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Archive for May, 2010

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
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Walt Disney

I’m making a big salad.  I’ve got a lot of abundance in the fridge today in the greens department, and I want to use up as much as possible because some of my sunflower sprouts and romaine is starting to turn.

I put in two packages of sunflower sprouts, some chopped veggies, tomatoes, romaine, avocado, olives, and the best homemade raw salad dressing ever—and toss.

As I see this huge and oh-so-abundant salad in front of me, I smile as I remember a time–6 years ago, when we first went 100% raw vegan—when I used to say a mantra every time I nursed baby Sagey, “We have an abundance of delicious, raw vegan food available to us at all times—everything that we could ever want and need and it’s all the best and most delicious ever.  We eat anything and everything that we want and as much as we want whenever we want—all raw food—and it all comes to us easily and joyfully.”

Now Sister, this wasn’t actually the case at the time.  Not at all.  This wasn’t an accurate reflection of the “truth” or my “now experience” in that moment.

At the time, we had no clue about raw, vegan food, how to prepare it, where to buy it online, etc. and I had some fear and a bit of a scarcity mentality on the raw food front—wondering if I’d get “enough” to eat—especially so that I could make the best milk ever for my baby—and wondering if I would ever eat anything except big salads and almond butter again.
LOL!

Now, 6 years later, that mantra is a reality.

We truly have an abundance of delicious, raw, vegan food available to us at all times and it’s the best and most delicious ever and we eat anything and everything that we want and as much as we want whenever we want—all raw food—and it all comes to us easily and joyfully.

We now know how to quickly and easily prepare the best raw dishes ever and where to most economically and easily get the products to do so.
In time, we learned the best websites to get what we needed to lead an abundant and happy raw vegan lifestyle, and in fact, created our very own website (pranaraw.com) to offer “the best of the best” products, including our own products from The Prana Café, just to make it easier for us and our students, clients, and friends to live this lifestyle joyfully and abundantly.

Back in the day, I used to make everything myself because there weren’t any raw vegan restaurants in our area and I found that preparing raw vegan food was enjoyable, relaxing, easy, and way faster than cooking.

Before I was raw vegan, I had never enjoyed cooking—not one bit–but now, interestingly, I loved to prep raw vegan food.  I figured that my Spirit had known all along that I would most thrive on a raw vegan lifestyle and so it was not “on board” when I attempted to cook and therefore, made it an unpleasant experience for me, at best.    ;)

Philippe and I loved the raw vegan food we made ourselves so much and knew that others would enjoy it as well, and figured “how hard can it be to sell it at our studios?”

It turned out that it wasn’t hard at all; in fact, whatever we filled our studio fridge with, sold out in one day.
What was challenging was keeping up with the demand. And in time, it became clear to us that we should just open a restaurant.
This, coupled with the fact that we had nowhere to go out to eat in our area, was the inspiration for opening The Prana Café—which opened to lines out the door on September 4, 2009.

At this point, it’s actually rare that I make myself anything to eat anymore because we eat all of our meals at The Prana Café (or get take out) for a few reasons.

First, it’s the best food ever.  Second, it’s 1 minute from our home.  Third, it’s cheaper for us to eat at the café, since we’re then paying wholesale for the food (we’ve bought everything that is served up there day-to-day since it’s our restaurant), instead of going to Wholefoods or Trader Joe’s, buying the ingredients retail, and then preparing it.  And finally, Philippe and the kids and I like to taste The Prana Café food daily to give feedback to our chef and keep the quality consistent and the best ever.

Not a day goes by that Philippe and I don’t express gratitude to each other and The Universe for the abundance in our lives—including the abundance of delicious, raw, vegan food right at our fingertips.

So, Super-people, if you want something in some area of your life and in the NOW, there is no evidence of this thing…no worries.

Focus on what it is that you want, feel the essence of it, and create a mantra that in the present tense describes this essence.

Say the mantra often.
Fake it till you make it!
And one day, you’ll look back and smile, realizing that now that mantra is reality.
And you manifested it.
Joyfully and easily.

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”

Alexander Graham Bell

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

Charles R. Swindoll

“Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.”

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”

Joseph Campbell

“What you perceive, your observations, feelings, interpretations, are all your truth. Your truth is important. Yet it is not The Truth.”

Linda Ellinor

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

Oprah Winfrey

Last night, the eve of May 1, 2010, when my 12-year-old, Madison, asked if she could have 7 friends sleep over, I was happy and proud to hear the word “Sure!” pop out of my mouth—before I could give any thought to the fact that I’m nursing 3 week old newborn twins ‘round the clock and as such, haven’t slept more than a few hours at a time for 3 weeks.  J

I love my daughter and I love her friends and I love having her friends over.
Done deal.

Fast forward to the sleepover extraordinaire…lots of fun being had, lots of noise being made, it’s all good.
At about 8pm Philippe declared that the girls should order a red box movie online instead of him driving them to Shaw’s Supermarket to pick it out in person, and Super-mom stepped in—“I’ll take you guys!  I’m putting on my coat.”

So off we went, me in my PJ’s—covered with breast milk stains—and the girls in their glory, giggling, chatting, having a blast.
As well they should.
It’s good to be a kid!

I “looked the other way” as they bought hordes of junk food with “their own money” and smiled my way through the night, truly enjoying it and their wonderful energy—until 1:30am.

At this point, Philippe and I had calmly and kindly asked the partay to quiet it down no less than 7 times.  The twins were fast asleep and so Philippe and I should’ve been as well, and I couldn’t put in ear plugs (a handy tool, Super-people, for sleepovers!) because I needed to hear the twins when they awoke hungry (they sleep in our bedroom).

At my wit’s end and almost delusional from zero sleep for 22 nights, I went down into the kitchen where the girls were squealing away, and I begged.

Yes, Super-people, I begged.

“Plllllease, I beg of you, please, please, please…be quiet girls.  Please keep your voices down.  I don’t care if you stay up all night.  I don’t care if you eat junk food.  Have the best time ever…but please keep it down.  I have newborn twins and I haven’t slept in over 3 weeks.  I need to sleep while they’re sleeping.  Please, Sisters.  Have some compassion.  Help a Sister out.”
Then, I spoke directly to one of the 7—a girl who’s been a BFF of my daughter for many years—a girl who is like a part of our family, as is her mom and her little sister—a girl whose mom is a daily practitioner at Prana Power Yoga and who’s one of my BFF’s—a girl with whom we spend Christmas Eve and New Years Eve every year.

I spoke directly to her because she feels like one of my own, and I treat her as such.  And truth be told, she’d been making most of the noise and I knew (thought) that I could call a spade a spade and she’d get it.  She’s a straight shooter after all.  Also, I didn’t know the other (newer—middle school) friends as well.
So I spoke directly to this girl and was extremely proud, as I told Philippe later upstairs, that I never once raised my voice.  I stayed calm and focused and simply spoke my truth without drama.
I was close to having tears in my eyes (LOL—sleep deprivation can do that to you) but I never got angry or “lost it.”
Because I wasn’t angry.
I was exhausted.
And I’d had enough.
And the girls needed a boundary set—clearly.

After my 1:30am “talk” it grew quiet downstairs where they were “slumbering,” and I quickly fell asleep.

Then today when Madison and I were processing her experience of the sleepover, she told me that her friend—the one I’d spoken to directly at 1:30am—said that I’d “yelled at her.”
Madison said that she and all the other girls had a different take on what had happened—“She didn’t really yell,” they said, “she was just reallllly tired and wanted us to be quiet.”

But that was not this girl’s truth.  She felt that I’d yelled.

I was so amazed at the emotion that surfaced upon hearing this.
It was like I was back in middle school!

I was like “Whuuuuttttt?!?!  I didn’t yell!  I was super calm.  Hellooowww, I was in tears!  I wasn’t mad—I was desperate!”

OMG talk about feeling out of my comfort zone.
Neale Donald Walsch says that “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and I smiled to Philippe today—“I feel like I’m at the end of my comfort zone.  This pre-teen stuff is pushing my buttons!

How did I become ‘mean Mommy’ in this scenario?  (I got that term—“mean mommy” from a particularly hilarious episode of “Sex and the City” where Miranda says she’s “mean Mommy” in she and Steve’s relationship).

I’m the Mom who said yes to having 7 twelve-year-olds over to sleep, while the other Super-moms said “you’re crazy, Sister!”

I’m the one who has twin newborn babies and still hosted the partay.

I’m the one who said yes to the late night (for me it was!  LOL) trip to Shaws for junk food and “Zoolander.”

I’m the one who laughed along with the girls and enjoyed their energy wholeheartedly.
And then I’m the one who made a boundary–who said “Enough Sisters.”
And now I’m “mean Mommy?”

Then on my mat, it came to me, thanks to the two affirmation/quote cards that I’d chosen “randomly” to read during my practice:  “Opportunities are seldom labeled,” and “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”

This was my opportunity!

This was my chance to shine!
This was my chance to love, to teach, to grow.
Or, I could paddle upstream.

I could get angry.

Get defensive.
Feel bad.
Feel regret.
Go into the whole “he said/she said” drama (see my article called “He said/she said” in the archives for more on this syndrome).
Thanks to the Universe, my practice, and those cards, I chose to do my best.  I chose to grow.  I chose to shine.  I chose to let my Spirit call the shots instead of my mind and ego.

I consciously surrendered the situation to the Universe, visualized it in the palms of my hands, surrounded it with golden white light, and released it.
And within minutes—MINUTES, Super-people!–I received another text from my BFF mom of Madison’s BFF, which indicated that she totally “got it.”—got what happened, got my truth.
I texted back that we’d all laugh about this tomorrow and be closer because of it.
I told her about the two quotes that I “randomly” chose to practice with today.
Then my Spirit guided me to text Madison’s BFF to tell her I loved her—to clean the slate—to begin again.
I did, and she “got it.”

And it’s done.
It’s all good.

And we’re all closer because of it.
The lesson?

There are so many, Super-people, so see what you will, because that’s, if you ask me, one of the big lessons from this experience we all see what we see and we all have our own truths.

And no truth is better or “righter” than another.

And being open to and allowing others’ truths is just as important as believing in and trusting our own.

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”
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Gustave Flaubert

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Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:

I expected motherhood to change me.  How could it not?  Everything was new.  But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together.  It was all at once brutal and gratifying.  I am grateful for all of it.  I have learned who I am and how great my support system is.  I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us.  It’s not just me who is a super mom.  It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family.  Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her.  The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU.  She was a full term baby but a very sick one.  After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched.   She thrived.  And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong.  It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart.  She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed.  I needed to feel again.  Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself.  I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day.  I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was sleepwalking.  I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!).   Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help.  I began to piece myself back together.  It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice.  It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again.  I experienced such joy in finding myself.    I had really missed me!  But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey.  It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected.  It’s often what I need most!  I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad!  Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.