Discipline

I have long decided to invite more discipline into my life. Correction: I have long decided to invite more discipline into my working life. Being a mother, that means those five to six hours in the morning and early afternoon while Svarun is in kindergarten. Being a mompreneur (a mother who is an entrepreneur), that has meant: all day every day.

It’s utopian to think that I’m going to be able to do all that I want/ should/ must/ desire in a mere few hours, especially because … well, I’m a woman. I don’t do things linear; I do a little bit of this here, and a little bit of that there, and then return to this, and then continue that bit over there. Just as I’m typing this, the granola is in the oven and washed clothes can’t wait to hang out in the balcony in this hot, orange, autumn sun. But being a woman, I also posses a lot of creativity that just wants to see the light of the day. However, being a woman alone does not make me highly chaotic; what makes me such is thinking that discipline would bore me to tears.

I’m willing to shift this now.

I’m willing to see things differently.

If we take a look at the word discipline, it shares the root with the word disciple. I’m not going to go into some religious lagacy, but just consider the meaning of the word disciple or bhakta, which is how the same person is called in Hare Krishna tradition. A disciple is someone who has surrendered his will to the coach.

For me, the coach is myself … or rather the part of myself I have yet not named, but it’s a she. She is the divine feminine that is waking up inside of me. She is my primal nature; she is Nature itself. Her gift is to find wisdom within her cycles; her gift is to descend and ascend, and give to the world all the love and beauty and softness she has gathered along the way. And what she needs in order to do all of that is … inspiration.

My idea of discipline? Surrendering to the inner guidance and feed it well with a lot of inspiration.

Again, my idea of discipline? Every day I take time for things that inspire me; I take time form y yoga and meditation, I take time form my barefoot walk, I take time to spend in Nature, and as of today … I take time for my kitchen playtime. That means I take time for the new app I’ve created, called Igralnica Kuhalnica in Slovene (but coming in English as well) and for sheer plain experimenting in the kitchen. When I’m throwing things together I fill like a kid again, wide eyed, barely managing to wait what’s going to … become.

That way, I’m becoming anew every second of every day. And that, my friends, is a gift.

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Afraid of Being Bored?

The past few days at a festival were busy, diverse, and lively. As I was going, I could barely keep up with the pace and the heat. But retrospectively, at the end of each day, I felt relaxed, nurtured and full. The happening made me realize how much I’d missed diversity … so I drank it all up these past few days. In fact, I downed it – bottoms up! And it felt good because it made me feel truly alive. The abundance of impressions, change, and fluidity settle for a day fully lived.

But when the routine kicks in, I find myself barely differing a Monday from a Saturday. Although my days tend to still be diverse with a three-year-old on batteries, I slow down. I start to let go and I stop to expect phenomenal things to happen. Quite the contrary from those adrenalin-filled days … when I, not a keen night driver, find myself determined and excited to go on a festival that same night, set up the tent when I get there at 11:30 pm, and go catch the last concert afterwards. I am way more likely to remember these days than those, when my life revolves around cooking and bedtime stories.

And, filling my days to the brim with people, tasks, recipes to try out, new things to show to Svarun, and places to go,  I ask myself … am I worried of being bored?

I had a boyfriend who was afraid of getting bored in the bedroom department, so he kept coming up with proposals of threesomes, foursomes, fools and horses. Clearly, I’m joking about the last, but it’s true about the rest. I never tried to understand his inclinations, but I knew that what he really needed not to get bored was the gentleness of a Goddess to lead him by the hand and into the land of Sacred Sexuality, where every breath is different from the other and where the key is not in diversity, but in surrendering to the moment. I didn’t know how to be that Goddess at that point, but I’m getting there now. I feel the Goddess’ pull into the Sacred Realms of Awareness especially in moments such as the below, where I get to exercise my own surrendering to the moment. That is only possible by cultivating your presence.

Today it hit me that I want more adrenalin-filled free-flowing days of music and dance. I want to dance. And when it hit me that I want more things “exciting enough to be worth remembering”, life lovingly showed me the other side of the equation.

Me and Svarun were driving in the car, and we had some dates in a jar in the back seat of the car from the festival. Svarun took and munched on the dates, and gave one to me.

Then he says: “Can you give me two hazelnuts, please? Then I can put them in the dates and eat the nom-nom goodies.”

That’s something we frequently do: we take a nut of choice and put it inside a date for a healthy, happy and nutritious dessert, or dip the date inside a nut butter for an occasional revelation. He inspired me to put a hazelnut inside my half-eaten date as well. I could easily munch down the concoction without paying much attention, but the Goddess made me look at my dessert and notice … I was eating an acorn. The golden brown date hat sat upon a sandy hazelnut and looked too cute to eat. I was driving my car, looking at the acorn, and my heart was smiling. I was being there and then. I surrendered to the moment, enjoying it to the brim because I recognized the value in it. It may have only looked like a car ride and dates, but it much more to offer: presence, surrender, beauty.

What if every moment of the day has so much to offer if we surrender to it?

I thought to myself: “Won’t you look at this. We’re eating acorns in the middle of the afternoon, having a laugh with my boy. Life is good.” The feeling of contentment flushed my body, followed by the feeling of gratitude – to that very moment and to life that helped me realize my Here and Now are what is worth living for, to myself for being able to notice the goodness of life, and to Svarun for slowing down my pace constantly so I can just … BE.

Later I thought how many different thoughts could have entered my awareness as I was eating my dessert, thoughts like “Why am I eating at this point, anyway?” or “I’m not hungry anyway, but I do have a sweet tooth” or ”What else do I have to do after Svarun falls asleep tonight?”. But the call for more Sacredness in my life, which I call The Goddess, brought me by the hand to an everyday moment of staring at a made-up acorn and surrendering to the moment. Being present. Seeing the gift that the moment brought.

The call for more Sacredness in my life brought me to the tools of Those Who Create Life.

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On Our True Essence

I held the Universe in my hands.

It was looking back at me, curiously.

I was touched by the Eternity and the Now when I held a newborn in my hands yesterday.

My best friend gave birth to Eon Vitan a week ago and upon losing my wallet, I decided to hitchhike there. I was in that “baby mood” all day yesterday and finally, when I saw him in Nika’s hands, all helpless and profound and breastfeeding, I bursted into tears. The same way I’m bursting into tears now just thinking about it. He made me think of the Universe that I had in my hands almost four years ago; the Universe that’s been in my life ever since, but my vision gets blurred so I sometimes don’t recognize it as such. It made me see how much I’ve grown over the last years. And it made me grateful for it all.

As I was holding Eon and supporting his tiny black-haired head, I remembered the oneness. I remembered we were all once as fragile as he is now. I remembered. I remembered that we were all just these shining examples of pure light and goodness, making this world a better place. We were? Excuse me, we are. Present Tense. But somehow most of us forgot along the way.

“Well, when did it go wrong? What happened?” you might be asking yourself. Life happened. The life we ourselves chose had built layers and layers of conditions upon us. Why? So that we could get to the point where we are now and look back and unlearn and unleash everything that’s not serving us. And go on happily ever after, always aware of our light, always aware of the light of others, and always shining our light into the world.

For example, I had these two guys pull over when I was hitchhiking to Nika’s place. I could see they had probably downed one or two pints and they were heading to a local fair. And I could see the way the driver was looking at me, as though the pints had unleashed the beast. He wanted me to come along to the fair, but all I ever said was: “I’m going to see a baby. Thanks, but no thanks.” We got to talking about the music that they played rather loud in the car, and the co-pilot said: “I really like Rihanna. She’s my favourite.” And I said, for the sake of curiosity: “I see. Well, I think she’s pretty, too.” The driver then said: “I could use her up. And I could use you up, too. ” He looked at me expectantly and all I could think was: “Well, that’s too bad. Whenever did the men forget how to talk to a woman?”

“I’m a lady, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said and we all shared a laugh.

And the air in the car didn’t get thicker.

And the moods didn’t get tenser.

And the road didn’t get longer.

We moved on. The reason we could move on was in my ability not to play his chauvinistic game. That ability I got from yesterday’s “baby mood”. When he said he “could use me up”, I could think to myself “what a bastard, he thinks he has the power over me to do anything” and it could lead me into saying something like: “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? I don’t think so”. In that case I would be fighting him and what fighting ever does is exhaust the ones who are fighting. There are much better ways to avoid conflict, but the best way must be to “love your neighbour as thyself”.

Because I love myself I was very well aware who I am, where I stand and who gets closer to me, regardless of his remark. I didn’t have to fight to show the driver that; I just rested in my knowing, while the latter made him realize it, too, the minute I replied. And because I love my neighbour, in this case the driver, I nurtured him with my complete loving understanding of why he said what he said. I didn’t hold the grudge for I knew he didn’t mean any harm – he just ddidn’t have the ability to say things in a nicer, more sensitive, more appealing way. I could see he was a good man, but even more so, I could see the harmless little baby that he was once was, that he still is … although shadowed by layers and layers of conditions.

Thank you, dear Eon, for reminding me of our true essence yesterday.

Thank you, dear Svarun, for teaching me how to cultivate that essence on a daily basis.

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Magnesium Menstrual Smoothie

Yesterday was quite a day. I was expecting my period. It usually comes the moment I wake up in the morning, but yesterday was different in that regard. I did my yoga, meditation, started photo shooting this very smoothie, finished, started writing, had a meeting, went on writing and managed to visit my son’s kindergarten teacher. I rescheduled the meeting from today to yesterday, because I knew that if the red moon didn’t come yesterday, it would come today. And on the first day of my period, I want to be able to do whatever the heck I want.

 

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I knew I was going to get my period, because I experienced the famous drop in body temperature, according to Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) that I’ve been practising quite consistently now (well done, me). Do you know it? FAM helps you determine your fertile days by monitoring three bodily factors daily: your body temperature, vaginal secretion, and the position and softness of your cervix. Basically, FAM is natural birth control, but really it’s much more than that. It’s a way of getting closer to your body and your cycles. Something I wish I had known before, at least prior to popping the birth control pills a decade ago, and feeling oh-so-grown-up as I did it. Of course, every other girl was doing it, and when I got my first white and orange box (that would afterward challenge gigantic emotional turmoil), I finally felt like part of the clan; I somehow felt initiated into womanhood, if you will.

Funny, isn’t it? Funny and absurd, that I felt grown-up as I was numbing and deceiving my body, when in fact true wisdom comes from knowing and cherishing your body.

But how could I know? Nobody told me. In fact, how could anyone know if women of the last few centuries had to forget about the power of their cycles, if they were to survive, and not be burnt at the stake?

I’m not going into much detail about the inquisition today because frankly, I’m still not quite over it; I get goose bumps and tears flood down my cheeks uncontrollably every time I even think about it. But I will tell you this: every month this very thing reminds me of the great power us women possess. Shakti!

Why the frequency, you might ask yourself? Oh, just because of my Holy Menstrual Trinity. Whenever I have my moon cycles, all I want are three things. The first one is chocolatey-something for breakfast. The second one is endless scriptures, books, talks and interviews on the topic of feminine power and spirituality. The third one is me-time to do whatever the heck I will. If I thick all of the above boxes, I’m a happy woman.

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I asked my mother to babysit Svarun yesterday, so I could reschedule and see his teacher. What she told me was: “My goodness, why are you telling everyone about your period as it were an illness, for God’s sake!” And I thought to myself: “Is it wrong to schedule my days around my cycles? It’s not that I’m crying for attention or want everyone to pat me on the back. I’m not being “poor me”. I just … want to be true to my body. That is, after thirty years of neglect.” But then I remembered. I was eleven when I got my first period. My mother looked at me pitifully and said: “You poor thing, you.” Poor thing?  For becoming a woman? Now this makes me want to choke, you see. This has to do with Christianity, that’s been deeply rooted in Slovenian belief systems of what our social roles should look like. Women here are expected to take care of everyone except themselves; to give it all and ask for nothing in return. Their happiness is granted by seeing others with full bellies. While I do feel happy when I see Svarun happy, that’s not the only thing that makes me happy! That is to say, although I do feel happy when I give, accepting makes me happy, too. And for a lot of us women, the latter is something that’s not being practised enough.

Did you know that the greatest feminine virtue is that of acceptance? Can you accept … the air into your lungs, the money into your wallet, the painful memories into your story, your man into the whole of your being? Can you accept that you’re different every week, as part of being a woman? Can you accept that on the first day of menstruation, you don’t want to see or hear anyone/ don’t feel like cooking/ working/ being all patient and giving? Can you accept that your family still wants you to play small? Can you accept … all that you are?

If you’re still struggling with any of the above, I’m pretty sure you can accept this smoothie recipe without much thought.

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Mind your Magnesium

 It is said that magnesium deficiency is the commonest of all deficiencies, but virtually nobody talks about it, because it’s a new thing. And blood tests don’t show it because only 1% of magnesium is stored in your blood, while the rest lies in your bones. The catch is that magnesium dietary sources don’t grant it anymore, because the majority of it is lost in the refinement process. Magnesium content in vegetables has declined for up to 80% since 1950’s because of industrial farming, and grain refining processes remove up to 95% of total magnesium. What can you do about it? Your best bet is to grow your own vegetable garden, if you can; dark leafy greens are one of the easiest crops to grow and they are loaded with magnesium. If you don’t have access to a piece of land, at least boycott industrial farming by purchasing organic crops only. Since pesticides destroy organisms that provide nutrients to plants and fertilizers diminish the absorption of minerals, organic fruit and vegetables are way more likely to contain more magnesium.

I noticed a huge shift from very painful to slightly uncomfortable periods once I started minding my magnesium intake around menstruation. As you may know, magnesium is vital in nerve function, blood sugar control, and neurotransmitter release. It also relaxes the muscles and thus prevents cramps, which is good to know if you have painful menstruations. My speculation is that if I were mindful about my magnesium intake all through the month, the moon cycle discomfort would totally be gone. I’m about to try this, just for the experiment’s sake. I don’t expect my back pain, the heaviness in the legs, and general tiredness a week ahead will subside, and frankly – I don’t mind. Why? Because what I want the most is to know my body. I want to it so profoundly, so that I am able to aid my discomforts in ways of finding the right yoga poses, the right mindset, or enough rest. Know what I mean?

A few days ahead of menstruation I thus up my magnesium intake. I consume a lot of dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cacao nibs, and use magnesium oil (that I highly recommend). I might experience a craving for chocolate, and it’s not a coincidence, since one square of organic dark chocolate contains approximately 95mg of magnesium, which is 24% of RDA. Other foods that include high values of magnesium are: bananas, avocados, almonds, figs, black beans, goat cheese, dates, yogurt, etc. But two months ago upon seeing this list of magnesium-rich foods, I took as many as I could and blend them into a delicious, chocolatey breakfast smoothie that I’m sharing today. It’s the best thing you can do for you, and the prescribed quantities will amount to two big bowls for you to enjoy.

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Magnesium Menstrual Smoothie

1 banana
½ avocado
fistful of dark leafy greens (I use the chard from my own garden, yay, 
but you can use spinach, kale or other)
fistful of soaked (or soaked + dehydrated) almonds, around 35g
fistful of Medjool or soaked regular dates, around 80g
3 tbsp of organic (possibly fair-trade) cacao, around 45g
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of pepper
a squeeze of lemon juice (very important!)

Pit the dates, peel the banana, pit the avocado. Use only ripe fruit. 
Put everything into blender. Blend. Enjoy and accept the luxury of it. 
You know you can.

 

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I wish you all big love and acceptance,

Tamara