perceive as real.

If I re-lived the event the way I had wanted it to happen, my experience would be different and my feelings would change. That I felt defensive when my sister scolded me showed me that I had metaphorically handed my power over to her. When I perceived myself as powerless, she treated me as such because she was mirroring my energy. Whether my sister was upset or not was irrelevant to how I perceived the event. I was acting as if I had been scolded, so the experience of being scolded became a reality for me. She could be upset based on her perception of the event, but how did I want to re-live the experience? I decided to act as if she had no power over me and I hadn’t been scolded. I immediately felt better as the new reality became my experience.

When I saw my sister later in the kitchen, I said, “You’re doing a great job with the garage.”

She looked grateful for the encouragement. “Thanks,” she said. She gave me a hug. “I moved some things against the wall, so it’s coming along.”

We were bonding once again on a more aligned level.

Recipe for Success: Changing Perception and Recreating the Past

Think of a situation you would like to re-create. List in order the events that occurred. Then answer the following questions in your journal.

  1. How are you feeling?
  2. What was your perception of the events?
  3. How did you hand over your power? What was happening before the situation occurred?
  4. What do you want to experience now? What is your power, your truth?
  5. What thoughts can help you shift your perception? What can you say to yourself to help you perceive the situation differently? What is the truth of the event?
  6. What is your next action to reclaim your power? What guidance are you receiving?
  7. What intention can you set before the next event?

You may have learned to hold on to your past and identify with your experiences, even feeling shame or sadness which brings on suffering. You may have not learned to forgive yourself very well. However, through forgiveness, you can release yourself from your perceived images and realize your true nature, which creates itself as “new” in every moment. To learn something, you must teach it; as you hear yourself speak your truth, you become the truth, because you are what you think. The more you speak your truth, the more you grow closer and closer to your true nature. Every action and thought focused on the absolute source brings you back in alignment with universal truth. This is one very powerful way to achieve balance, to avoid suffering, and to become centered and eternally at peace.

Setting Intention

An intention is your determination to act a certain way that transmutes the energy of a situation. Setting an intention involves connecting with your spirit guides before any creative expression. Saying a prayer or blessing, lighting a candle, or bringing flowers into a room transforms the energy of the task from work into play, which allows creativity to enter and unfold before your eyes.

Recipe for Success: Setting Intentions

To transmute the spiritual energy of a situation or event, connect with your inner guides for support in setting an intention. Open yourself to receiving divine inspiration and record this guidance in your journal.

  1. What spiritual essences (Love, Peace, Joy, Freedom) do you want to activate on the inside? What is your inner intention?
  2. How can you connect with Spirit on the outside? An example is, “My intention on the outside is to have fun and serve you in the highest way possible.” What is your outer intention?

Begin cooking from a place of peace and treat the kitchen as a sacred space. The intention of connecting with divine guidance activates spiritual alchemy during cooking. This transformation of energy in food allows the body to harmonize with universal forces. Healing occurs.

Developing Intuition

Development of intuition means trusting your inner voice instead of protecting your ego. When you forget to listen to your inner voice, you can get depressed or sick. But when you listen to your inner voice, who is your guide, you are at peace. If you trust that the universe is abundant and will bring what you need, your heart can be joyful and open to whatever comes.


Meditation and studying scriptures and writings of spiritual leaders open the door to choices that support your well-being, instead of succumbing to temptations or mindlessly following the advice of others. You want your choices to reflect who you are and to open doors of opportunity for further growth.

Life need not be a struggle; it can be easy to listen to your intuition and be joyful. You may become distracted when you get caught up in the struggle to survive. However, suffering is a matter of perspective. You can clean the lens through which you see the world and release mental blockages to receiving universal energy.

Receiving universal energy requires you to become strong physically, through eating an energetically balanced diet of macrobiotic foods. Doing what you love also fills up your energy reservoir, while working under other people’s rules depletes your energy. When you make your passion your life work, everything you do connects you with your source. You cultivate more than enough love to give. In this way, your life becomes a prayer and a gift to the universe in gratitude for the abundance in your life.

As you see yourself as an important contributor to universal flow and a teacher of truth, you live from our authenticity. Your life becomes a joy, rather than a struggle to survive. You see the process of death as a transformation from physical to spiritual energy, as appearances changing form. This awareness allows you to devote your time to creation, rather than to the ego’s game of survival of the fittest.

Your body is a tool you can use to spread the message of truth. Your mental, emotional, and etheric fields form the matrix on which the physical body can materialize, so the body is a reflection of our thoughts and energy. You can develop your connection to the energetic field by engaging in things like eating a macrobiotic diet, taking a walk in nature, and wearing organic natural fiber clothing.

You can also improve your compassion towards others. You can do this by focusing on the aspects that you like about them and being grateful that they are contributing to the positive energy of the universe. Then the boundaries that separate you from people with whom you feel resistance are dissolved; you see them as spirits on the same path to the absolute source. It is when you focus on protecting your ego and see yourself as better than others that you lose your direction, blocking the universal flow. Disassociating yourself from the ego and focusing on your higher self can help you see beyond illusions to the truth in others. You can also ask their higher guides to help them become aware of their issues and limitations that arise from the need to defend their ego.

As you develop your awareness of your energetic field, you can be open to supporting the body’s ability to heal itself. This involves cultivating trust in inner guides that not only give you advice, but also help facilitate energetic healing. This inner guidance is the link to universal energy, which can show you the means to heal from within. In this way, your own inner guidance can help release emotional or mental blockages in the aural field so that healing can proceed.

Recipe for Success: Engaging Your Inner Guidance with the Use of Inner or Spirit Guides

This is another very helpful activity that will give you greater insight into your inner or spirit guide. Simply follow these steps and keep your journal close by.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax all tension in your body.
  • Imagine yourself in front of an ornate door that is perfect in height, weight, and width. It may be carved or even have a stained glass window. The handle is at the perfect height and feels good in your hand. Around the edges, a glorious light is shining through. The iridescent light is the perfect temperature and is calling you.
  • Grasp the handle and open the door.
  • If you were going to fill a job position, what do you need help with? Ask your inner guides to appear to you one by one. They may appear as physical beings, as a thought, or as light. You may see them, sense them, or feel them.
  • Write down what you sense for each of your inner guides. Ask your guides for support as you make choices along your journey.

Now answer the following questions in your journal:

  1. Did you feel any body sensations?
  2. What are your emotions?
  3. Which guides are on your team? Be sure to include a Bliss Guide on your team. A bliss guide is someone who helps you have more fun and allows your work to be fun, because none of us plays enough.
  4. List the names and characteristics of your guides.

A Helping Hand

As you already know, every person has an internal voice (no matter what we call it) that dictates what is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unfair. This voice is what carries you through the bad times and leads you to the good. While it is imperative for everybody to follow their own choices, sometimes you need to lend yourself a helping hand. If you are having a hard time letting your inner voice ring strong, you may want to consider getting a spiritual life coach. Sometimes it just takes a bit of coaxing to make your inner voice come out, and in the end, your inner voice is the key to your life’s success.

You Luv

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