Oh Saturn return. It’s the time where good mixes with the bad to teach people lessons about life. Trust me, I know because I’m in mine right now. Yay for being 30!
In astrology, Saturn has a negative reputation. But, Saturn has plenty of positive traits and is the taskmaster of the zodiac. Before I get too much into Saturn, I should probably explain – what is a Saturn return?
When looking at your birth chart, the Saturn return is simply when Saturn returns to its original position based upon your birth. It takes approximately 29 years to zip around the zodiac and return to its birth position. So if you live a long life, you’ll experience three Saturn returns in your life. The first return occurs sometime between 29 to 31 years of age. The second is around 57-60 years of age and the final is around the age of 87.
Humans have a tendency to “wake up and grow up.” This usually happens around the age of 30. Astrologically, Saturn plays a role in this awakening of humans. For many, Saturn return is the wake up call. It’s also special energy that should not be wasted.
What I have seen along my journey is that Saturn return affects 20-year olds in two ways. The first is the 20-some year old who has done nothing with their life and eventually “wakes up” and realizes that he or she needs to do something. The other is the 20-year old who committed themselves to working hard or the corporate life and “wakes up one day” realizing, “I can’t do this anymore. I want to do something more meaningful.” It’s very common to see young 30 year olds leave their job to pursue their dreams. This is time
But, Saturn return doesn’t just affect the career life. It also affects relationships, health, marriages – pretty much anything that has to do decisions. Saturn provides us obstacles so that we can learn, grow and mature from our decisions. Saturn builds character and can be that in between transition between something okay and something great. So there can be plenty of good times during a Saturn return, but also plenty of tough times.
Saturn is the ruler of authority. And the returns teach us to be the author, or authoritative figure in our lives. Some days will completely blow – in fact it may feel like a roller coaster ride where one day is amazing and the next its raining cats and dogs. Saturn teaches discipline, hard work and self-control.
For young 20-year olds who want a change, do not waste the energy of your Saturn return. Listen to your heart, gut and head to balance logic and idealism. Those who make a change during their Saturn return are using universal energy to better set the stage for their future. As mentioned before, if you want something to happen this is the time to do as once it’s gone, the energy can make transitions even harder.
The hardest aspect is overcoming negativity and doubt. During this time, you need to live through awareness that you are being tested. One day you’ll look back at laugh at all your obstacles. And to that I salute you on your solar adventure with Saturn.
Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we pause life and reflect on what we are truly thankful for. Living in the modern world, we have everything we can dream of that far exceeds the basics of food, water and shelter. The Natives and the immigrants to America obviously did not have these luxuries, which makes being thankful a lot easier.
So before you eat your meal and go shopping tonight for Black Friday, sit and think for a moment. What are you truly thankful for? Like Valentine's Day, we are programmed to show love, thanks and appreciation one day per year, but we are at a point in humanity where we need to feel thanks for everything in our life.Isn't it ironic that the founding of America is now tightly knitted to consumerism where people can't even get an entire holiday off of work?
Even the way we eat our meals can show thanks. Slowly, enjoying the experience, satiating the body with healthy food and removing family grudges are ways that we can heal and be thankful for everyone (and everything's) existence. I hope you can find inspiration from these quotes as the wisdom of the past can benefit a brighter future. From me to you, I wish you a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
Do you love kettlecorn? I sure do. These sweet and salty pumpkin seeds are the iron-enriched, no-junk added treat that is the perfect replacement to popcorn.
Whether you use your leftover seeds from your pumpkins, or use prepackaged seeds these are the most delicious way to enjoy a sweet treat.
I used real seeds from the pumpkin. You must wash the pumpkin seeds after scooping out the “brains” of the pumpkin. Before you bake the seeds must be dried. I recommend letting them dry overnight. If not, you can use a clean dishtowel to dab them dry (it will take a while). Also, it is best to cook the seeds longer at a lower temperature. Higher temperatures can scorch the seeds.
Sweet-n-Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 23-28 minutes
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp coconut oil (melt into a liquid)
½ tsp cane sugar
1/8 tsp salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and completely dry the seeds. In a bowl place the liquid coconut oil and mix until the kernels are coated. Next, pour in the salt, sugar and cinnamon. Mix until coated. Spread the seeds on a baking pan or cookie sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the seeds are edible. If they start to golden remove from the oven.
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For years I’ve been fascinated with past lives. But, like anything spiritual, the timing to pursue these practices comes when the time is right. Looking back a year ago, I had the most powerful psychic in the world tell me that I will move abroad and become a deeper spiritual person.
Spiritual in Europe? I’ve associated Europe with the deeper pleasures of the material world. But, in all honesty looking back, she was exactly correct. During the spring, I felt this urge to do past life hypnotherapy. While living in Germany, I had to figure out the language barrier. What the hell do I do?
I decided to look up therapists on the Spiritual Regression Therapy Association. I emailed every person in the UK, Germany and Netherlands. I put it out to the universe that I wanted to do this, and the first person to respond, Sheela, was the first to respond, and after sometime of contemplating my guides lead every sign to do it with her.
At the end of July, I made my way to Munich, Germany to experience one of the most powerful journeys within. I believe in reincarnation, but I doubted my ability for my logical and rational mind to kick in. I discovered many lives during the session, but one of the most powerful and memorable was this story below.
At this point, Sheela guided me to look at my feet. I told her I saw dessert-like terrain with shrubs. My feet were dressed in Native American sandals. I looked at my face and there I saw a young and beautiful Native American woman with long dark hair who wore traditional clothing. I remember seeing blue, red, black and white beads and held a coin-purse that was embroider with beads around the edges. But lots of blue beads.
Sheela asked, “Are you alone? Where are you?” I was alone walking in the dry terrain followed by a hawk. I was fleeing something, I did not know what but I was scared. “What is the hawk?” she asked.
“He’s my spirit guide,” I said. The hawk kept his eye on me and followed me everywhere I went. I did not really know where I was going, but I was alone and walking away from something. I hid behind some boulders and rocks. Sheela guided me to “jump” to the next scene.
There I sat still behind this boulder and it was dark. The hawk was still nearby, keeping an eye on me. I couldn’t get myself to the next scene, so I “walked” myself to the next part. Since I was on a cliff I saw a path that I could meander where I noticed a saloon with three white men who I felt harassed me in such a way.
As the story unfolded, Sheela guided me to the final approach of where and how my life ended. I saw myself lying next to a lake, unable to walk while watching the hawk in the sky. I had a womb in my Achilles heel, an arrow had hit, but I was not dead. Trusting my intuition, someone from my own tribe did this who was a man with a headdress riding a horse. For a moment, the hawk left to fly to the village. The hawk was supposed to send a message, but I could not depict what exactly that message. But the hawk’s purpose was to signal a warning sign to the tribe. The tribe was around a fire cooking food.
Since I could not receive how I died, Sheela asked, “Who were you? What was the purpose of this life?”
“Corn,” I replied. Sheela said, “Corn? Ok. What about corn?”
“I don’t know. Agriculture. I am here to teach people how to grow crops.”
We exited the scene and proceeded with our session.
The first several days after hypnotherapy, I experienced signs, messages and callings from the universe – mostly synchronicities. I began searching the Internet about the lives I picked up on and had curiosity about my witch life. Long story short, I was kicked off my overnight train at 2:45am in Wurzburg, Germany that I found out had the largest witch trial in Germany killing over 600 people.
Then I thought, “What the hell did I have to do with corn as a Native American?” I began searching information about Native American women. I looked for images hoping I can find something about corn.
Cleverly, I then Yahooed, “native American corn woman.” My hopes were that the search would pull up something with Native American corn and women in those days.”
“Randomly” the first link that pulled up said, “Corn Woman – Goddess of Nourishment.” Hmm, is there really such a thing as a corn woman? I had no clue. It looked interesting so I read. (Meanwhile getting chills).
In this link, I read two versions, but one that closely fit the theme of my story. Before, the story I read the quote about a tortoise (an animal that guided me in my Australia travels) and then a quote saying, “In Germany, it is said that when the stalks blow, the Corn Mother is running through the fields.”
Nearly in tears, I read about the Cherokee tale that believes the spirit of the corn woman is sent down from the heavens to bless the crops with growth. One time, the crops did not grow and the corn woman was missing. They could not find her so spirit guide, a raven, found her tied up in a cave and was the prisoner of the evil spirit hunger. The raven warned the tribe to free the corn woman.
On another site, the corn woman is labeled, “Educational Spirit of Agriculture,” where although boiling up scabs and boils to teach the people how to live off corn instead of meat. The corn woman sacrificed her life to educate and feed the people. But her strength had people “eating out of her hands” after the medicine man cured her warts on her hand.
Another tale included the corn woman being a beautiful young lady who married a man whose tribe is suffering from hunger. Although producing corn in a gross manner, she was caught and fled her tribe. She returned home, gave the secrets to her husband and detailed instructions on how to produce corn.
In tears, I said, “Oh my god was I Native American corn woman?” Right as I said that my eyes glanced at the time that said 11:11am and chills fled my body. I had no idea that “such a thing” existed. I felt like I “made it up” but what seems ridiculous is really our intuition speaking.
There are various versions of the corn woman, but all seem to be linked with the same premise.
Isn’t it interesting that to this day humans still have NO idea how corn originated?
Although I did not know the full story of my life, I had the strength to know that I have a place in this world of plant-based educational eating. I began working on a vegan cookbook this year and doubted my abilities.
I began piecing together this life. I always joked I was born a vegetarian/vegan as I hated meat ever since I was a kid. As a child, (to this day I still have no idea why) I CONSTANTLY grew warts on my hands. I always joked I was a witch as a kid. I worked as a vegan cook at a café in college that taught me many lessons about cooking. Internally, I have this deep love and warrior spirit to protect Mother Earth.
Before moving to Germany, I spent time in Utah and was in awe with the Native American influence. After visiting the Parowan Gap petroglyphs, my dad drove us to the next destination. I questioned everything about Germany and an angel cloud appeared (see picture below) telling me that I was on the right path in life. Now in Germany, I live across the street from a Native American shop that I “found coincidental” upon arriving since I was just in Utah before my move abroad.
On a deeper level, my soul remembered these abilities and imprinted the past into this current life. Because of this I found a deeper love and appreciation for the wisdom of ancient tribes.
Have you depicted any of your past lives? MBSF would love to hear it! In celebration of Thanksgiving and the Corn Woman, check out my free vegan Pumpkin Corn Chowder recipe.
I remember the days of my childhood when we’d decorate the house with Thanksgiving window stickers, fireplace knick-knacks and cornucopia baskets filled with Indian “flint” corn and gourds. It was an annual ritual that brought us closer to our American culture.
Since 2010, Thanksgiving has been a perfect vacation time to escape the cold and use the two “free” days of vacation. Spending my second Thanksgiving living here in Germany, I cannot help, but be more in touch with Thanksgiving.
The inspiration for this soup ignited while I walked around the small German town, Göttingen. I walked past a “blumen” or flower shop and noticed their fall decorations. I saw a basket filled with the tiny purple dried corn and my soul instantly remembered my childhood memories. But, this time my soul remembered something deeper about my past existence.
I thought, “Oh how cute. Wouldn’t a corn soup look even cuter in a pumpkin?” That’s when I thought about taking one of my many corn chowder recipes and integrating it with pumpkin. Thus, it features the best of fall flavors, nature and culture.
Food is memory, and so is culture. Without either we’d live bland lives and never accumulate soulful memories. So today I bring to you, vegan pumpkin corn chowder.
Mind Body Soul Food’s philosophy, “Inspired by nature,” always uses fresh and whole ingredients. Our goal is to share simple and budget-friendly recipes that everyone can cook. You can use canned pumpkin, which reduces prep and puree time.
Enjoy this soup this holiday season to experience the best of America’s history and authentic culture.
Vegan Pumpkin Corn Chowder
Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Cook Time: 20- 25 Minutes
Total Time: 27-32 Minutes
2 ¼ cup water + ½ bouillon cube (500 ml or can use vegetable broth)
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup pumpkin, chopped (or canned)
¾ cup corn, (I used raw off the cob, or frozen)
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bay Leaf
1/8 heaping tsp basil, oregano and cumin
Pinch of pepper (salt to taste if need more)
Optional: 1 tbsp non dairy milk to give it a creamy look
Prep the vegetables. Cook the garlic, onion, celery and carrot in the olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the remaining vegetables and cook for 1 minute. Add the water, bouillon and spices. Let the soup simmer until fragrant and the vegetables are edible (about 15 minutes).
If you want the broth to be “yellowish” scoop out 2/3 cup of the soup. Pull out any red pepper pieces. Puree and blend the 2/3 cup (you can use more if you’d like) and mix it back in the pot. If you want more of a creamy texture/look, add it one tablespoon of nondairy milk. You can add more milk, but you will need to readjust the spices.
*Note: Soup always tastes better the following day.
From me to you, I hope you have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. I have left some inspirational quotes below to awaken the need to be grateful and thankful this year.
Get inspired every month with new vegan recipes and loads of healthful information with our newsletter! *Newsletter comes in as Elizabeth Kovar Fitness & Healing.
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Do you remember the days when you needed to read a newspaper or turn on the television to find the latest news? I sure do. It’s no secret that social media has transformed the world. It’s our modern world’s best and worst invention.
Several years ago, I realized I needed to find peace with social media. In 2012, I was an avid LinkedIn-er and posted my ideas, thoughts, opinions and research findings with fellow fitness professionals. Until one day, I realized how I needed to find peace with social media.
I recognized this problem when I closely followed and posted my thoughts regarding current vegetarian research. The research indicated that people who ate plant-based diets lived longer than meat-eaters. If you can see where this debate is going, CEO of companies, researchers, personal trainers and dieticians all battled their thoughts and opinions for and against this topic. I noticed my problem when I spent close to three hours reading, thinking, screaming at the computer and typing my opinions. Why the hell can't anyone agree on the fact that eating more vegetables is healthy regardless if a person eats meat or is vegetarian? From that point forward, I stopped commenting and instead watched, learned and grew from social media.
Are educated grown adults really battling against who is right and wrong? Yes! Are people fixed in their opinions and have a hard time with empathy? Yes! This when I adopted the approach, “It’s not wrong, it’s different.” I felt no one grasped the concept that everyone lives life and learns from different leaders or philosophers. Rather than sharing and learning, it became debate on whose research was right. And if anyone actually reads research, they know results vary where one study approves and the other disapproves the hypothesis.
Facebook seems to be the main source of information and social media use for people. The biggest lesson I have learned from Germans is that they are diplomatic and private people, especially when it comes to sensitive topics. Although Americans may outwardly express their emotions, I do think Germans can be “extremely sensitive” to privacy. In fact, I often laugh and find it funny on how private they are. Most of my German friends have fake names or profile images with inanimate objects. So, when I want to see what Hans Guttentag is up to today, I laugh because their latest post is of them chilling at the beach in Zanzibar from October 2014. But, the biggest lesson is this notion to think before you speak. Germans are diplomatic and use their mind before responding with impulsive behavior.
In today’s political mess, social media once again affects the wellbeing of everyone.
One concern with social media is that it becomes a place to vent frustration. Although it’s okay to vent, people have once divided themselves into categories or labels rather than unite to come to a common consensus on what benefits society.
The three biggest issues I find with social media includes:
-The Ego Wants to Shine – When the ego gets fired up, it wants to speak, shine and share its thought and opinions. Often stuck, the ego “needs to be right” and has a difficult time understanding thoughts that differ from their own.
The ego is our biggest friend and foe simultaneously. When fixed, it is hard to be empathetic and we become quick to judge. In terms of the current political debate, people have easily labeled friends and Facebook connections as racist, idiots or “people who are fucked in the head.” There is a complete lack of understanding of the other person’s thoughts or lifestyle choices.
When the ego wants to shine, one becomes impulsive often blurting out a message that is either a snapshot of their thoughts or just a random thought vented through frustration. This becomes the time for other people to attack. The biggest lesson the ego can learn is that extreme points of view NEVER benefit society. In times of a political crisis, there must be a balance between logic and intuition. This ties in with the next point.
-The “Got Me” Society, Adult Bullying and Destruction of Others – As we continue to reveal drama and superficial lifestyles through television, music and movies, we embody those principles and some want to destroy others for their opinions. How many times have you seen a Hollywood housewife back stab their best friend on TV?
Have you ever heard that negativity breed’s negativity? If so, drama works the same way. When the ego gets aroused, we first grow assumptions and bully the person. As mentioned above, we label and assume things about people. But, are they really true?
Do you know their life? Do you know their inner thoughts? Most of the people who vent through social media are good-hearted people that want the best for their community. When the ego gets challenged, the next psychological movement is to attack, degrade and destroy the person.
Attack with opinions. Degrade with hate and name-calling. Destroy their image with mass tweeting or messaging. “You’re fat and ugly.” “Start blocking those bastards.” “Go kill yourself.” These are the real responses from real people who cannot control the ego. But, yet these are the same people who post “bullying in schools need to stop.”
Do you realize your bullying, words or manipulative actions contribute to the same problem of hate and destruction that the world experiences? Feeding and breeding negativity is what needs to change. And every choice affects the (lack of) progress in the world. Can you imagine the harm that could be done if you told an emotionally unstable person to go kill himself or herself just because he or she is a liberal or a conservative? People can only handle so much negativity before they blow.
If you believe in reincarnation, you probably believe in past lives. When chaotic times approach, people’s souls are triggered. Somehow their soul remembers a time that they experienced one or both sides of the same hectic story. Most of our souls have been around for a while and most likely we’ve all been poor, rich, a narcissist, a rebel, a warrior or a murder. When the soul’s memory gets reignited people experience a particular emotion in that moment. A soul who was once a Scottish warrior who fought for their nation’s pride maybe ready to do the same in this life. A soul who died at a concentration camp may feel fear, terror or compassion for the people who suffer.
The design and creation of humanity is greater than we understand. Right now our individual actions play a role into how fast we can move forward towards that utopia. So less judging and impulsive behavior is how to tame the ego.
-“Don’t Forget About Me” Culture - Social media shows people’s deeper psychology and the need to find belonging or reassurance in the world. It’s no secret that the selfie culture has transformed into a self-obsessed and absorbed culture that ignites subconscious egotism. Not all “selfies” are negative, and it can be a creative form of art. But in the greater scheme of worldly issues, self-ruling posts or images can show the deeper lack of confidence or need for approval. Social media is the virtual world, outside of reality, that we too find our community and sense of belonging.
A couple years ago I saw a comedian who made light on a situation about how when a disaster occurs people post long messages that in reality screams, “although tons of people died, don’t forget about me.” Now, this is not to say that all messages portray this silver lining, but in terms of world events these types of posts can stir another pot of emotions and hot heads.
Recently, I’ve seen posts about the current crisis that mentions, “I wonder what everyone thinks about me and my family who immigrated in the United States.” Now, this can be perceived in various different ways, but in terms of how social media has spun out of control, these posts seek validation for their belonging and build a team to further promote one end of the spectrum. It taps human emotion and people lose all rational to balanced thinking. In posts like these, people may desire the "you're amazing" and "you're the best" replies. Wouldn't that make you feel better about yourself if everyone thought you were the best? But, it goes away from the real problem at hand where real people have suffered some really traumatic shit.
How do you handle your social media rage?
First, as mentioned you need to understand that everyone is living life through his or her own experience. Although you may not agree with their opinion, everyone is entitled to express themselves through the freedom of speech. (This is for generic Facebook posts, not anything that is obscene or inappropriate for the public eye). But when people feel threatened, the first instinct is to protect and react.
Yes it’s difficult, but you cannot control anyone but yourself. You (most likely) will not change anyone’s viewpoint or opinion through arguing or hate posts on Facebook. My best recommendation is to let it go. Not posting your blowup responses shows discipline and as time goes you make peace with yourself. Plus, discipline is something that everyone can use in some area of their modern day life.
So when in doubt, discipline your posts out. To end, I leave you with this….
My passion stems from seeking world peace and finding how we can live together creatively rather than violently.
Cats out of the bag, I love astrology. I remember the days of going to Barnes and Noble with my mom. I would sneak down the New Age aisle reading astrology books, hoping no one would see me reading something “crazy.”
During my collegiate years, I began to question the many secrets of life. I wondered why people are programmed differently, why I had struggled with certain qualities or why you feel a stronger connection with some people. During my travels in India, I consulted my first Vedic astrologer. I remember sitting in the chair with tears down my face on how a man dressed in white told me about my childhood, my stress and my fragile mind. That was the start to understanding how astrology influences one’s personality.
If you are unfamiliar with astrology, every person has a birth chart, or a blue print, that is created upon your first breath into this world. It’s similar to snapping a picture of the sky with a camera to see the locations of the planets at the point of birth. At the time of your birth certain planets and constellations are positioned in the sky. Aspects (positive or negative) are created depending on the planetary alignment.
The main three influences include the sun, moon and ascendant sign. The sun sign is the sign you are born into at birth. For example, if you are born on February 7th then you are an Aquarius. The sun sign is the outer personality, the ego and what drives you.
The moon sign represents the mind and the emotions. It’s the inner-world and is how your mind is astrologically programmed. Someone with their moon sign in a water sign are usually deeper and more complex thinkers than someone who’s moon occupies an air sign.
The ascendant or rising sign is the sign that was at the eastern horizon point (as the sun rises) at the time of your birth. Many people grow into their rising sign as they age, but it is your true self.
The next influences are the planets in the houses. Each planet rules a specific trait or quality. You can look at each planet individually, but how they aspect each other and the degrees apart also influence one’s personality. For example, Venus rules love. If someone has their Venus in the sign of Aries that person is likely to be impulsive or fall in and out of love easily.
Another way astrology affects the personality is to understand the four elements - earth, air, fire and water. Each zodiac sign is classified under one of these elements. When looking at your birth chart, a person who has a lot of planets in earth and water tend to be more "home-bodies," stable, practical and emotional creatures. Someone with more air and fire signs can be more impulsive, explorative, airy, active or have a hard time sitting still.
How can this help me? The power of astrology lies in understanding that we are created with positive and negative features. It’s part of our soul’s existence to overcome or balance the negative to live in harmony. Astrology helps people to recognize patterns.
For example, someone who wakes up happy everyday and doesn’t let life bother them most likely has a strong influence from a planet in Sagittarius. Even if you look at your birth chart and you do not agree with everything you read, it is likely that you experienced that personality trait awhile back but your soul learned and became more mature from the experience. We must not forget that free will, our parents and culture also affects our personality. But those deep rooted instincts or qualities are most likely influenced from the planets.
Every human on the planet has faults. When we are honest without criticism we can overcome the difficulties of our personality. Astrology empowers your strengths and helps you overcome the weaknesses.
The best method to understanding your inner world is to consult an astrologer or to get your birth chart and research how to read about your alignments. Astrology is multifaceted and goes deeper than the basics mentioned in this blog. I recommend using astrodeinst.com for a free western astrology birth chart. For vedic astrology, I recommend Sam Geppi and KRS Channel Youtube videos to learn more about the subject.
If you have any questions, contact MBSF and I would be more than happy to suggest additional Vedic or western astrology resources.
Anger. Where do I even begin? At the end of October, I lazily read a newsletter from a vedic astrologer that I follow in San Francisco, Sam Geppi. The email started with, “November. It’s Going to be an Intense Month.”
Oh. Well how bad could it be? As we’ve seen the last few days with the up rise of terrorism around the world, I guess Sam was accurate.
I think a big part of my soul’s mission is to rediscover things about health and humanity and share it with the world through my writing. The more I’ve seen the world, the more interesting my spiritual experiences have gotten. In graduate school, I wrote a paper about “east meets west” and how fusing the two concepts are healthy in leisure pursuits. Research indicated success, for example how a pitcher who focused on imagery and meditation was able to block out the chattering of the stadium noise to focus and perfect his pitch. I remember reading a research journal that indicated concept on anger.
Before I studied yoga in India, I had my fair share of anger disputes against the food, and pharmaceutical industry. Yoga and meditation taught me lessons in acceptance and how to make peace with certain situations.
Continuing my yoga path, I attended a workshop with Ana Forrest in Seattle several years ago. I stayed for her book signing presentation where she mentioned, “Anger is not always a bad thing.” She talked about how anger can fuel change. In reality my yoga ears heard, “WHAT!?” I respect Ana Forrest because of her past overcoming many issues and she, unlike many mainstream yoga teachers, is very in-tune with nature and the Native American spirit.
Now, living in Europe, I have continued understanding humanity better by learning more about European and Roman history and culture. Holy shit. There was about 1,400 years of anger placed on people for the wrong reasons.
Anger is a poisonous drug. The more you get angry, the angrier you become. Eventually, anger snowballs into a horrific mess that can cause harm to everyone in the world. When consistently angry, your hormone levels change, spewing out hatred, blocking your chakras and becoming a bitter and cynical person. Anyone can be become angry at any time, its part of human nature. But, I do believe some people are naturally fueled with more anger based on their soul’s previous existence (warrior spirits), astrological influence and spiritual DNA.
But, is anger always a bad thing? Through my travel and reading historic literature, I have come to believe that anger is not always a bad thing when used in the right manner.
If you watch nature, a mother will always defend her babies against a predator. Also, the leaders of the pack or the alpha male will rival for dominance. I noticed this at 17 when I watched rams beat heads in Banff while hiking the Canadian Rockies. Whatever they were battling was something greater than my understanding, but they genetically were programmed for battle. We humans are a product of nature and are susceptible to anger.
This made me continue to think about the subject. In human rights, anger can fuel change. Would women have the same rights today if the flower power hippies of the 60’s weren’t angry? Would Scotland have gotten its freedom from England if these warriors were not angry? Should the Scots have just taken every bit of torture from the English? Would animal rights not be what it is today if people weren’t mad at the inhumane policies? Would the Baltic States have its freedom today if they didn't get mad and protest with the Baltic Chain of Freedom? If people don't stand up to the right of our food, will Monsanto keep producing GMOS?
To understand, we must dive deep into the thoughts of Aristotle. In the "Nicomachean Ethics," he wrote, "The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and further, as he ought, when he ought, and as long as he ought, is praised."
Small or mindless anger against your spouse, kids, society or the telemarketer on the phone does nothing good to you or society. It fuels and increases more anger. Anger can spread like wildfire and cause a chain reaction. But, living without anger is unrealistic. It’s a part of our emotions and human nature. It’s learning how to control anger and how to use it appropriately. If you are a warrior spirit than you know your greatest challenge in life is to control your impulsive fire.
But, in defending rights, freedom, culture, morals, yourself and humanity, anger can be used to create a better outcome. When we bring ourselves back to our roots of our history’s greatest teachers, we can channel our negative energy into a more positive situation. Everything now in this new age is learning how to balance and fuse the extreme sides of thinking.
To end I will leave you with the complete quote of Aristotle, “Anyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy.”
Do you believe in spirit animals? If you believe in them, they will come when the time is necessary. I did not realize the potential of spirit guides until I wrote my book, Finding Om, where during my time spent in Australia and Fiji I had a deep and profound spiritual awakening with sea turtles. The wise and old sea turtle exposed my soul’s memory to understand the relationship between Mother Earth, nature and humanity.
In September, I underwent some emotional stress. I became sad because my time here in Germany is coming to an end and I could not imagine waking up one day in my old Seattle bed. You would think with this being my fourth move abroad it would get easier, but somehow it feels harder. Throughout this time I also had to push back my release date for Finding Om and finish some food photography for my vegan cookbook.
Although physically calm, my mind was an emotional roller coaster because nothing was transitioning smoothly. At times I became negative or self-doubted my abilities - until the Universe sent me a spirit animal.
One evening I walked to a flower shop to buy flowers for my next day recipe photography. I didn’t find what I was looking for and walked home. My mind questioned, “Should you just check out what the other lady has as she has some amazing flowers. Even though her shop is closed you can still peep your head in the window.” My mind waxed and waned this questioned and decided to look at this lady’s shop.
I placed my hands and my head against the class to see that she still had sunflowers and gerberas. I took two footsteps forward to walk home and then I thought, “Well maybe I should see if she still has the orange ones?”
I kept yelling at myself internally because I needed to go home and finish an article. But once again something pulled me back to the glass. I took another minute to look at what colors she had and turned to walk home. Within ten footsteps, I saw a bird on the ground flapping its wings, unable to fly.
An Indian lady stood next to the bird and spoke in German to me. I asked her to communicate in English and she said the bird flew into a glass window and now cannot fly.
We tried calling several veterinary facilities, but everything was closed. We both couldn’t stomach the thought of the bird staying in a city square. I offered to take the bird back to Old Town where I buzzed my doorbell to get my husband’s help.
Devastated, I stood in tears, holding a broken bird while people looked at me as if I were insane. My husband went to call some numbers and I went to place the bird under a tree. Scared, he kept flapping his wings, but was unable to lift himself off the ground. Not only was I an emotional mess earlier in the day but this now made my emotions worse.
No one wants to see or experience pain and suffering. All humane and veterinary facilities were closed and I went to the store to get birdseed. I couldn’t bring the bird back into my apartment because of my cat and I mentally crashed into deep sadness. And of course, heavy rain down poured that evening.
I walked back to the bird and said, “I just don’t get it. It’s as if the bird can fly, but he’s stuck.” I repeated that sentence two or three times.
Upon reaching my apartment, I went online to Google the type of bird. He was darker in color with a white horizontal line going across the wings. Unable to find the species, the light bulb struck.
Chills fled my body as I thought, “It’s as if I can fly, but I am stuck in negative emotional thinking patterns.” I asked the universe if this is true to heal the bird so he or she can fly back to safety. The next morning, I searched the entire area and to my spiritual hope the bird flew far and free into life.
The Universe is clever. They will get your attention or praise your hard work in the most unique ways. But if you believe in spirit animals, experiences like this can happen. If you do not believe in the possibility than you are not open to receiving signals from the universe. Although it can still happen, these experiences occur more frequently when you have a consistent spiritual practice or communication with the universe.
How has the universe sent you a spirit animal? MBSF loves hearing about other people’s experiences. Please share in the comment box!
Do you love all things pumpkin? Nothing spices up the fall more than a nice and healthy dessert. In college, I used to work for a vegan cafe and making pumpkin pie was essential every year for the fall and Thanksgiving season. I remember when making vegan pumpkin pie was a revolutionary idea where tofu replaced egg and Earth Balance replaced regular butter.
Well, vegan cooking has come a long a way and is more sophisticated now than ever. I'm still living in Germany and wanted to concoct a pumpkin dessert based on a recent conversation with a Canadian friend. We reminisced about our North American Halloween and fall culture and began craving pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, pumpkin pie is no where to be found in Germany. And I do not own a circular pan so I had to get creative.
Why not do a cookie tart? It's simple, easy and follows the Mind Body Soul Food Philosophy where delicious cooking can be easy when you put your heart, soul and nature into the food. After a year of constant vegan recipe creation, I figured out a few tricks to the trade - fresh is the best and you do not always need tofu or certain ingredients to make desserts. I rushed home with my pumpkin to whip up whatever came to mind. I tasted the recipe after it came out of the oven and was like hmm? Big mistake. I tried it later after many hours of cooling and was highly impressed. The cookie even tasted better the next day once the pie had time to set. This may have been one of the best things I've ever created. Super Easy. Super Delicious. I'm in love with these pumpkin tarts.
For this recipe, I used real pumpkin that I steamed and blended in a food processor. You can use canned pumpkin, but the taste will not be as fresh. Also, the secret is to use fresh ginger to enhance the spiciness. In Germany, graham crackers do not really exist. So I use a vanilla cookie as the crust. You can use whatever is convenient in your area, but the vanilla cookie does enhance the flavor. My final recommendation is to let the tarts cool completely before enjoying. Finally, German pan sizes differ, so you can use the alternative 8x8 square pan.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cookie Tarts
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time 30 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Pan: 13 x 5 1/4 Bread Pan (or 8x8 square)
2 cups pumpkin, chopped and steamed (or canned)
1/4 cup coconut milk from the can
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped (or powder in replace, just gradually add)
1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp nutmeg
3.5 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp corn starch
Pinch of salt
2 cups vanilla cookie (or biscuit or graham cracker)
1/4 cup melted vegan butter (or coconut oil)
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Prep the pumpkin and steam until soft. You should be able to puncture the pumpkin with a knife.
Next prep the crust. Blend the cookie in a food processor until a flour-like texture.. Next, melt the butter and add it to the blended cookie. You can either blend in the food processor or mix by hand.
Line the pan with parchment paper. Dump the cookie crust evenly into the pan and press down until the crust is firm.
Once the pumpkin is steamed, place the pumpkin in the food processor and blend. (Here you can place the crust in the oven for 3 or so minutes while you blend the filling). Add all the remaining filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste test and readjust the flavors if needed. Pour the filling on top of the crust and place it in the oven.
Bake at 350 for 17 to 20 minutes. The edge of the filling should look cooked, slightly golden but not burnt. Let it cool slightly on top of the oven and then place in the refrigerator for several hours. The cookie cuts and tastes best when completely chilled.
Cheers to the beautiful sun in Hannover, Germany this fall!
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com