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Developing an Unshakable Mindset

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Living in faith and minimizing fear is arguably the most important foundation for a peaceful and happy life. This, however, can be quite a challenge as we’re constantly bombarded with options and challenges that make us question every moment and decision of our lives, leaving us riddled with fear and anxiety on a daily basis.

Working to find a calmness of spirit and faith in the journey aligns us with our true nature and equips us with an unshakable mindset.

Those who are firm in their mindset stride forth into life without letting the unknown get them down. This unwavering strength in pursuit of their goals comes from the cultivation of a deep inner trust.

For some people, this mindset appears God given. They seem to have been born with an innate fearlessness, and a positive and buoyant disposition, while others grow up shy and worrisome. For those who are not naturally extroverted, moving towards a fearless mindset can seem like an almost impossible task.

Worry and concern can drive our decisions and hold us back from truly walking towards that which will ultimately bring us joy and actualization. It can feel safe to wear worries as a cloak to protect us from the trouble that looms. In truth, however, worry is no more a cloak than it is a magnet, attracting pain and even creating our own suffering.

The way to move towards our strength and out of our fears is through courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the recognition of it and the confidence to move forward nonetheless. Courage comes from the Latin root cor, meaning heart. Thus, to live in courage means to live through our hearts.

Courage gives us strength through openness, and when we live with an open heart, the oneness of the world becomes available to us. This enables us to call forth our divinity and align us with our true nature. By being in touch with our true self we move closer to a purer and more whole version of ourselves; it puts us in communion with nature and our own inner enlightenment.

It’s impossible to live through our hearts and in faith when we live in fear of the unknown. The unknown will always exist; it’s getting to a place of acceptance and trust that enables us to live in freedom.

The key in all of this is to have patience with the process. To actively and consciously work towards the goal on a daily basis, to be gentle on ourselves, and to know that we are in complete control of our own experience here on earth. Ways to achieve this include detoxifying physical movement, practicing conscious thought, and right eating.

Specifics to come next article in Pt 2: Strengthening Your Core to Live Through Your Heart

Photo by Azrul Aziz


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This Spring Let Love and Grace Wash Over You

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Rejoice in abundance, the earth is pouring forward golden sunlight – and in California golden poppies – and newness and perfection abound.

The reason people love children and kittens and babies in general, is because it reminds us of what it is like to see with new eyes. Their energy is bright and fresh and reality has not stunted their levity.

This Spring, that energy of ascension is what is being offered to you.

Soak in the bounty as darkness dissolves and purity prevails. Know that everything you desire is coming right to you, and release things like resentment, sorrow, and worry that block it.

Easter, in Pagan culture, refers to the resurrection or the coming again of Christ. Jesus is a medium for Truth, for love, for what is Real. For some that medium may be nature, it may be God, it may be Buddha; whatever the medium, the message is the same: that which is Real cannot die.

On a human, daily basis, that which is Real is kindness, love, grace, and forgiveness. Easter is an opportunity to resurrect our connection to source and let love shine brightly from each and every one of us, to burn like the midday sun, and to let light pour forth from our hearts.

The resurrection represents the eternity of the radiant splendor of Truth.

Enlightenment is available to us at every moment, opportune for us to select whenever we so choose. When we choose to remember that we were sent down from the stars as an incarnation of spirit – the unifying energy that turns the fetus into the baby and the bulb into the tulip and the acorn into the oak tree – we are attune to the fact that we were put here to spread love and kindness and compassion and light at every opportunity. Simple yet profound, have faith that this is the elixir to all that ails you.

This is what Easter and Spring are offering us: the space to make right-minded decisions, to spread peace, to let our highest selves reveal themselves. Be aware of habits that do not serve you, for now is the time to act with the wisdom of our ancestors and the innocence of a dewdrop.

Move forth in good faith, and know that you are eternally blessed, loved and protected.

Photo: Manuel Barroso Parejo


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Festival Season Survival Tips

8816c80b87be7fa656c7fcc9bb56fe23Be above the rest and take measures to enjoy yourself and party properly with the following tips. Be smart for a blissful festie experience and to ensure you’re the funnest one out there.

1. Wear your sunblock

You do not want to be explaining to your grandkids that they need to wear sunblock because you learned firsthand in the desert wearing expensive hippie clothes how beautiful youth is until you don’t have it anymore.

Sunblock is the number one way to prevent aging. Get something that has zinc or titanium dioxide in it as those are the two most important ingredients for preventing skin cancer and visible signs of aging. I like DeVita.

The memories are not good enough to sacrifice the elasticity and tone of your complexion.

2. Drink water

Most disasters happen from not being hydrated enough. Don’t look like a rookie and let your fun get interrupted because you didn’t drink enough water.

Take care of yourself and stay hydrated. It’ll let you get the most out of your experience and, I can’t say it will take care of the guilt, but it will minimize the misery you feel once it’s all over.

You can also try Nuun tablets which are full of electrolytes and B vitamins to minimize hangovers and keep your energy high. Drop in your water to make it super tasty and even healthier.

3. Stretch

Checking in with your body is super important to do while you’re on a three, five, or ten day festival bender. You don’t have to take the yoga classes and get all sweaty with a bunch of fake yogis, you just need a little space to move a little on your own.

Stretching is energizing, helps release toxins, brings your attention to parts of your body that might be suffering, and increases blood and oxygen flow to all of your important organs. It’s as easy as folding forward over your legs and gently rocking your body from left to right. Try some quad stretches, or sit on the ground and reach for your feet folding over your legs. It doesn’t matter if you’re not flexible, stretching is effective even if you’re tight, and the more you practice the more limber you become.

4. Take superfoods

There are some powerful superfoods you can take that make staying well and strong really accessible. Here are some of my favorites.

Chlorophyll – pulls heavy metals from your system and helps to purify your blood and organs, and alkalizes your system

Hemp seeds – packed with protein to provide the structure for neurotransmitter, tissue and muscle regeneration

Fish oil – one of the highest sources of omega-3 essential oils to keep your system running smoothly, protect your skin from the inside out, and to support brain health

5. Pack smart

Props for healthy option food trucks at these events, but to save money and energy, bringing healthy and easy snacks of your own makes a huge difference. Pack apples, oranges, nuts, and bars to have for breakfast or to snack on in between sets. Hail Merry has awesome and easy treats to take with you. It will save your wallet and prevent you from getting hangry when nobody wants to see that again.


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That Which You Seek Lies Within

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I think about God a lot. Not in a heaven and hell, old man in the sky sort of way, but in a deep reverence for the power that keeps the planets in orbit and the stars in the sky sort of way. I’ve learned, through much reading, research and practice, that this very same power lies within each of us.

Yes, the power that turns the fetus into the baby and the bulb into the rosebush is the same force that each and every one of us as humans carries within. The difference between humans and animals or plants is that we have the power to say yes or no, and that we are at the effect of the mortal realm. The mortal realm makes us forget that which we truly are, which is a perfect creation of the divine.

Excuse me for getting so mystical, but this truth is nothing short of spectacular.

If you look at a baby, it’s generally joyous and at ease and playful. That is the true nature of us all, but heartbreak and bills and mean bosses make us forget this, and as we get older the burdens of life seem to outweigh the pleasures. The purpose of life is to remember the joy that we were created with; it is to adjust our perceptions to be open to the miracles that are available to us at every moment.

Our lives are up to us to create, of course, and seeing the beauty of life is not foolish, it is profound.

Dwelling in the negative, asking why me, or letting suffering get the best of you simply gives power to that which is concerning you. Adversity builds character, and recognizing difficulties as tests enables you to learn and grow. Maintaining a ‘beginner’s mind,’ that which is open and flexible instead of rigid and closed, allows you to ebb and flow with the tides of life.

Life is messy. That’s just the truth, and you can fight it or you can accept it. No one has it perfect, all we can do is our best. It is by that which cannot be taken away that we must define ourselves.

That which cannot be taken away comes from within.

Life, especially in the United States, is defined by our accomplishments. Accomplishments are extremely important. They build self-esteem, they let us explore and display our best qualities, and they have the power to make the world a better place. However, have you ever accomplished something only to find that the completion of it leads you to yearn for the same thing you wanted when you started out?

Making a certain amount of money, buying a home, and tying the knot – things our culture trumps as its highest values- tend not to deliver the joy and satisfaction they seemingly would. If they did, we’d have a lot less depression, divorce, and dissatisfaction in general. Ever met anyone who seems like they have it so good, then come to find out how sad, confused and lost they feel? Try reading a tabloid.

While taking care of our outer life is critical to our financial stability and worldly obligations, taking care of our inner life sets the stage for us to be happy no matter how much or how little we have. And, if you’re reading this right now, I’m telling you, you’ve got a lot.

Ok, back to God. Or creation, or Mother Nature, or the universe, or whatever word makes you feel comfortable. It lives within you.

There is a story that God used to live on the earth, but every day humans would come to him with their troubles. One person would ask for rain, and another would ask for sunshine, and it was impossible to please everyone. So he decided to go to the highest mountains, but climbers found him. So then he decided to go to the moon, but then space travel found him. So then he decided he would live within man, because man would never find him there.

That which you seek lies within. The peace, the power, the mental fortitude, the joy, it’s all within. It’s not in the ‘right’ home, or the ‘right’ person, or the ‘right’ mega-yacht. It’s in you.

Go inside. Spend time alone, in silence, and yes, in meditation. True happiness is properly manifested through physical and mental soundness.

At a time when religion seems to belong to extremists, it’s important to discover the truth for yourself. Having faith doesn’t mean leaning on something or discriminating others for taking a different path. It means tapping into your oneness with this planet, and recognizing that we and the birds and the rocks and the trees are all created of the same matter.

God is not a force to watch over and punish you, it’s a divine energy that can be accessed at any point to heal, uplift and guide you.

Be grateful for your health, your home, the sun and the sky. It may sound simple-minded, but a simple mind is one free of drama and free of delusion, both of which make this beautiful life a harsh one. If you have pain, look at it. It’s there to teach you something. If you feel lost, do something. If you don’t feel heard, use your voice to help someone who really doesn’t have a voice. There is always a direction to go. Inward is a good place to start.

Photo by Sebastian Boguszewicz


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Sorry Not Sorry: 6 Habits Every #GirlBoss Needs for Living at the Top

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1. Do you

Workout, have your nails done, get lots of sleep, do things that make you feel good. Properly taking care of yourself prepares you to show up fully for other people. We often treat others better than we treat ourselves, which is nice in the short run but detrimental in the long term. It’s true that you can’t share with others what you don’t give to yourself, and your best self should be your primary interest. This kind of selfishness doesn’t advocate ignoring our responsibilities or stepping on others to get ahead, it means taking care of your own human needs so that you can show up 100% for life.

2. Don’t apologize

Everything you do should be done with complete conviction. You know yourself and what you stand for, and don’t feel the need to seek approval in every activity. Because you seek to be understood, you always take the opportunity to explain your position or action if needed, but you never back track or have to apologize for what you’ve done. You’re firm in your heart and mind and trust your intuition.

3. Eat like you love yourself

Your body is your biggest ally when it comes to being incredibly successful, treating it as best as you can gives you the energy you need to head to the top. This means eating whole foods filled with the harmonious and powerful vibration of the earth, and cutting out toxic products with artificial ingredients, being conscious of how your emotions and habits play into your relationship with food. Eating pure, vibrant food nourishes your spirit and gives you the fuel you need to be your best self.

4. Don’t hate

Talking badly about, being jealous of, and judging others makes you look weak and unkind, which, ahem, probably isn’t far from the truth. It’s easy to see other people’s flaws, because as humans we have a lot of them. Seeing the goodness in others is a lot harder. Recognizing people for their strengths brings the best out in people, and helps you develop sincere and lasting relationships. Being the person that sees people in their best light gives you an immediate aura of authority. It removes petty drama from your consciousness, opening up space for higher and more productive forms of thought, like pursuing your goals and creating success.

5. Practice forgiveness

Being angry or holding a grudge only harms one person: you. Processing your emotions in regards to a painful experience is a necessary part of mature human growth. So is letting it go. Dwelling on the past or holding other people responsible for your unhappiness or mistakes that they made only detracts from your ability to release hurt and move forward. Everything we experience is a test. We can chose to suffer, or we can learn from those tests and be grateful for them. Choosing gratitude makes you soar.

6. Get comfortable being alone

Silence and alone time are critical to your personal and professional success. Being comfortable in your own presence enables you to let your inner wisdom speak and come forth. The human mind has a lot of doubt, but the human body has a lot of wisdom. Removing the distractions that come in the forms of noise and other people gives you the space to access that wisdom.

Meditation is the best way to do this, but starting out can be difficult, so doing solo activities is a good place to begin. Yoga, hiking, ocean swimming, or spending an afternoon in a new part of town are all great ways to enjoy your own company and watch your thoughts. The more time we spend in silence the more we can control our reactions to things, and create a deep and undisturbed inner peace. Developing a practice of stillness and quiet protects you from being at the effect of the ups and downs of life. It also improves your self-esteem and reduces doubt and anxiety, helping you to access the knowledge that you have the power and ability to create the life of joy that you want and deserve.


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What Everyone Should Know About the Paleo Diet

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The Paleolithic diet is trending, hard. Many lose weight, build muscle, gain mental clarity, and reduce or eliminate extreme food intolerances. Others, unfortunately, use it as an excuse to eat way too much animal protein and tell everyone they’ve gone gluten free.

While most have heard of this diet, many people don’t know what it is or why it works. The core values of the paleo diet are noteworthy and there are some powerful elements to it that are worth taking on board, whether or not you are interesting in going for it fully.

What is it

The Paleolithic diet mimics the diet of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. The core values of the diet are as follows:

  • Highly alkaline
  • Higher intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals through plants
  • No processed foods
  • No gluten (which, btw, is the protein found in wheat and other grains)
  • No sugars, natural or refined
  • No starch
  • Balanced omega-3 to omega-6 fats ratio from animal sources

Why it works

People who commit to this diet and do it the properly see exceptional results. This is because the principals are highly evolved while the practices are very clean cut.

The overall health of our nation is atrocious, the critical underpinning of this being our high consumption of processed foods. All things being equal, cutting out processed foods, sugar, and gluten are some of the best things you can do for yourself. This results in the disappearance of all kinds of daily ailments, reduces toxin intake, improves nutrient content and absorption, and contributes to a glowing complexion. It also means you’re eliminating a lot of potential or actual allergens, those of which are massively exhausting on your system and cause anything from brain fog to IBS to acne. This is huge for your vitality and vibrance.

Our country also has an obsession with low-fat and fat-free foods, but the truth is that we critically need healthy fat for all of the functions of our body to work efficiently, not the least of which is our brains, which are made 60% of fat. The paleo diet’s emphasis on high fat consumption is one of the core reasons it’s so successful in effective weight loss and muscle growth. Healthy fats improve your metabolism, support organ function, enhance mental clarity, and burn slowly to give you sustained energy.

Limitations

Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for those who commit to this diet and live their life in a healthy and mindful way. For the highly committed, this is one of the very few diets out there that actually works. That being said, there are some points I’d like to make about animal protein consumption that are worth considering by those adopting this lifestyle.

1. Environmental impact

The butchering, processing, and shipping of animals consumes more than 1/3 of fossil fuels used in the United States. The natural resources that are used to raise and maintain our animal agriculture is exorbitant and is creating a huge environmental impact on our country. Not only does raising animals for human consumption take up a huge percentage of arable land, but so does growing and watering the food that we use to feed them. Additionally, factory farms generate almost 2 billion tons of waste per year, which ends up in our groundwater and a lot of the food that we eat. Eating a diet high in animal protein contributes to these staggering figures.

2. Actual alkalinity

The Paleolithic diet puts a high emphasis on alkalinity, which is great, but animal products aren’t actually all that alkaline. Animal protein is one of the most metabolically acidic foods humans eat, which can cause the body to pull critical minerals from the bones and cells to return the body to an alkaline state.

3. Antibiotic resistance

80% of antibiotics in the United States are fed to animals raised for human consumption. While the paleo diet emphasizes the importance of eating grass fed, ethically raised meat, not everyone on this diet follows this rule, especially when a fast food burger sans bun fits the bill.

Because the demand for animal protein is so high, factory farms are forced to cram more and more animals into farms with little space to themselves. Because the animals are in such close quarters, they’re fed antibiotics to reduce the likelihood they’ll get sick. When we eat animals that have been fed with antibiotics, we indirectly ingest the antibiotics. This has come to a turning point and antibiotic resistance is a massive issue facing our world. Because bacteria evolve in response to the use of antibiotics both in animals and humans, they have started to become resistant to the life saving antibiotics that have been developed over the past 100 years. This is an extremely serious issue and is compromising the future of our healthcare.

So, how to do paleo right? Follow all the basic rules – cut out processed foods, reduce sugar and gluten, and eat highly alkaline veggies. When it comes to meat, be mindful. Eat pasture raised, grass fed meat, and limit it daily. For those who are disciplined and commit, this is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make.

Photo by Jonas Nilsson Lee


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Bastille Day at Petrossian LA


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Caviar tasting with lavender mimosa

There is nothing I love more than dressing up to eat exquisite food with fascinating people. And when it’s on a Monday for caviar to celebrate Bastille Day, it really doesn’t get much better.

I am fortunate enough to be close friends with two of the savviest people on Beverly Boulevard, and the three of us enjoyed a luxuriously long lunch at the eponymous Petrossian in Beverly Hills.

Taylor King, owner of Espionage, a high-end gift and consignment store, is one of my closest college friends. She would charm the Queen and can sell couture to a nudist. Elegant and outrageous, Tay does gifts for some of the biggest names in show business including Renee Zellweger, Jesse Eisenberg, Oprah, and Demi Moore. Her store is full of handpicked trinkets from the Parisian markets, charming house goods, and gently used couture from LA’s elite.

Our host, Fabian Gallardo, is the Chef de Cuisine at Petty Cash LA. Petty Cash is one of the best restaurants in LA, and was just awarded the ‘Best New Mexican Restaurant’ award by TimeOut Los Angeles. It’s one of my favorite places for the Hamachi ceviche, fresh Kushi oysters, and octopus tacos. Insanely flavorful and meticulously curated, many of their ingredients come from their organic rooftop garden, and their meat is locally and sustainably sourced.

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Stacked rings from Espionage LA; my mother’s diamond ring

Lunch at Petrossian was a dream. After ordering prosecco and lavender mimosas, we were treated to an extensive tasting of some local and some totally rare varieties of caviar. Our favorite was the Hackleback, Ossetra, and the Kaluga. We then had the crab bisque and a caviar and butter lettuce salad, and finished with a truffle flatbread, garnished with artichoke, peppers, goat cheese and fresh arugula.

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Truffle flatbread

The service was delightful and the company was all time. These kinds of days are what make me love LA, and I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have such dynamic people to enjoy the journey with.

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 Summer wardrobe: necklaces from XIV Karats (Beverly Hills), Espionage (West Hollywood), and Crow’s Nest (Half Moon Bay); vintage belt; denim dress from H&M