A CYCLE AROUND THE SUN
It takes approximately 365 days for the Earth to orbit the Sun. Having recently celebrated another year on this planet, I am grateful to be gifted yet another ride around. And more than ever, I am ready!
My birthday is July 30th and I spent the week leading up to the day in Ohio + New York. Unexpected for me? Absolutely, but as I navigate my way though the wedding circuit of 2016 (4 down, 1 to go), I find that weddings have been the impetus for many of my travels.
My laptop protested when I said it was time to go on summer vacation, so I spent most of my days pretty tech free. In Ohio I went to yoga here in the morning and practiced my butterfly stroke at the neighborhood pool in the afternoons. I also had the opportunity to receive bodywork from Jessica + Lauren at Harmony Yoga Studios. I had my very first Raindrop Technique® session with Jessica. "The Raindrop Technique® is a relaxing massage that combines aromatherapy, Swedish massage and Reflexology-like techniques. A sequence of therapeutic-grade essential oils are applied to different reflex points along the back, neck and feet. The oils used in the Raindrop Technique® have been chosen for their powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, aiding the body in the natural detoxification processes and promoting overall health and wellness." The massage was lighter than I expected, but unknowingly just what I needed to prepare me for Lauren's deep tissue, trigger point, reiki massage. Lauren's feedback was that she felt my left shoulder do a BIG time emotional release. (For those not familiar with Reiki, it's a healing technique based on the principle that we're all capable of channeling energy by means of touch. With intention, one can activate the natural healing processes of your or another person's body to help restore physical and emotional well-being). Interestingly enough, what I had been chasing all summer was relief from left shoulder tightness.
4 years ago, I was in a car accident and my left shoulder took the brunt of the impact. Like most, as long as nothing is broken, you walk away from an accident and say, "I am fine!" But then over the years neglected tightness becomes stiffness and that becomes weakness and then that becomes just downright limiting. It was time to address what I had put off.
Every 3 years I try to do 3 months of focused work on any area of my life that is in need of deeper healing. Three years ago it was my digestion, spine and menstrual cycle. Back in the Spring of this year, I promised myself that from May until the end of July (my birthday) I would create space in my life and be dedicated to addressing my left shoulder and right ankle's (another area that needed a little love!) needs thorough physical therapy with Christine, yoga, meditation, and a variety of other bodywork usually done with my girls Faye + Mo.
Needless to say, I welcomed the new-found lightness in my shoulder that I know wasn't the result of just one reiki session, but a combination of all my efforts since May.
Chikitsatam vyadhikaram pathyam sadharanam aushadam prayshitam prakritisthapanprashanam itaman.
Translated, it says we should "eliminate that which is not wholeness, that which is disrupting, by that which is suitable for the self, using procedures and preparations to restore the self, to re-establish prakriti (wholeness — our essential nature) and pacify by that which is conducive to health."
It takes a few reads through of that translation to process, but in summary, Ayurveda believes that wherever there's an injury or dysfunction that goes unattended, there is a point of weakness in the body. Not just a muscular weakness, but a lack of consciousness at the cellular level in that area. The more areas that become weak and disconnected from consciousness, the more the body becomes vulnerable to dis-ease.
Arriving in New York a little lighter, I couldn't have been happier to spend a few days at a lake house so sweet. Sunrises were enjoyed on the dock, wrapped in blanket with hibiscus tea in hand. We kayaked 2 miles to the Ithaca Farmer's Market to pick up a bounty of fresh food. After taking shots of local espresso, we walked around all hopped up on caffeine talking to basket weavers, soap makers, and herbalists. DREAM DAY. One vendor even helped me identify the white, wild summer flower growing rampant on the lake house property as Queen Anne's Lace. The food was simple and the company was sweet.
Wish there was a picture to show you of this stunning blue dress I bought for the wedding I went to, but my dress ripped at the seam from my armpit to the floor leaving me half naked in the middle of the cocktail hour. Pretty bummed at first, but life and the night went on. If you must know, after duct tape didn't work, I had to borrow a dress from someone I didn't know, but can now call a friend! Shoutout to Sierra, the property owner's daughter. And thank you Universe for putting generous people on my path.
On that note, all my love goes to this lake house for bringing breezes that provided insight, views that blew my mind, waters to refresh me, and enough gratitude to fill me up 'til the end of time!
Arriving back home at my little beach town in California, I was a little disoriented to what day it was and definitely disconnected from time. I'm sure it was no mistake that when I realized what day it was, it was the last day of the 13-moon calendar, July 24.
The 13-moon calendar tracks the year in terms of moon cycles. It is a calendar based on the premise that it takes ~365 days for the Earth to cycle the Sun and ~28 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth. When you calculate how many 28-day moon cycles there are in 365 days, you get 13. And then there's an extra day.
And so as the story goes, the 13-Moon calendar begins on July 26 because it's a pre-determined day when solar and galactic cycles synchronize. This happening is somehow connected to the star system Sirius. Cut me some slack here because I'm just getting into this. Actually, scratch that, let me just quote an amazing resource I found instead of trying to explain what has already been so eloquently said by www.MayanKin.com ...
"Beginning of the year – July 26
Every year, our Sun rises with the brightest star, Sirius, on July 26th. This is the day when the 13 Moon Calendar starts. It is believed that in this day our planet receives intense light and cosmic energy that accelerates our evolution.
Other ancient calendars that started on July 26 were the Mayan calendars Haab and Tun Uc “moon count” as well as the Thoth calendar of ancient Egypt.
The 13 Moon Calendar runs from July 26 to July 24 every year.
Day out of Time – July 25
July 25 is known as the Day out of Time, representing a day of transition between the old and the new year.
As July 25 does not belong to any moon or week in the 13 Moon Calendar, this day is an opportunity to truly experience timelessness, our freedom of being alive. We are invited to reflect, meditate, practice forgiveness, and prepare ourselves for the new cycle."
JULY 27, 2016
Ok, now that I am back to reality after trippin' out on that for a bit, I have to plan my birthday party! 3 days away, so excited :)
JULY 28, 2016
Don't remember the details of this day. Hung out with Christine and Mo and just remember there was a pretty profound, yet subtle shift in progress within me and around me. It was good.
I also stumble on this Pistachio-Rose Tart picture (below) and recipe by Alison Wu on my IGfeed. Don't know if there's a headache involved in making it, but I know instantly that I have to have it.
Had some otherworldly birthday banana creme pie at Cafe Gratitude and bought some kimchee. Popped over to Moon Juice, got a green drink and picked up some rosewater- bringing me one step closer to making my birthday dessert dreams come true- a delicacy that looks equal parts beautiful and delicious.
JULY 29, 2016
The night before my birthday I go out to dinner and realize that I prefer to eat at home, but hot damn this salmon is good. I end up staying up pretty late making my Saturday co-worker (and birthday twin!!), Vivian, a pistachio-rose tart too. Somewhere along the way I also had time to make flower arrangements for my house. If you ask me, fresh cut flowers in your home and on your altar are a must... At least that's just what feels right to me. By the way theres a fun little lesson I learned this night from the flowers that I talk about in detail over on my IG.
At 2 am I have a vision... I realize that adorning my cake with edible flowers is everything my dreams are made of. I am so excited, I contemplate going to the store now. Upon waking the next morning I realize I obviously voted against that given I passed out immediately after having that thought.
JULY 30, 2016
Rising at 5am is still not enough time to get everything I wanted to done (hello, pitta dosha). I end up leaving the house at 7am a little frustrated that I didn't have enough time for a green drink, coffee or sunny side up egg before work. Ciav senses my hangriness and comes to the rescue by hand delivering breakfast and a green drink from The Source to my office :) CHEESE. I am now incredibly happy.
I went to yoga after work and had just the right amount of downtime after to top my tart with the edible flowers I envisioned (tada! picture above). Some of my fave people met me at the beach for an afternoon sun sesh and ocean swim. We came back together for a sunset dinner on my patio. Jenn helped me make an awesome salad. Ciav whipped up some miso-maple sweet potato tacos + I made the cocunut-cilantro sauce. Marty brought rosé and handled the blistered shishito peppers (toppped in fresno chili, cashews, and black sesame seeds and tossed in a miso butter).
The thing I love about a good meal made at home is that you know there's a ton of love and the group's collective good vibes mixed, mashed, and cooked into all the food. Dinner came together like a dream. The sun set, the twinkle lights and "CHEERS" bar sign were turned on, and people lounged all over my furniture-less house with wine in hand like it was straight outta a magazine.
THEN the ever most musically talented sound healer and soul-sista, Gia, came over. We turned the whole upper level of my house into a yoga studio (which, since I have no couch, was easy- it consisted of laying yoga mats in 2 rows), she played singing bowls and gongs and bathed us with the sweetest of sounds. It was VERY LA of me to have a soundbath as a part of my birthday party, but ya know what? it was also v EPIC. Plus, my smudging stick got to be used and life really couldn't get any better.
THE NIGHT OF JULY 30, 2016
We're now talking about the symphony of sounds composed by NASA, discussing how my house just felt space cleared by sound, and how it takes a master gong guru 7 years to make an instrument. The conversation keeps getting more interesting, but alas, Gia and Jenn must go.
I've been brewing chai tea and making almond milk since 5 am, so hold the phone this party ain't over yet...
TEA + TONIC FLIGHT TIME!
- I paired Vidya's cosmic chai tea latte with a slice of my pistachio-rose tart decorated in edible flowers. This was of course after people sung happy birthday to me and I blew out the candles that Ciav insisted on lighting with a crème brûlée torch.
- This is where my friends Christine and Lawson come in big time! They made me Sprouted Routes paleo sea salt and caramel chocolate brownies (picture below). Which just so perfectly paired with my Herbalized Golden Cacao Milk! (I alllmost went with a dandelion-cacao latte, but I specifically choose this Local Milk recipe (second photo below) because Ciav so thoughtfully (read I handed it to him and said, "will you buy this for me?") gifted me Sunpotion's Ashwagandha for my bday).
We all sat around outside all night with stars above our head and eventually, a call for deep rest and a damp, salty ocean breeze drove us inside. We hugged and kissed my dear friend Vianca goodbye first and one by one all my good friends left. EXCEPT Alexa and I stayed up until 3 am pulling cards and dreaming big. We eventually called it a night and ended with an epic TOOTH BRUSHING party thanks to the sweet Give me the Dirt birthday gifts given to me by my brother (MCT oil toothpaste + Trace Mineral Tooth Brushing Powder). I saged Alexa to sleep in our home office easily, and often, converted to guest bedroom (don't worry feng shui masters out there, depending on the time and day, I try to sage the space to shift the intention to either peaceful and rested or engaged and productive). All in all, it was just the perfect day. I slipped into bed a very, VERY GRATEFUL gal.
JULY 31, 2016
It's my brother's birthday. Hooray. Note to self: call him. I wake up and Alexa helps me clean the kitchen, which looks like the aftermath of a holistic health frat party. Abandoned bowls of ghee, sprinkles of cacao, several turmeric stained dishes, and a whole lot of WINE GLASSES. We do it all by hand. She leaves and I pour myself a mug o chai tea and cut a sliver of my leftover birthday tart. I serve it to myself on a cutting board and come to the greatest realization: this tart tastes 20x better after you let it sit long enough that all the good stuff on top oooozzzes over the edges. Mmm.
August 2, 2016
A New Moon in Leo greets me 3 days later and I can't help it, I am still processing the birthday magic. Can't thank everyone enough who wished me a happy birthday from near and far. Feeling really supported, loved and clear as I take another go around the Sun! I feel like a deep mystic at heart, so for my birthday to be a day in which I was surrounded by people who I don't have to explain myself to and can appreciate my love for the ocean, the great outdoors, sunset floor-parties, amazing food + wine, good music, and even better company is a day beyond my wildest dreams. Looking forward to another year and another opportunity to breathe new life into all of my pursuits.
Speaking of my endeavors, I want to step into my upcoming Anatomy, alignment, + self-massage workshop at Soho Yoga and our 2016 Malibu Retreat experience feeling really clear, so I will likely take a break from blogging until after Malibu 2016 is over! If you want to join us, it's not too late, check out our retreat offerings page. Until then, be on the look out for an IWR post catching up with Claire, our Malibu Chef!
Love to you all!