Viewing entries in
Uncategorized

1 Comment

Life is like surfing, learn to love the paddle!

Just as I was about to retire from my non-existent surfing career and put my surf board away for good I decided to paddle out one more time. I grabbed my board and started wading into the ocean, shuffling my feet to stir up any sting rays that might be present. Thinking to myself. Why is surfing so dang hard. I’m a strong confident snowboarder, mountain biker and athlete that can play sports well.

Only taking a few steps I see a large leather-back sea turtle bobbing up and down and being brought closer and closer to the shore by each wave. I stopped and waited as it passed beside me, we made eye contact. This is a good sign! Earlier that day a dove flew into my home, landed in my living room, looked at me and few out of the house. I’ve never even seen a dove in Nicaragua. What does it mean? I was a bit frightened to be honest because before I came to the beach I read that a dove flying into your home equates to death. Oh dear. Maybe this really is my last paddle.

You see, life is like surfing. Just when you are about to give up- stop. Continue forward. Take a risk by stepping outside your comfort zone, it is well worth it because this is where the magic happens. To ‘desire’ something is okay. I desire to be a good surfer. It is when we ‘need’ something, the behavior becomes unbalanced and unhealthy. Desire is like the tide, small and humble one moment, wild and turbulent the next. But water always goes where it wants to and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water flows and it is always, always authentic. Water does not resist.

I keep shuffling and as soon as I’m waste deep I jump onto my board and the white wash washes over me and cleanses any negative thought I had about the dove incident and then it caresses and holds my body. Water heals my soul. Water is not solid, it is not a wall that will stop you. We are made of half water. If we can’t go through an obstacle, don’t force it, go around it like water does. Flow with your own true nature that is inside of you.

I love and respect the ocean.

I’m going to compare life and love to surfing for a moment.

Life. Love. Not romantic love but just LOVE. Bigger than any wave. More powerful than fear. Love is like an ocean. Love is as impermanent as a wave rising in the sea.

I start to paddle, practicing duck diving under the white wash moving forward with each stroke. As energy surges through the water I find the rhythm of the ocean, feeling strong, I paddle out past the last wave that breaks. Anxiety enters my heart and pulses through my veins and I pause for a moment. I remember my father’s drowning and it is right here where I face fear.  I catch my breath, connect to my breath. Yoga taught me that and I meditate on my surf board as the mist from the spin drift keeps my face moist. I find comfort in the beautiful rainbows that dance here. My father loved rainbows and that thought gives me comfort.

I look toward the horizon, seeking a perfect set. Patience is required when waiting to catch a wave just as it is to find the perfect person to compliment your life. Even if you are not looking for romantic love. Seeking and waiting for that perfect wave is part of the rhythm of life.

In order to discover your path you must make your passion your purpose. Learn to love the paddle. PADDLE. PADDLE. PADDLE. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up on something you desire.

We must pause in moments of difficulty because pleasure never lasts long enough. Enjoy what you are doing right now. RIGHT NOW. This moment, and if you don’t, change it.

Love comes in all different forms. Love is as vast as the ocean and as unpredictable as the waves at a beach break during onshore winds but one thing that is certain is that love exists in my heart always regardless of the environment. Love for myself and love for every one of our universal family members. I’m connected. Are you? We have conquered outer space but we have neglected inner space. How come?

I have found peace by inquiring within. When I have a question that needs to be answered I go internally and listen to my heart, my intuition and the innate oneness that resides in us all. The answers are within. What are you seeking? I have learned to live Santosha (contentment) by connecting to the source, my inner soul. Freedom comes from within no matter where you are in the world. I have given myself the freedom to face my fears and follow my heart in this physical life I’m currently living. I wasn’t seeking love, I was seeking Santosha (contentment) and I found it through love and compassion for myself and by not needing more.

I’ve learned through risk to adapt, to discover, to connect, to learn, to grow, to inhale, to let go and to love. To flow with my own true nature inside of me. Water can change directions easily. If you are going down a path and you feel resistance, change the course. I do. You must take a risk in order to find yourself, to love yourself. What are you waiting for? That perfect wave? Well sometimes I paddle for the massive wave that is just going to close out and swallow me whole because it is the practice of the pop-up that makes me adapt to something new. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Trying = living

Sometimes I will put myself on the inside of the sets, in the impact zone to ride a wave that is more suitable for me. I’ll take a larger wave on the head because we must learn to survive in all kinds of conditions. Hiding in the safe zone is not truly living. Love is like surfing. If you get caught in the impact zone you need to get right back up because you never know what’s coming next. Rather than seeking out someone to love you, friends or lovers - try to cultivate compassion, kindness and forgiveness for yourself and your self-love will meld into the realm of unconditional love that others will be attracted to.

Surfing is 99.9% paddling, enjoy the paddle. Life is a daily paddle. Learn to love what you do. Love the paddle. This is your life. Your path. You passion is your purpose.

From this day forth I can happily call myself a surfer! I have been consistently surfing medium to head high waves, left and rights, riding down the line because I didn’t give up.

Join me in Nicaragua, let’s surf!

CLICK HERE. Watch me and my local friends in the water, laughing, surfing, living

Education may not make you wise. Success may not make you giving. Poverty may not make you humble and being wealthy may not make you rich. But love can teach you everything. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and then give it to the world-  then surf the waves of karma.

Please keep our oceans and beaches clean!

'Like' Seeking Santosha Nicaragua on Facebook!

1 Comment

1 Comment

Truly Nicaragua. Not a Bad Place to Be

As I’m about to say Adios (good-bye) Nicaragua and Ciao (Hello) Italy, I lay here in my bed cozy, comfortable enough un-needy of the lime green sheet to cover my tan body. Beneath the beautiful mosquito net I’m protected from scorpions, mosquitoes, geckos, cockroaches that may be lurking the in dark corners of my room. The windows open, the fan just clicked off, the power went out. This is Nicaragua. I lay here with my senses heightened starting to become uncomfortably warm, hearing hundreds of different birds calling to one another in the jungle. A language foreign to me. Not a moment of silence. Howler monkeys are going off, sounds like they are angry but no, this is usual dialogue amongst their tribe, a way to find order and peace. Ahhhh, the sounds of the jungle, not a bad place to be. I don’t think I’ll be hearing these sounds in Italy, I will miss this. Right now, truly a moment to remember.

Nothing exists outside this moment. Only this, now. Not a bad place to be - in the moment.

As I look around the room I think to myself, “I really love this house, it’s hard to leave it.” I see my cat Monty pass by the window, he is outside hunting. It’s hard to leave him too.  Never been much of a cat person but I do love all animals and why I refrain from eating meat these days. Off topic, sorry. I have grown roots here, in the jungle. These roots are deep within but not attached to anything solid. These roots are the connection to my inner body, my energetic body, my spirit,  my soul and to each one of you. Oneness. The more consciousness we can direct inward, the higher our vibrational frequency becomes. This is where light grows and shines from within projecting beauty outward. It is at this higher energy level where negative energy cannot affect us anymore and our light becomes brighter as the days march along. We can share this light to guide others out of darkness or we can use it when the clouds come over and cast a shadow on our hearts. Use your light as a flashlight to guide your way out of a dark tunnel or look for another light temporarily to safely guide you until you can turn up the dimmer on your own light once again.

Building a home in Nicaragua has had its challenges and I’m not going to lie, there were days I have struggled to find and understand the true meaning of Santosha. To live Santosha in a war-torn country that is desperately trying to rebuild itself. Not exactly third world but developing. The collective energy of the Nicaraguans is one of many years of hardship, death and pain endured through time but I think the Nicaraguan culture embraces the true meaning of Santosha quite well. Contentment. Life in Nicaragua is not easy when compared to North America and what I’ve come to know as easy. But the Nicaraguans know no other way. It has broken many gringos/gringas trying to make a life here to the point they’ve had to leave, to return back to the comforts of the modern world. Even yoga teacher friends of mine could not deflect the energy that is indigenous to this country and it’s ancestors. The land of lakes and volcanoes. Fire and Water. The land of Artists and Poets. The Nicaraguans have learned to heal their pain and suffering by creating art. Writers writing beautiful poetic words to create famous poetry, brush strokes on raw canvas are a form of meditation as each stroke brings color to once a world of darkness and devastation. The potters sculpt earth into beautiful pieces that hold and embrace the dreams for generations to come. Beauty can be created out of devastation. When something is in ruins, it truly can lead to transformation. What do you want to create? When we create, we are learning more about our true selves. It is in these moments of creation we learn our truest self.

Learning to live without water, electricity, the bare minimum on most days is what I have become accustomed to. What does one really need? Living a Yogic lifestyle truly is about taking only what one needs. When I travel back to North America it is quite a culture shock because life is so easy, having everything at my fingertips. Modern and clean hospitals, coffee shops on every corner, wonderful restaurants. Going back is an opportunity to appreciate the small things and modern comforts. What did I ever have to complain about before? You see living in Nicaragua has taught me how to embrace and accept. To live in the moment.  Accept what is. I have learned to grow my own beautiful garden internally in a world where at certain times of the year, the heat and dust is so stifling nothing grows. I have been able to create and live out my dreams while learning about my self and bringing me close to my truest self. At the end of the dusty drive down a bumpy dirt road paradise may be found, deserted white sandy beaches and perfectly shaped glassy waves. But sometimes one must take a risk and venture down a road less traveled to find what we are looking for. To help us to discover our selves. We must take a chance, take that leap of faith. We have the opportunity to choose. Not a bad place to be. What are you seeking?

What is that I hear? Rain drops? In April? April does not normally bring rain. Just like March does not normally deliver an ass whooping of hurricane winds and the negative energy that accompanies it. A month of that really did my head in and the hammock therapy only gave it a temporary band-aid fix. It’s been an unusual year for weather. The Year of the Dragon with all it’s unpredictability has really kept me guessing. I’m really happy that mother nature decided to give us a break today from the heat by opening it’s sky to give the dry land a drink. Guess this means I won’t have to water my herbs and grass. I can lay here a little while longer. mmmmmm. The rain matches how I feel inside at this moment. A little sad, a heavy heart because I’ll be leaving in a few weeks. But the rain is a good reminder that when it does rain, it washes the dust away, it’s cleansing and it also waters the earth enabling new things to grow. It is refreshing and necessary. When it rages, it’s like the water inside of us, the water of our own true nature and we should allow nature to flow in it’s intended direction without trying to grab hold to the river bank for safety. Let go.

Back to the transformation thought. Nicaragua has given me the opportunity and lessons that will serve as a guide and foundation as I embark on a new journey. Don’t worry, I have a home and a growing business in Nicaragua. I’ll be back. I’ve become accustomed to “Nica-time.” Tranquillo. It’s a very laid back vibe here. No one is in a hurry to get any where any time soon. What’s the rush when you only earn $5-$10 for the day. When I took my truck to the mechanic recently they managed to rip off the front tires in search of the rotors and breaks that needed a close inspection pretty quickly to determine the problem. But, putting it all back together is a different issue all together and basically a different day all together. It could have been done by the end of the day but why should it? They will finish it up tomorrow, or the next day in their own good “Nica-time.” Why get upset about it? It just IS. It’s the way of life here. I’ve learned to relax in so many similar situations that would have brought unnecessary stress into my life before. The key has been to end the delusion of time.

If you remove time from your mind, it stops, unless you choose to use it. We cannot control another person’s actions, we can’t control the traffic, so we might as well just enjoy each moment as it passes instead of getting upset by it or trying to control it. If we are stuck in traffic, this gives us the time to listen to a good e-book, a new playlist, carpool with a friend and enjoy a conversation or meditate - don’t think at all. Whoa, don’t think at all? How do you teach a cow to fly? I know, it seems almost impossible to dis-identify from our mind thoughts. We becomes so easily immersed in them. Trying to control each moment of life. Each moment of time. The more we focus on time, the past and the future, we miss the present.  We miss this moment and the blessing of now.

Mmmm, now I can smell the rain. I’m going to get up and open the doors. The light sprinkle turned into a downpour but only for a few minutes. And now it has stopped. What is that I hear? Nothing. Silence. The rain tamed the sounds of the wild jungle. But only for a few moment, the birds started up again. The rain fully stopped now and the sky is starting to let more light in. Soon the clouds will wither away, the puddles will dry up quickly without even a trace of what just happened and the cool morning air that was the breath of the rain will once again become suffocated by the sunshine. My cat just ran over me, muddy paws, soaking wet and smelling like thyme. He must have taken refuge in the herb garden when the rain came. Not a bad place to be.

No matter where you are, where your adventures or journeys may take you. When you embark on something new take the time to go inward. Stop. Listen. That inner voice that comes from deep inside you when everything goes quiet...this is your heart speaking, this is SELF, this is YOU. Seek your inner true self. Create something beautiful from your heart so you may come to know yourself better. And then, share your gift and life purpose with the world. After all, we are all in this life together. We can bring each other up or we can tear each other down. We are all apart of the innate oneness. Why do you distance yourself from it? Think of the sun and the rays of the sun. Now think of the tips of each ray. If you are standing at the tip of a ray of sunshine and you look over to your neighbor who is also on another tip of a ray of sunshine you see separation.  But don’t allow your gaze to stop there, if you look to the body of the sun, you will see that we are all connected. We are all one, I am you and you are me. Again, not a bad place to be.

Follow my adventures in Italy - “Like” my new Facebook page Seeking Santosha Italy

1 Comment

Comment

A broken heart can be mended with light. One World. One Heart.

The light from one lamp can change the ambiance of a room entirely. As I was buying lamps for my home in Nicaragua yesterday I started thinking about a term in yoga we use quite frequently - light, or inner light.

As I walked through the cobble stones streets of San Juan del Sur I stumbled upon this Italian Artist who recently opened up a store called Vastu. This aspiring new artist in town is creating lamps and home furnishings out of recycled materials. Vastu is the effort to harmonize the flow of energy called Prana (Sanskrit word for life force.)

Upon walking into the store, the glow from the lamps drew me in like a moth to a flame.  People are attracted to light, why do you think Christmas is so popular - all the beautiful sparkly lights. At this moment I made eye contact with this petite Italian man and immediately drew my hands to my heart center in Namaste a traditional Indian greeting of respect and thank you, with spiritual and symbolic meaning. This is done with your palms pressed together in the middle of your forehead (third eye) or at your heart. I lightly bowed my head to him as a way to say thank you kind sir for sharing your light, your art - your purpose. I whispered to myself, the light and love in me honors the light and love in you. The inner light in me recognizes the inner light in you to be the same, in oneness, Namaste.

Inside of our bodies there is space for energy. This is where the light resides. I always envision my light to be kept in my heart. The light inside my heart has been filled with love, compassion, truth, and forgiveness. You must fill this space with love or it dies and darkness floods in. If this light turns dark, it can cast a shadow onto everything you do and project.

A yoga Guru is one who leads a seeker from darkness to light. When a yoga teacher shares out loud what the Inner Light is saying, many times the silence in mediation is active and it causes this Inner light to glow. A little history: The doctrine of the inner light was defined by Rufus Jones, who first brought the phrase into popular use in 1904, thus: "The Inner Light is the doctrine that there is something Divine, ‘Something of God’ in the human soul.”

I’ve been wanting to write about light but have learned that my readers want to read about love. You see, no matter what culture, race, religion we inhibit, we live in a world of mirrors where each person we encounter is a reflection of ourselves. Our mirrors reflect light whether bright or dark, rays of blissful sunshine or endless dark clouds. Everyone seeks the answers to a successful healthy loving relationship. But first, this love starts with you.

Light shines from your core, your heart center and when it reaches another it has an effect.  A loving embrace can change everything. Love is the best source of light but the rays omitted can be healing and a burn can be painful. At the end of the tunnel, what we pay most attention to in life defines us. Where are you directing and shining your light?

When you have filled yourself with love only then will you have the ability to project a glimmering light attracting love and light back - like a mirror. Shine a clear bright honest light and if you do, soon so many people will be knocking on your door you won’t know what to do! Love can be a major turning point in your life, a moment when destiny comes to greet you and you can either embrace it, or turn it away. You can run like hell for the hills or you can fall to your knees and surrender. Love can be scary but it is these pivotal moments that can bring the most spiritual growth to your soul, where thoughts and obsessions can be mastered and where wisdom and light can be discovered.

Back to the lamps.

“No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people’s eyes, to reveal the marvels around.” --Coelho

So I brought my three new lamps home, stoked, barely surviving the bumpy steep dirt road that leads up to my home in the jungle. I brought them in and turned them on. The sun was still shining outside so there wasn’t a big difference at first but they still looked blissful in the room. Once the sun set, I turned on the lamps and magically the rooms had transformed. The light produced a warm elegant soft glow and this light energy was a strong reminder that when we shine our inner light outward, it casts warm rays of love energy into the universe and lights the way for anyone who is unable to cast their own at the moment. Light can lead the way.

Light and love can change the world. When you are happy, living Santosha (contentment) naturally your heart will have that beautiful glow, from the inside out. Think of E.T. and his heart. When he was happy his heart lit up and you could see it glowing from his chest. His glowing heart is immortalized in song. Neil Diamond wrote the powerful ballad “Turn On Your Heart Light” after watching the Spielberg’s award-winning documentary “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”  E.T.’s finger also lit up, as to point the way to the universe. E.T wanted to go “home.” The universe is home, or God, whatever word you want to use. Without getting into a religious debate I will say that we are all members of a Universal family, sharing and reflecting love and light.

Together, in oneness, one light bulb at a time, together we change the world. Light is the way to the universal path. There are no divisions when it comes to people. Light does not have walls. Through light energy we speak mind to mind, soul to soul. We are no different in our deepest needs and desires. We are all human beings just trying to find our way from the light and love in our hearts. Illuminated love awaits you but first you must seek the inward journey. Once nature has kissed your soul your inner light will shine outward and light the way for a path that you may follow or it may light the path so another may find you.

What are you seeking?

Hear the song from E.T.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5Y03KJxeeI

Comment

Comment

​The Year of the Dragon - Happy 1 Year Birthday Seeking Santosha. Trip down memory lane.

This blog is a trip down memory lane. Not because I live in the past. Not because I'm too lazy to write something new but because I'm here to inspire YOU.

I never spend time in the past but once in a while it’s nice to casually look back to see how far I’ve come. A quick peek now and then for the sake of gratitude and to inspire you to follow your heart to find your life’s purpose. Anything is possible. I know that now.

How Ironic that the first Birthday of my company falls in The Year of the Dragon. Unpredictability. Yes, I have seen terrible things happen all around me since the start of 2012, some of the craziest by far. Many accidental deaths, my friend Mike Grefner disappeared and still has not returned, mother nature on a rampage, but for the first time these things are not happening to me. Maybe it’s just the way I see the world now or what I’ve attracted or not attracted to it.

If you have been following my story from it’s initial conception you will remember that my life was a serious roller coaster of disaster leading up to moving to Nicaragua and finding Santosha. For those of you who are new blog readers I’ll catch you up to speed. My life wasn’t always a beach, flip flops and bikinis with endless sunny days. I’m in control of my life now. Once I took responsibility for attracting all of the negative events into my life and quit pretending I was a victim, things changed.

And for those of you who have reached out to me recently, you know who you are, needing inspiration and security to take your own leap maybe this will give you the kick in the ass you are searching for.

Love is the answer. What was the question?

From my very fist Blog. Just like Thelma and Louise but with better hair styles and no husbands in tow. Getting the hell outta dodge in search of santosha!

After my parent’s recent divorce of 30 some years- never saw that one coming. One of my roommates got killed in a head on car crash. I lost my job – one that I actually liked and was successful at. Not just “a job” but a career in the wine industry. Who wouldn’t love those perks!?  Next, broke up with a narcissistic boyfriend over text message. Ahhh, don’t feel sorry for him, his sister coined “narcissistic,” and him and I went to Mexico and I learned he hated swimming in the ocean, really?! That was NEVER going to work having so much love and respect for the ocean. Came back only to find my new alcoholic roommate was stealing from my personal wine collection and lying about it, flooding toilets and stealing bikes.

So, with the help of my trusty side-kick; who shall remain anonymous for the duration of this blog, I will refer to her as Thelma -  together we joined forces.

If all of this wasn’t reason enough to “get the hell outta dodge,” I searched internally for the answers, mostly in Adho Muka Svanasana = downward facing dog, on my yoga mat and asked myself, “is the universe trying to tell me something?”

Yep. I cried it out on my mat many times. Hoping people would not notice the tears, mistaking them for sweat. I cried not only from the heartache and shitty hand I had recently been dealt by a higher power or maybe my own residual karma – who knows, I’m not saying I’ m perfect. But, these tears were also because Julia McCabe my Guru and favorite yogi to date, was kicking my ass in moe foe pigeon and bird of paradise – bird of paradise my ass – mine looked more like broken flamingo. Finally deciding to listen to my own intuition – I will always do this now, making this a personal daily goal, I set out on adventure in search of healing and search of “santosha.”

Will Blunderfield, an amazing yoga instructor and healer once said in class, – as I laid on my mat in Savasana his words spoke to my soul.  “In life, we need a purpose – a passion, without this we feel lost and do not have contentment in day-to-day life.” From that day forward  I knew I needed to find my purpose in life. This was the beginning. In search of a purpose. It was now.

EAT. BIKE. PRAY. This was my plan.

We ate our way through Italy, biked it off the carbs in Croatia and then before I could get to Nicaragua to pray, my dad died.

As you know. I half-heatedly moved to Vancouver after the universe decided to puke on my perfect life and it’s like that scene in the movie Stand By Me where one kid sees the other kid puke and the puke-a-thon begins and just keeps going. Apparently the universe or God or whomever may be in charge didn’t get my email or see my status update on Facebook saying… “hey, can you take it easy on me for a while?

Yes, we needed a plan and we needed to implement it ASAP! Sounds healing right – Eat.Bike.Pray? I needed this despite the cost, after all – mental health is priceless and in the end, probably much cheaper than that insane asylum option.

First mission EAT.

No day in Italy is complete without taking a moment to enjoy one of the greatest discoveries Italy has ever shared with the world and my life. I will never see coffee the same. We started our days by sipping a cappuccino seated at an outdoor table facing an open piazza as the sun washed over us. We finished our evening meals under a starry sky, pigeons tucked into their nests, with a signature blend espresso recipes only known to the cafe owner that aid in digestion. Truly an Italian moment is sipping an espresso at a standing table or counter while nibbling a fresh pastry in between meals or just after devouring a cup of gelato!

A few more important memories worth mentioning: eating grapes and figs from the vines and trees in Tuscany, renting an old farm-house in the Chianti Hills with 6 wonderful Polish people who are now considered friends, vintage shopping in Florence, wandering through narrow streets in Lucca made only for bicycles, watching the sun set in the medieval town of Volterra – yes the same Volterra in the Twilight Series where the Volturi reside, swimming in the Mediterranean sea, doing yoga poses outside the Vatican, getting molested by an Italian dressed up like a Gladiator, drinking absinthe – won’t do that again, limoncello, dinner outside of the Pantheon, standing in awe of the Statue of David. …. I could go on and on but this blog must end.

Next mission Bike! Bike off all that food we ate in Italy.

Bike it off in Croatia! ---it was this day I started to believe in the innate oneness of all beings. I felt my father’s energy travel through the universe when he was drowning.

My memories of Croatia are a bit convoluted. I was in Croatia when I got the heart-wrenching news my father died. We always hope our parents will die of old age in their sleep. It was a bit ironic that I was traveling through the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic sea by boat when I got the news my father drowned in a boating fishing accident back in the United States.

We were about to embark on an 8 day – 7 night boat and bike tour on an island hopping adventure through the Dalmatian Coast. Looking back, If I had known how intensive the biking would be prior to committing on this trip, I may not have gone. We were biking 40 – 120 km per day. Total of 535 km / 334 miles (for you yankees).

It was intense but I would do it all over again. Each day the boat would drop us off on a new island and would meet us on the other side. As we cycled our bikes through the center, trying our best to keep pace with Teresa, a 70-year-old woman, a true inspiration – we took in the sights of harbor palm lined coves, breath-taking beautiful rolling country side, treasured old towns dating back to Roman times, historic villages, olive groves, vineyards, forests, Gothic Renaissance Baroque structures and Cathedrals, castles, cobblestone streets, and views of the turquoise clear Adriatic from hill tops.

On our last day we did not have a bike tour so Elvis, our bike guide and I went to the Coliseum. As we entered the Arena we were almost alone here unlike the Coliseum in Rome where thousands of tourists bumped into each other to take in the experience. It was so peaceful here in an eerie kind of way. You could smell historical death. We took lots of photos and some of each other, me striking my usual yoga poses – practicing for my next journey. After we were finished Elvis asked if I wanted to go for a coffee but I refrained. Still feeling a bit “off” I asked if I could be alone. I wanted to go for a walk through the city and down by the harbour by myself and I said I would meet him back at the boat.

Little did I know, during this time my father was drowning in a lake back in my home state of Montana in the United States. If you want to read the full story it’s in the full blog.

Pray in Nicaragua (continuation from Eat.Bike.now Pray!)

I was speaking to a dear friend of mine the other day that has read my blog up to this point and she said, “it looks like you had to lose control and then surrender to the flow.” That’s exactly what I did.

For the next 30 days I was gong to be living in neoprene, spandex and organic bamboo cotton. I was going to Nicaragua to pray. To meditate. To learn about Yoga. To sweat. To unite with myself, to become connected to the universe. To heal my heart and ignite my soul. To find my purpose.

After training, Julia wrote this for me.....

From the mouth of my Guru Julia,  "There’s a book called “She’s Come Undone” and I think of you Heidi and how you have wholeheartedly and gracefully shared your story of coming undone. So fresh from wounds that just undid.  One by one (like a refined tailor I once watched in Asia restitching a garment torn apart) you too will, and already have begun to suture the gaps between loss and loneliness….Only to see, ten steps back, a whole new garment of colour and texture. A haute couture of re-invented loss and loneliness, into a gown of abundance. Your heart will become even brighter and warmer as the days march along. The more you stoke it and be vulnerable welcoming all walks of love and life in, the bigger it will arrive: Shiva – Wild and big, dancing around a bonfire."

Universal Family. What the bleep does that really mean?

Our Universal family is based on unity of all people, places and things. It has no physical roots in the traditional framework of families but is more so the energy and mind thoughts that connects all people and spirits in the world primarily living between the north pole and the south pole, east to west.

Everything we do must be in awareness. Conscious direction. Our actions echo back after traveling through the universe. If we omit good positive energy or thoughts – mental vibrations, it will bring a positive outcome. If we echo negative energy or thoughts- mental vibration it will deliver back a negative outcome.

Karma is more than just “doing good” for others. Leave the ego out of this. It comes down to our conscious thoughts and the energy, and mental vibrations we are sending through the universe that can affect the wellness of our universal family as a whole. “if you wish to be happy, think of the happiness of your fellow human beings.” -Hazrat Inayat Khan

The dog days are over!

Some days the song “The Dog Days Are Over,” has been the theme song for many a road trip. A soundtrack to be played with friends or on a “solo mission.”  It’s words of beauty and inspiration ring through to my core. This song in particular speaks to my soul. I’ve danced stupidly to it like no one was watching, clapped my hands to it happily but sadly enough with each clap a child somewhere in the world dies to its beat. I’ve enjoyed a celebration toast to it with friends and screamed the words from the top of my lungs without taking a breath. I’ve done yoga to it.

Every day may I be reminded by the truth of its words and the sacred meaning behind them. Everyday I listen to it and its words take me to great heights. Today I will play this song if I feel like giving up because if tomorrow comes – there is no turning back.

Today is what really counts because tomorrow may never come.

Whats love got to do with it?

Love
.

Bigger than any wave. More powerful than fear. Love is like an ocean. Impermanent as a wave rising.

Every time I paddle out I remember my father’s drowning and I face fear. As energy surges through the water I find the rhythm of the ocean as I meditate on my surf board. I look toward the horizon, seeking a perfect set. Patience is required when waiting to catch a wave just as it is to find the perfect person to compliment your life. Learn to love the paddle. Pause in moments of difficulty because pleasure never lasts long enough. Enjoy what you are doing right now, and if you don’t change it. I’ve been working hard to love myself so that others may love me. We are put in the center of our lives to take charge of it.

I’ve learned through risk to adapt, to discover, to know, to learn, to grow, to inhale, to let go and to love. One must risk in order to find yourself, to love yourself.

Love is like surfing. If you get caught in the impact zone you need to get right back up because you never know what’s coming. Rather than seeking out someone to love you try to cultivate compassion, kindness and forgiveness for yourself and our personal love will meld into the realm of unconditional love that others will be attracted to.

Education may not make you wise. Success may not make you giving. Poverty may not make you humble and being wealthy may not make you rich. But love can teach you everything. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and then give it – then surf the waves of karma.

What do you want to create?

You must align your heart and believe that you deserve it. If there is any inkling of doubt. You might as well forget about it! The universe will test the foundation of your intention.

Your physical mind may argue with your higher mind. Imagine your physical mind as the valley and your higher mind as the top of the mountain. You can see much farther from here. Your higher mind will guide you and tell you where to go. It has great vision than what your physical mind can imagine. Trust in your higher mind. Accept that reality will have obstacles. Embrace these obstacles and rise above the suffering and victim mentality. Relate to these obstacles rather than feeling victimized by them. Quit resisting reality but rather embrace it. Only you can control your reaction to it.

Have you ever had a dream and were able to manifest it? Things were going really well in the beginning. Your dream had come true. Then BAM. Like a freight train, you were derailed. Stop. Look at what energy patterns you have been spinning since you were a child and fix the root of the issue/problem. Only you know what baggage you are carrying and only you can unpack it. Your intentions and desires are supported by the universe but more importantly they must be supported by your heart in order to manifest. STOP. Unpack or better yet, leave your baggage here.

If you don’t truly believe you deserve love because you were abused as a child then no matter how many positive thoughts you think and wish for love,  if you’re still spinning the negative energy pattern of being a victim underneath it all manifestation cannot occur. Deal with the baggage. Fix yourself and then carry on your journey. You will feel much lighter as you unpack the past instead of trying to bring it with you.

The past doesn’t exist. The future doesn’t exist. Only this moment, right now, right here exists. You can fool your own physical mind, but you can’t fool the universe.

My address: The WORLD. I’m free. Dedicated to Mike Grefner

You see, I’m free.

Free from the corporate chains I was once bound to needing this type of security to pay my mortgage, drive a BMW and wear all the fancy new clothing collections each season. Once upon a time I needed this security so I could drink expensive wine and dine at all the finest establishments, you see, I truly do love the finer things. But my idea of “the finer things” has changed. For me, freedom FROM is the finest thing!

Here I was a weekend warrior in my own mountain town. Not free from anything. Only bound to a paycheck. Taking in as much nature as I could when time permitted to feel free. It’s expensive to live in a world-class resort. I would climb the highest peaks to get a glimpse of what an Eagle might feel from high above and I would wonder, what would it feel like to be free? I would race downhill on any object such as skis, a snowboard, a mountain bike or my own two feet, letting gravity take me and enjoying the short ride while it lasted. Hoping Sunday would last forever and Monday would never come. Not because I don’t like to work but because I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing. It was not my “dream job.” At this time of my life I did not have the understanding of Santosha. Santosha is “being content with what we have” at the present time, not wanting more and appreciating what is. In the words of my friend Mike Grefner, these things – the job, the car, the mortgage, the clothes. the gear were only “a burden of security that suffocates my freedom.”

Now I have traded this kind of security for freedom. Freedom from. I have released myself and have found freedom in just being. I find myself having a hard time making plans these days. I like to wake up in the morning and go with the flow. I have the best boss I’ve ever had, ME! I like to see how I feel that day and see where the wind will take me. I go with the flow and when an obstacle arises, I realize it is just me tripping myself up.

The other day I was snowboarding with the boys and I rarely ask for directions but we were in gladed trees in an area on the mountain that was unfamiliar to me. “Which way?” I asked.  My friend laughingly replied, “Just go, let gravity take you.”
Yes, “just GO, let gravity take you.” Go with the flow of your own true nature inside of your soul and from this freedom will come.  Don’t worry about what your parents and friends will say. It is when we fight with what our hearts truly want and desire that we become discontented. I’m trying to show people how it is done, that’s what inspires. Just trying to tell people how it is done, only tires. Our knowledge of the innate Oneness of everything, all living things, all beings,  gives us the ability to set ourselves free because nothing can be set outside of you. It’s all in me. It’s all in you. Freedom comes from within.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman. A quote Mike Grefner shared with me.

With a grain of salt. I inspire some and apparently offend a few.

We can all free our hearts and release ourselves from our past. Including past karmas. Only a handful of people in this generation will actually do the hard work it takes to follow their dreams.

I’m only here to inspire you, not discourage you from your goals and current path. Acknowledging that only a handful of people in each generation will actually be true to themselves and desires. Think of yoga in terms of decades. Monumental events can flash by before you so quickly. I’m stepping away from the norm. You can choose the same or not. I won’t judge you.

Stop judging and start loving. 
Stop resisting and start living. 
Stop taking and start giving. 
Stop hating and start loving. 
Stop casting stones and start supporting others dreams. 
Stop living your life for others and start living for you.

Yes, life is simple for some, more difficult for others. But as soon as we do not see the innate oneness in all beings and in everything on this plant we place prejudices, boundaries and judgement inflating our ego, making ourselves feel better than the next person. We are not better than any single one person. That person that you do not like could be a mirror reflection of something that you need to change about yourself.

“The ego is a self-selected individuality program that has you believing that you are special. Specialness leads to differences, which leads to comparisons, which leads to conflict, and inevitably suffering.”
(Bill Able)

So you wanna date a Yoga Goddess? (This blog will be published by Elephant Journal this week!)

“It’s not what you call me, but what I answer to. I am a Goddess. I’m not afraid of the dark because I shine my own bright light through a stain-glass window, creating and dancing in my own beauty.” ~Heidi ♥

You can seduce a an average women’s mind to gain access to her body, but you must speak to a Yoga Goddesses soul to gain her full attention and affection. We don’t give it up easy. A Yoga Goddess knows that her passion is her purpose and living out her dreams will inspire you to do the same. This is her gift that she can give to the world.

She is a beautiful creature, creating her own beauty and dancing in her own light as if no one is watching.
 A Yoga Goddess is from the world. She is free. Free to be.

Me and Seeking Santosha Nicaragua will be featured in Zetta Adkins-Kinney’s new book Goddess to Goddess. I’m going to plan a Goddess to Goddess retreat around the launch of the book! Maybe the author will even grace us with her beautiful presence?!! Wait for it….details coming soon.

--------

So the moral of the story is, when something is in ruins it can lead to a beautiful transformation. Never give up on your dreams. Your passion is your purpose. Believe in the innate oneness of all beings and you will never feel lonely. Love yourself so much and when your self-love is overflowing, only then can you share it with another person and the world. Do not let the words of another blow out your flame. You must create your own beauty and dance in your own bright light and when you cast a shadow, recognize it and step out of this shadow. Be the change you want to see in the world. Have compassion for yourself and others.

Love is the answer, always.

Thank you for your love and support. In oneness, Heidi

Follow Seeking Santosha Nicaragua on Facebook!

Comment

1 Comment

Lost in translation.

Chemistry. Photography by: Octopi, manipulated by Heidi Parker

When I become lost in translation of my own thoughts, I stop and listen to the wind. My thoughts drift in and pass through. I allow them to pass without holding them hostage, spared from judgement and analyzation.

Eye of Truth. Photography by: Heidi Parker

When I clear my mind of all the words, memories, images, and judgements I can see energy in its purest form. Freedom from thought. It's a beautiful thing.

Sea of Truth. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Without thought, focused on connecting to my breath, I close my eyes and my inner eyelids resemble a blank canvas where colorful energy dances like no one is watching. Beautiful vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, green and blue.

Sunset of Perception. Photography by: Heidi Parker

When I was a child I used to see energy when I'd close my eyes.  When I couldn't sleep I used to play with it making it dance in the darkness of my mind. I was always afraid to talk to any one about it because I didn't want my parents to know I really wasn't sleeping during nap time and as an adult I didn't want anyone to think I was crazy.

Sea Touches Sky. Photography by: Heidi Parker

I see some of the most vibrant energetic colors and patterns spinning and dancing but they vanish as soon as I let the light in.

Stones of Life. Photography by: Heidi Parker

I wish I could take a photograph of my internal mind or paint what I see. My photography is the closest I can get to capturing energy. The energy that dances behind the darkness of my eyelids is a native language that is foreign to me but one day I will learn to converse with it.

Between Heaven and Earth. Photography by: Heidi Parker

What I see is only a glimpse of a much larger picture, the universe within. It isn't in a form of an object.

Energetic Butterfly. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Matter in its subtlest form is prana, a vital energy which is inseparable from consciousness.  A river of energy and intelligence.  Most of us have become trapped in a world of name and form.

Lust. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Seeing objects as they appear in their energetic form instead of the experience from the bare reality keeping us attached to thought can cause pain.

Art of Another. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Our delusion of these objects keep us from knowing life in it's real energetic fullness. The world is beautifully composed of patterns and processes but because we have given everything a boundary, a name, it becomes solid stuck in time and space.

Life's Journey. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Oh no, I'm dorking out here.

My love of the sciences combined with a spiritual twist has enabled me to detach from the object form of negative energy patterns that bind us to hurt. "Seeing" life in a different way, as energy has liberated and freed my soul.

Morning Love. Photography by: Heidi Parker

It is very liberating and freeing to see that events in my life are arising from cause and condition and reaction to these patterns just create more problems.

Samskara. Photography by: Heidi Parker

Release yourself from the bondage of thought and see the energetic artist come alive on the inside. Let go. Flow with your true nature and stop trying to make it all fit together so nicely. We are spirit. We are energy.

Remember: The light is the life energy. The endless flame of life. An ever-changing surging turmoil of color may engulf your vision. This is the ceaseless transformation of energy. The life process. Do not fear it. Surrender to it. Join it. It is a apart of you. You are a part of it. Beyond the restless flowing electricity of the life is the ultimate reality- The Void. Your own awareness, not formed into anything processing form of color, is naturally void. The final reality. The All Good. The All Peaceful. The Light. The Radiance. The movement is the fire of life from which we all come. Join it. It is a part of you. Beyond the light of life is the peaceful silence of the void. The quiet bliss beyond all transformations. The Buddha smile. The void is not nothingness. The void is beginning and end itself. Unobstructed, shining, thrilling, blissful. Diamond consciousness. The All-Good Buddha. Your own consciousness, not formed into anything, No thought, no vision, no color, is void. The intellect shining and blissful and silent - This is the state of perfect enlightenment. Knowing this is enough. ---Timothy Leary The Psychedelic Experience

 

What are you seeking?

I'm currently studying Energy Medicine and how to heal the body from within.

A must read: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, Ph.D.

Encoded within your body, teaches Dr. Myss, is an energy system linking you directly to the world's great spiritual traditions. Through it you have direct access to the divine energy that seamlessly connects all life. On Anatomy of the Spirit, Dr. Myss offers a stunning picture of the human body's hidden energetic structures, while revealing its precise spiritual code and relationship to the sacred energy of creation. Our most revered wisdom traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, hold in common essential teachings about seven specific levels of spiritual development, the stages of power in life. These seven great truths also grace the human body as an energetic system, a spiritual compass pointing the way to the divine. By honoring this inborn code, you can learn to see the symbolic blocks within your energy centers and their correlations with your health, relationships, and spiritual development. Richly interwoven with research, examples, and self-diagnostic guidelines, Anatomy of the Spirit will take you to the heart of the spiritual life and beyond.

1 Comment

4 Comments

So you wanna date a Yoga Goddess?

"It's not what you call me, but what I answer to. I am a Goddess. I'm not afraid of the dark because I shine my own bright light through a stain-glass window, creating and dancing in my own beauty." ~Heidi ♥

Yoga in the West is like a house on fiyaaaaaa! I suppose it’s the new in-thing to say, “My girlfriend is a Yoga teacher.” AKA Yoga Goddess. This also includes all the beautiful women who do yoga, not just teachers.

You can seduce a an average women’s mind to gain access to her body, but you must speak to a Yoga Goddesses soul to gain her full attention and affection. We don’t give it up easy. A Yoga Goddess knows that her passion is her purpose and living out her dreams will inspire you to do the same. This is her gift that she can give to the world.

A Yoga Goddess is open to everything and attached to nothing. Are you sure you want to venture into uncharted spiritual territory? It is in her nature to believe in something other than her relationships and herself. A Yoga Goddess is attune to herself and to the divine spirit of guidance, the universe, and always listens to her own intuition when she has to make a difficult decision. She is independent and won’t look to you to solve her problems or to hold her hand when times get tough. Can your ego handle this?

Ego is the reason men beg, steal, borrow, go to the gym and to war.  A Yoga Goddess is fully aware of a man’s ego. She knows that LOVE is the answer to any question. She does not want to go to battle with you. She will allow a man to feel in control so he can feel like a God but a Yoga Goddess always takes care of herself first. She won’t correct you when you say something stupid, she will just give you that aloof look and allow you to make the correction yourself.

A Yoga Goddess never sees her man when she is running on empty. Instead, she takes the time to care for herself by meditating, going to a yoga class, engaging in an active sport, reading a book, spending time alone or with her girlfriends. A Yoga Goddess eats when she’s hungry, she sleeps when she’s tired and works when she has to. If she doesn’t respond fast enough to your messages, sorry but she has her own life and will make time for you when time allows. Catch her if you can. If you are trying to find her, most likely she can be found connecting to nature, walking barefoot in the sand, paddling out into the ocean on a surf board, flying through the air on a kite or grounding down to the earth in seated meditation.

A Yoga Goddess believes there is only one master, herself. Not being led by ego but by mastering her mind and conscious thoughts through practice she can overcome anything. She doesn’t need you to complete her, instead she needs you to compliment her. If you want to hang onto her you must support her dreams and she will also embrace yours and provide the same support in return. The Yoga Goddess is whole and she is looking to attract another whole person. This isn’t Jerry Maguire, “You complete me,” sorta story. Don’t come carrying baggage because she travels light and does not carry a heavy load, she is free. When love floods her heart and starts to spill over, this is when, and only when she can offer it to you.

You see, A Yoga Goddess is quite content to be on her own, never feeling alone because she finds a connection in the innate oneness of all beings. A Yoga Goddess lives in the moment. She forgives you and herself if a mistake is made because after all, she is human and understand we all make mistakes. She has compassion for everyone including herself. She does not bring up the past because she knows the past no longer exists and she does not live there. She does not focus on the future because it has yet to come, nor does it exist. She lives for today, for THIS moment, enjoying and appreciating each moment. Truly living Santosha (contentment). She is happy for what she has and if you give her a gift she is forever grateful because she gives without expectation and without attachment but she is not expecting it because she knows that having expectations can lead to disappointment.

When a Yoga Goddess sees another beautiful woman, she is not jealous, she looks at them in awe and acknowledge another women’s beauty. She will not judge another or engage in gossip because that goes against her own beauty. She does not want drama. She has more important things to philosophize about. She realizes that when she stumbles, it is only herself she is tripping over. She does not blame anyone and does the self work necessary to fix herself.  She is a beautiful creature, creating her own beauty and dancing in her own light as if no one is watching.

A Yoga Goddess is from the world. She is free. Free to be.

So go on, ask a Yoga Goddess out on a date...

An ode to all my beautiful Yogi Goddesses, in Oneness! With love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mStVexi2lm4&list=PLEECF28788D65314C&index=7&feature=plpp_video

[slideshow]

Me and Seeking Santosha Nicaragua will be featured in Zetta Adkins-Kinney's new book Goddess to Goddess. I'm going to plan a Goddess to Goddess retreat around the launch of the book! Maybe the author will even grace us with her beautiful presence?!! Wait for it....details coming soon.

4 Comments

Comment

The soul of a chef. Who says a yogi can't be a foodie? Recipes with Coconut Oil and Nutritional Yeast

When 2012 was upon us at the end of 2011 I was faced with the decision to write out my New Years Resolution as I had routinely done every year.  In my blog, To Resolution or Not to Resolution I decided not to Resolution and wrote out "my story for 2012” instead. Over the past year I have realized that I’m the author of my life’s story and the main character giving myself full freedom to be or do as I wish. Life goes by way to fast to allow someone else to dictate your choices as I have allowed so often in the past. So, as I put the pen to paper I wrote that I would start sharing my creativity and artistic expression with you in other ways than just my writing and photography as another means to inspire you to start living your dreams and to find your life’s purpose and passion. Someone else inspired me to be where I am today and so that is my purpose here, to do the same for you. Will Blunderfield, a wonderful yogi said “Your passion is your purpose.” This resonated with me and I believe once you find your purpose, it is your gift that you can give and share with the world.

You see, there is an artist within each one of us just dying to come out. I lived for so many years embarrassed by my writing, poetry, painting and cooking that I hid it from the world. Sharing only what another would compliment me on if they had caught me in the act of creating. Yoga is the method by which I’ve been able to calm my restless mind and can now direct the energy into constructive channels. As I mentioned in my last blog I had suppressed my artistic nature because my father didn't want me to go to University for Fine Arts. "I don't want you to be a starving artist he said." So here I am, I've come around full circle because my love for the arts is my passion and I express this through culinary creation. I didn't go to culinary school but I have taken lots of cooking classes around the world on my wild adventures and I’ve experimented by myself from even a young age and I’ve enjoyed many meals alone because I love to eat.

Who says a yogi can't be a foodie? The Science of cooking fascinates me and I have mastered the Art of eating. But now  I have the courage to express it and share it. My cooking comes from the heart, made with the most important and abundant free ingredient, love.

I feel guilty, I must confess. Lately I have been making some really amazing healthy tasty vegetarian meals and I have not shared them with YOU. I have only successfully been on a vegetarian/flexitarian moving toward vegan-ism path for 16 months now. Growing up a meat eater from Montana, I never believed I could be satisfied with out a piece of meat on my plate. But I truly am. I love love love to cook, I always have and I've been having SO much fun with all my new creations that it would be selfish not to start sharing them. There is so much more to just beans and rice in Nicaragua.

You will hardly ever see me cooking from a recipe. I may flip through a cook book from time to time to look at the beautiful photography and to get inspired but it is very rare that I follow a recipe from start to finish and I hardly ever make the same thing twice and if I do it never turns out exactly the same. That is the beauty of cooking. You can create anything you want to! Cooking should be fun and once you feel comfortable with what flavors work with other flavors, you can just go to a well stocked fridge, pantry, herb garden and spice rack and make some magic!

Coconut Oil and Nutritional Yeast

♥ Feed your soul with a wonderful new creation inspired by me. I've been experimenting and having fun with new ingredients! What are you seeking? Living outside your comfort level is where the magic happens. Just try it...go on....

Popcorn As A meal

Ingredients: Coconut Oil 4-8 TBL. Dried popcorn 1/4 - 1 cup Raw Garlic 2 cloves 1 Lime Sea Salt, preferably Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Pour a few tablespoons of coconut oil into a stainless steel pot, more is better.  Turn the temperature on medium to medium high. Throw a few corn kernels in and wait till they pop. Once the oil is ready add 1/4 to 1 cup of raw kernels and cover with a lid. Move the pot back and forth over the flames holding the lid tight and once the corn starts to pop, listen carefully and when it slows down and the pot is full of fluffy white corn remove from the heat. If you have room in the pot using a garlic press, press a few cloves of fresh garlic directly onto the popcorn. If not transfer to a large bowl and do the same. Add a few sprinkles of pink Himalayan sea salt and a few tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast. Stir and then squeeze some fresh lime over top, stir again. Enjoy. If you want a spicy version add some cayenne pepper. Use any fresh or dried herbs to make it different. (Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary.) This is the part where you can be creative. If you don’t have Coconut Oil, use Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil. If you don’t have Nutritional Yeast, just use sea salt. Be creative.

Wine Pairing: Champagne or Sparkling White Wine, anything with bubbles goes well with popcorn.  (Truffle oil and sea salt is also a wonderful topping for popcorn that works so well with bubbles)

Potato Cakes Have left over Mashed Potatoes from last nights dinner? Don’t throw them out! Instead use them to make your next meal or appetizer.

Ingredients: Zucchini - half or quarter of small zucchini finely diced Cold Mashed Potatoes (seasoned from the night before)

In a bowl mix at least 2-3 cups of cold potatoes with the finely diced zucchini. Mush it all together and use your hands to form a patty. Similar to a veggie or burger patty. Put some Nutritional Yeast on a plate and spread it out evenly. Put the patty into the yeast and then sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on the top and press the patty gently into the bed of yeast. You want the yeast to stick to both sides evenly.

Heat a few table spoons of Coconut Oil in a non stick pan on medium heat. Cook the patties on both sides, making sure the yeast doesn’t burn, adjusting the temperature if need be.  Flip the patty over when the yeast has become golden brown. Serve on it’s own with your choice of salsa, hot sauce or serve on the side to your favorite salad. Suggestion: Mixed Organic Greens, Arugula, Avocado, Tomatoes and Basil). This is where you get to be creative. Add any dried or fresh herbs to the patties and serve it anyway your heart desires. You can even make balls potato balls instead of patties.

Wine Pairing: Riesling

In case you are seeking more information about Coconut Oil & Nutritional Yeast...

Coconut Oil Is:

·       Anti-inflammatory ·       Antimicrobial ·       Anti-fungal ·       Antiviral ·       Improves nutrient absorption

Cooking

-Use 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing other oils/butter in recipes with coconut oil. -Replacement for butter/lard/Crisco/Olive Oil in it’s solid form – greasing pans, pie crusts, etc. -Replacement for various oils in liquid form – baking, cooking, sautéing, etc. -Nutritional supplement – melt and add to smoothies.

Other Coconut Oil Uses: -Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment – use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap or put a towel over your pillow to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight. -Make up remover -Chapstick -Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub! -Lubricant – it is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex! -Stretch Mark Cream – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.

Nutritional Yeast

Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods. Nutritional yeast is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you're vegan, it's a good idea to add some to your food regularly. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk foods or supplement section of your health food store. You can look for either nutritional yeast flakes or powder, but be sure you don't get brewer's yeast by mistake, as it's quite similar in appearance. In Australia and New Zealand, nutritional yeast is also called "savory yeast" or "savory yeast flakes." Sprinkle on salads, garlic bread, add to stir frys. Be creative!

Comment

Comment

"It's not what you call me, but what I answer to. I am a Goddess. I'm not afraid of the dark because I shine my own bright light through a stain-glass window, creating and dancing in my own beauty."

Si la Patria es pequeña, uno grande la sueña!”

Translation: “If Homeland is small, you dream of it big!” These words were said by the most well-known Nicaraguan poet, Felix Ruben Dario.

Nicaragua considered the Land of Poets, Artists, Volcanoes and Lakes. One of the most seismically active parts of the world. Nicaragua, the country I now call home and more importantly feel at home. It's no wonder it feels like home. It has an energetic effect on me, its people and travelers passing through. This is where I became yoga certified and all the Seeking Santosha magic came to fruition. I was seeking Santosha (contentment) and quickly discovered a long-lost dream. Once I had the courage to set my thoughts free they flourished, abundant with growth, like a wild jungle that now cannot be controlled. You see, my dreams and me are free, no longer dormant like a sleeping volcano.

When I feel myself fading

I close my eyes

and remember

my friends are my energy

~Heidi Parker 1998

Yoga is my poetic expression of words that have been buried in my heart like a hidden treasure just waiting to be found. ~Heidi Parker

[slideshow]

"It's not what you call me, but what I answer to. I am a  Goddess. I'm not afraid of the dark because I shine my own bright light through a stain-glass window, creating and dancing in my own beauty." ~Heidi ♥

Yoga is a lifestyle and has evoked the hidden creativity that has been tucked away in my heart for what feels like centuries. As a teenager I learned to suppress my dreams and passions. Once a true believer in the happiness-inspiring powers of capitalism unknowing that this was the slow death of my soul. As a kid I always considered myself a poet, a painter, a writer but that dream was quickly stomped out like Smokey the Bear puts out a forest fire as soon as I shared the idea of going to University for Fine Arts with my father. You see, it was my dream, I was an aspiring artist but Dad never wanted me to be what he called "a starving Artist."  As an adult I'm finally free from my parents psychological chains that once suffocated my heart. Now I close my eyes gently in meditations and listen to the soft whispers that flow from my heart. Yoga was the key that opened a rusty lock. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung, to make room for your beating heart. Once the energy started spinning in my heart center it connected to and kick started the energy in my right brain only to reveal the deprived artist within, once starved of a dream.

I am the right brain.  I am creativity, a free spirit.  I am passion. Yearning, sensuality.  I am the sound of roaring laughter.  I am taste, the feeling of sand beneath bare feet.  I am movement. I am vivid colour, the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art, poetry.  I sense.  I feel.  I am everything I wanted to be.”--Author unknown.

In Nicaragua "poet" doubles as a word for friend, brother, buddy. The love of poetry in Nicaragua can be traced back to even before Rubén Darío (1867-1916), but it was this great Nicaraguan poetry master who cemented it as the country's dominant art form and passion giving it roots. "Words should paint the color of sound, the aroma of a star."Rubén Darío. Until attending the Poet Festival in Granada I hadn't realize there is no art form, or any form of expression that rivals poetry for the Nicaraguan people. From the poorest rural child to the internationally educated literary student there is a common thread, poetry. The great poet from Granada, José Coronel Urtecho, once said that "Every Nicaraguan is a poet until proven otherwise.” Few Nicaraguans would argue, but if they did, they would likely do so using poetic verse. Poetry in Nicaragua is an equally important tool and method to express political protest and social criticism, as it is for romance, pictorial and abstract thought. The people of Nicaragua are very poetic.

You could walk through this country with your eyes half closed missing all the beauty because the cloud of poverty and sadness that remains from civil war times is apparent. Come. Please tip toe lightly, with full awareness over the dreams and hope that can be seen deep in the eyes of the people you encounter. Come. To Nicaragua. Open your eyes wide. Allow the sun to penetrate your heart connecting you to the innate oneness and abundance that the Nicaraguan culture and people have to offer. Breathe.

My heart cannot begin to tell

stores that have lived deep within its well

It can only begin to reveal

all of the wounds that have started to heal

what it experiences within the day

are what one may call running away

difficulties of expression

are results of unanswered questions

I used to scream when the sun came up

and now I dance in the glory of my own bright light

Don't blow out my flame

I no longer hold any one to blame

tread lightly over my dreams

For words are more powerful than God

~Heidi 2000, re-edited in 2010

So what is your heart seeking?

 Come to Nicaragua and set it free. Seeking Santosha is currently cultivating yoga adventure retreats that encompass the Arts. Let us be your guide to discovering what's been dormant in your heart.

Seeking Santosha will be attending next years Poeta de Mundo 2013 if you are interested in Seeking a cultural adventure in Nicaragua contact: heidi@seekingsantoshanicaragua.com

Comment

2 Comments

With a grain of salt. I inspire some and apparently offend a few.

Please, choose your words wisely when giving someone feed back, within seconds you can blow their dreams out the window with one simple breath.  Even if it was never your intention in doing so.

Warning: read at your discretion, it is not my intention to offend. Recently I have received what some would call "hate mail." To my Seeking Santosha account.

The email reads:

"life is not complicated – why do some people make it that way by professing to know all the answers and writing about it? turns out, there is little to no wisdom in what they have to say – sad, although somewhat entertaining if one is truly interested!" (I will keep the name of the emailer anonymous out of respect).

My response was this...

"Well, we *do* identify and apply emotional charges to what we identify with. I'm very sorry if you have been offended. I express myself through my writing and I will continue to do what I do because I enjoy it. I do it for me. I put words to paper to solidify my feelings and what I want to manifest, not because I "think I know everything." Freedom of speech is my right. Who are we to judge another? I do not know everything. I find wisdom and guidance from my own experiences and hope to share them. It is your choice to read it or not. Sending you love and peace." -Heidi

Me as a Writer, Heidi Parker Facebook name Sha Kti ...

Me in Italy, writing. Photo by Magdalena Kuligowska. When I was in high school I had big dreams of being an artist. A writer, a painter, a poet. But my father told me he didn’t want to see me be a "starving artist" so not by choice I had to choose another degree. In high school I loved to write fictional stories and poetry. I truly wanted to be a writer. As a good slap to the face, I almost failed my first University English class which forced me to work harder, maybe my father was right?! Two semesters later and not giving up hope on my dream, I was offered an assistant teaching job by my favorite and highly regarded English professor and at the end of the semester I successfully earned an A. This was a small flickering flame in a dark cave, lighting the way to a dream far off in the distance. Two years later I had a boyfriend tell me my writing was terrible along with my grammar. At the time I was writing a fictional book and a Guide to the Canadian Immigration Process.  After receiving such a negative comment from someone I loved, I quit. I allowed my own flame to be blown out by the words of another. I gave up, feeling completely and utterly unworthy. I never finished either book. A few years later, I found myself in another similar relationship with another guy who laughed out loud when I shared my dream and  aspirations of being a travel writer. I had the courage to share my dream yet again but soon realized the breath from both men blew my dream out the window like a helium balloon. And there I was, a sad child just watching it disappear into the universe knowing it would never come back.

Several years later I created my blog site but it took me 6 months to make it public. Finally I worked up the courage to share my writing. I  shared my vulnerable thoughts and words in hopes you would tread lightly on my dreams. After I posted my first blog, a dozen people commented positively on my creative writing and skills. This initial encouragement kept me going. I was then asked to write an article for a friend about kite surfing and it was published which enabled her to capture many sponsors which has contributed to her success. Now, almost one year later, I hardly get public comments but I have received many private messages thanking me for being an inspiration to those who can relate. I know people are still reading even if the comments are not as abundant because the blog site tracks visitors and as of today over 3,000 people have read my blog. Thank you! I don’t do it for the encouragement and praises anymore. I do it for me. I love to write and no one can ever take that away from me again. It is your choice to read, or not to read.

Take this with a grain of salt. Where ever you are, your heart can be free! Me as a yoga teacher ... We can all free our hearts and release ourselves from our past. Including past karmas. Only a handful of people in this generation will actually do the hard work it takes to follow their dreams. But why aren’t more people doing this? It’s because our minds get in the way and our ego takes over. In yoga, most teachers will tell you when you walk into the studio, before we step on our yoga mats, we should check our ego at the door.

But I say this, bring it with you right to your mat. Set it there in front of you, with you. Get to know it. And when you are faced with a difficult pose or a challenge in life. Know when your ego is taking control of your mind and body and work with it. As a teacher it is my obligation to share with you what I know. I'm not saying what I know is the only way. It is what I have experienced in my own life. Not only am I a teacher but most importantly I am a student. Last April I spent two weekends at two different yoga conferences (Whistler and New York) updating my continuing yoga education. I did 36 hours of courses at these conferences and I had my ego right there with me on my mat at all times. When I was faced with a difficult pose, a controversial conversation about yoga, when thought tried to take over and emotions surfaced and I wanted to use my ego to bully or push my way through, not coming from a place of love or compassion upon first instinct. I paused for a moment, took a breath and asked myself "why am I feeling this way?" I took notice of my ego and was able to smack it around a bit and stifle it when necessary. It was right there with me and I was able to see when it was acting out of line.

I’m only here to inspire you, not discourage you from your goals and current path. Acknowledging that only a handful of people in each generation will actually be true to themselves and desires. Think of yoga in terms of decades. Monumental events can flash by before you so quickly. I’m stepping away from the norm. You can choose the same or not. I won’t judge you.

Stop judging and start loving. Stop resisting and start living. Stop taking and start giving. Stop hating and start loving. Stop casting stones and start supporting others dreams. Stop living your life for others and start living for you.

Yes, life is simple for some, more difficult for others. But as soon as we do not see the innate oneness in all beings and in everything on this plant we place prejudices, boundaries and judgement inflating our ego, making ourselves feel better than the next person. We are not better than any single one person. That person that you do not like could be a mirror reflection of something that you need to change about yourself. "The ego is a self-selected individuality program that has you believing that you are special. Specialness leads to differences, which leads to comparisons, which leads to conflict, and inevitably suffering."
(Bill Able)

Not in my own words, but in the words of another ...

"In a truly enlightened state Love is ALL THAT IS. In a truly enlightened state you see Oneness and you don't make comparisons between you and other people, nor you see differentiation between you and them because you KNOW We are ONE, it's not a mental concept, for YOU it is an internalized truth. Gossiping belongs to the ego no matter how much you try to clothe it in spiritual garments such as discernment, "higher truth" or whatever. Real discernment is totally neutral and it is not accompanied by an emotional charge. 
The fact is, if you speak against someone else on his/her back and try to discredit him or her and thus pump your own egoic "superiority" and egoic "value", it is still a gossip.  When you perceive the world through the eyes of your ego, you HAVE to feel special and superior to others in order to feel better about yourself,  because you are empty inside and disconnected from your Divine essence. Thus, the only satisfaction that you get is illusory and comes from worldly validation. Unconditional love doesn't discriminate on any basis but only perceives with the eyes of Love."
-(Cristina Light)

What are you seeking? What are you dreaming? 

With Love - thank you for reading and supporting my dreams!

Heidi Parker, Owner and Creator of Seeking Santosha Nicaragua

Me in Italy. Photo by Magdalena Kuligowska.

2 Comments

1 Comment

My address: The WORLD. I’m free. Dedicated to Mike Grefner

“Where are you from?” I’m often asked.

“I’m from, the world.” - and I swear I'm not being a smart ass!

This question always takes me off guard because I have been living out of a back pack for what seems like eternity, 16 months to be exact. And, for the first time in my life I truly feel free.

Having grown 10 years of solid roots in the mountains of Whistler Canada gave me a pretty solid foundation to launch from. Taking that first leap toward your dreams is the scariest but the adrenaline rush will keep you going till you reach the next dream launch pad. You see, I no longer have a physical home in Whistler so the question, “Where are you from?” causes some confusion in my own mind when trying to find an answer the person asking will understand. Although I did not grow up in Whistler, Whistler will always hold a piece of my heart and spirit. But my spirit is free and my body is just a vessel and one day I will only "be" just spirit.

Most people have the same reaction to this answer,  “I’m from, the world.” More often than not I get a very disappointed look, similar to the one your teacher in school used to give when you gave a wrong answer. Oh, you know the one. One eye brow up, death-stare-kind-of-gaze meaning, wrong answer, try again! Yes, I was often rightly accused as being a smart ass in school but this answer comes purely from the heart.

So really, what are you asking me?  Where was I born? (In a hospital) Where did I grow up? (Montana) Where do I feel most free? (Anywhere I can do what I love to do) Where do I call home? (The world and where ever I feel welcome. Home is where the heart is) Where do I pay taxes? (Canada and the USA) Where did I go to College? (California) What country do I hold a passport from? (USA & a Canadian PR Card) Do you own a home? (Yes, Nicaragua, I store a few of my “things” here). So really, it’s not an easy question for me to answer, wouldn’t you agree?

You see, I’m free.

Free from the corporate chains I was once bound to needing this type of security to pay my mortgage, drive a BMW and wear all the fancy new clothing collections each season. Once upon a time I needed this security so I could drink expensive wine and dine at all the finest establishments, you see, I truly do love the finer things. But my idea of “the finer things” has changed. For me, freedom FROM is the finest thing!

I would work hard all year to take that well-deserved vacation. I was one of the few professionals in this mountain town working 8-5 Monday through Friday. I was jealous and judging the ski and snowboard bums who were living off Unemployment Insurance and going out to hear a popular local DJ such as Mike Grefner VS Zero on a Wednesday, school night for me. They were “living their dreams.” Not me, I couldn’t ride fresh tracks all week-long, I had responsibilities and bills to pay of course, under my father’s mindful watch hundreds of miles away needing to find that security of acceptance by following in his footsteps.

Here I was a weekend warrior in my own mountain town. Not free from anything. Only bound to a paycheck. Taking in as much nature as I could when time permitted to feel free. It’s expensive to live in a world-class resort. I would climb the highest peaks to get a glimpse of what an Eagle might feel from high above and I would wonder, what would it feel like to be free? I would race downhill on any object such as skis, a snowboard, a mountain bike or my own two feet, letting gravity take me and enjoying the short ride while it lasted. Hoping Sunday would last forever and Monday would never come. Not because I don’t like to work but because I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing. It was not my “dream job.” At this time of my life I did not have the understanding of Santosha. Santosha is “being content with what we have” at the present time, not wanting more and appreciating what is. In the words of my friend Mike Grefner, these things - the job, the car, the mortgage, the clothes. the gear were only “a burden of security that suffocates my freedom."

Now I have traded this kind of security for freedom. Freedom from. I have released myself and have found freedom in just being. I find myself having a hard time making plans these days. I like to wake up in the morning and go with the flow. I have the best boss I’ve ever had, ME! I like to see how I feel that day and see where the wind will take me. I go with the flow and when an obstacle arrises, I realize it is just me tripping myself up.

The other day I was snowboarding with the boys and I rarely ask for directions but we were in gladed trees in an area on the mountain that was unfamiliar to me. “Which way?” I asked.  My friend laughingly replied, “Just go, let gravity take you.”

Yes, “just GO, let gravity take you.” Go with the flow of your own true nature inside of your soul and from this freedom will come.  Don’t worry about what your parents and friends will say. It is when we fight with what our hearts truly want and desire that we become discontented. I’m trying to show people how it is done, that’s what inspires. Just trying to tell people how it is done, only tires. Our knowledge of the innate Oneness of everything, all living things, all beings,  gives us the ability to set ourselves free because nothing can be set outside of you. It’s all in me. It’s all in you. Freedom comes from within.

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman. A quote Mike Grefner shared with me.

We can only benefit from the innate oneness by being true to our own nature, souls, dreams, values and beliefs.

So next time you ask me, Where are you from? My answer will be...

My address is: The WORLD. I’m free. Free to be.

Dedicated to my friend Mike Grefner. Where ever you are Mike, you are free. Wherever you are, you are supposed to be. Your spirit is everywhere. This is your life, your choice to continue down your path. One love. One-ness is what you taught me. Wherever you go, we are all there with you in the innate oneness of being. ♥ "It is a shame when people make an acceptation to the oneness." -Come back soon so we can have a “mesh sesh!”

Mike thank you for introducing me to unASLEEP. "Do you believe in the innate oneness of all things, or do you still need to distance yourself from portions of it because you are unhappy with an outcome? " - unASLEEP

Mike Grefner is still missing as of 25 January 2012.http://findmikegrefner.ca

 

Freedom. What are you seeking?

1 Comment

Comment

What do you want to create?

Life doesn’t happen to you. It happens through you. It takes no power to destroy. It takes power to create. Everybody dies but not everybody lives.

Your intentions and desires are supported by the universe but more importantly they must be supported by your heart in order to manifest.

I’ve learned...

It takes more than a dream. It takes more than a desire. It takes more than intention. It takes more than belief. It takes more than hope. It takes more than love. It takes more than courage. It takes more than action. It takes more than playing it safe in a valley (the physical mind) you must climb to the top of the mountain (the higher mind). It takes more than just thinking positive thoughts. It takes more than just believing in the universe or a God.

I’ll say it again...

Your intentions and desires are supported by the universe but more importantly they must be supported by your heart in order to become reality.

You must dream. You must know your desires. You must set an intention. You must believe in yourself and your dream full heartedly. Your dream must match your intention to manifest. You must not be afraid. You must have courage. You must talk to others and share the idea of your dream. You must take action to work toward manifesting your dream into reality. You must not look back. You must go forward. You must make your decisions with love and compassion. You must acknowledge we are all apart of the ONE-ness of this universe. You must climb to the top of the mountain (the higher mind). You can see farther from here.

Accept that mistakes will be made. Learn from your mistakes. Admit your mistakes. Make apologies when necessary. Forgive yourself and others. Embrace obstacles. Create.

I can honestly say that my greatest successes have been derived from my biggest mistakes and not letting go of my dreams because I knew there had to be a better way than what our traditional society had led me to believe.

Love. Your love is free. Your love is alive. Your love is energy that moves and cannot be taken away from you, or lost or cancelled like a bad cell phone contract. Even if heart ache occurs. But, you can always recycle your love into something creative. Something beautiful. Inspiring. Art, music, fashion, words, photography and a million kinds of service to other beings. What are you seeking? Get busy creating. Love is a movement. Love is freedom. Love is a gift you can give.

And I’ll say it AGAIN... You must align your heart and believe that you deserve it. If their is any inkling of doubt. You might as well forget about it! The universe will test the foundation of your intention. Your physical mind may argue with your higher mind. Imagine your physical mind as the valley and your higher mind as the top of the mountain. You can see much farther from here. Your higher mind will guide you and tell you where to go. It has great vision than what your physical mind can imagine. Trust in your higher mind. Accept that reality will have obstacles. Embrace these obstacles and rise above the suffering and victim mentality. Relate to these obstacles rather than feeling victimized by them. Quit resisting reality but rather embrace it. Only you can control your reaction to it.

Have you ever had a dream and were able to manifest it? Things were going really well in the beginning. Your dream had come true. Then BAM. Like a freight train, you were derailed. Stop. Look at what energy patterns you have been spinning since you were a child and fix the root of the issue/problem. Only you know what baggage you are carrying and only you can unpack it.

Again and again. I’ll say it again....

Your intentions and desires are supported by the universe but more importantly they must be supported by your heart in order to manifest. STOP. Unpack or better yet, leave your baggage here.

If you don’t truly believe you deserve love because you were abused as a child then no matter how many positive thoughts you think and wish for love,  if you’re still spinning the negative energy pattern of being a victim underneath it all manifestation cannot occur. Deal with the baggage. Fix yourself and then carry on your journey. You will feel much lighter as you unpack the past instead of trying to bring it with you.

The past doesn’t exist. The future doesn’t exist. Only this moment, right now, right here exists. You can fool your own physical mind, but you can’t fool the universe.

“The quickest path to enlightenment is to simply lighten up!” -Bashar

What are you seeking? Start with a dream.

Manifest - the content of dreams is related to wish-fulfillment. Freud believed that the manifest content of a dream, or the actual imagery and events of the dream, served to disguise the latent content, or the unconscious wishes of the dreamer.

"Like" my page on Facebook - PLEASE :)

[slideshow]

Comment

Comment

To resolution or not to resolution?

To resolution or not to resolution? That is the question at hand as 2012 is upon us. Staring at us with it’s third eye. Oh yah. I just said it! It’s true..shit a yogi says. haha.

res·o·lu·tion/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/ Noun: 1.) A firm decision to do or not to do something.

These days the word F I R M doesn’t provoke a positive reaction in my soul. Sounds more like nails on a chalk board. Yikes! Rigid. Nope, doesn’t work for me. It never has and never will. I have always rebelled against it. The only thing I like to be firm is my food (*ie: raw food veggie diet and my men!) lol. YES I SAID IT.

I prefer the thought of being fluid. Flowing like water. After all I am Aquarius and our bodies are made up of 90% water so why not go with the flow? Let it come, let it go, let it flow.

Fluidity and being flexible provide me with the ability to adapt to change and take an opportunity when one arrises. If I would have stuck to my 2010 resolution for 2011, I never would have bought land in Nicaragua and built a home. I never would have set out to do my yoga teacher training which led me to Nicaragua in the first place. I love adapting to change while staying truthful to my dreams and inner convictions. Once you realize what your life purpose and passion is, you don’t need to set a firm resolution because each day you are living your truth and as each moment passes, it’s not necessary to judge yourself but rather to keep that endless mind chatter to a minimum and allow it to pass through. Only we can stand in our own way. We are our own obstacle.

In 2012, I will be eliminating road blocks from my past so I can reach my full potential. Once you match your energy (archetype patterns) to your desires and intentions, only then can true manifestation take place.

“Think positive thoughts.” That’s what my father always told me and yes, for the most part I do. When I’m thinking positive thoughts really good things start to happen and then BAM, as soon as I second guess myself or something surfaces from my childhood past - skeletons in the closet whatever you want to call that crap - my dreams don’t fully manifest. I’ve learned we cause our own suffering! You are in charge here. This is your life. Your one chance at it and your thoughts are SO powerful that it affects every one around the world, and most importantly yourself. The only thing standing in the way of your dreams is YOU and your thoughts. Change your thoughts and follow back the negative ones to the ROOT. Sometimes it can be a hard pill to swallow. Doing the self work necessary to get to the root, the source of your pain.

But, in order to get your energy patterns spinning  positively, your road blocks must me addressed. I will not be writing a New Years resolution. Instead, I’ve started to write my own story for 2012. I’m wiring out the next chapter of my life. Pen to paper. I’ve been doing most of my journaling with actual pen these days. I’ve been trying to limit the amount of text messages sent and actually pick up the phone and make a call. I’d rather hear your voice. I’ve been adding more and more people on skype, not for the video component but to hear your voice - don’t want you to be subjected to my bed head and pajamas.

2011 was a great year for me, I bought land in Nicaragua, had a home built, furnished it and started my business Seeking Santosha, learned some Spanglish, worked with the Nicaraguan surf team teaching them yoga, volunteered for Happy Waves, Project Woo and donated to World Vets and 9Lives Adventures, had small adventures through out Central America, made many new friends, learned to stand up on a short surf board, learned to love the paddle and find peace in turbulent water but I made many mistakes along the way. All lessons learned.

In the end, 2011 it was not as great as I had originally hoped. I came into 2011 HOT like a racehorse out of the starting gate, ready to win but I let a few shiny distractions and hard obstacles trip me up on my path but they were all lessons learned. And actually I threw these obstacles and distractions there, in my own way! It was me. I tripped myself. I have only ME to blame. I placed obstacles and distractions in my own way, out of fear. And then the universe gave me some of its own tests to see if I could really apply the knowledge and wisdom I had worked so hard at learning. All the obstacles and roadblocks that I had eliminated years previously were back. It was my own fear holding me back.

So, the end of 2011 gave me a good hard kick in the ass!  Or really, I allowed that kick in the ass. This kick was my fear and now I was the leaf flowing in the river. I was no longer the river. BECAUSE, as soon as you doubt yourself and your dreams, you will be tested. I have several specific stories. Feel free to ask me as I’m always happy to share details. Slightly off track, anyway - what I’m saying is that these obstacles are reminders that I’m actually ON THE RIGHT PATH. I am the river! I’m not going to be a leaf anymore. Floating aimlessly. I’ve revisited some of my bad memories with the new year in mind and I stopped writing my new chapter to rewrite the old one, just for a moment. Reflecting back. I’ve even gone back to certain events from my childhood that may be considered road blocks that have limited my potential or specific manifestations. Re-writing these events with a positive outcome neutralizes the negative memory of them. And now, I can continue to write A new chapter for 2012.

THE POWER OF THOUGHT I wasn’t a firm believer until I experienced it first hand. My Dad drowned in a lake while fishing at the age of 56. The crazy part was, my inner voice didn't speak up telling me it was happening, instead, I got that terrible anxious gut feeling I get when I know something isn't right. Would be much easier if this feeling had a voice and could scream at me!  I felt his energy, this disturbance travel through the universe from Billings, Montana to Pula, Croatia - clear across the world. I was on vacation in Croatia at the time. My own Eat.Bike.Pray mission where I left my corporate job and went on an adventure. I ate my way through Italy, went to Croatia to bike off the carbs on a boat and bike tour, and before heading to Nicaragua to pray, to do my yoga teacher training, my dad died. I was at the Roman Coliseum in Pula, Croatia with our bike guide and all of a sudden I got that anxious terrible feeling in my gut and heart center and asked to be alone. I left my friend to walk alone in a strange city. Totally out of character. I walked through the city alone and down by the water and back to board our boat. I never take time alone when on vacation and this was out of the norm for me. Once back to the boat I still didn't feel great on the inside but I hid it through a smile. Later that night, 12 hours later, I received a text message from my aunt saying there had been a terrible accident and to call home. She delivered the terrible news. I counted back the hours to his death and with the time difference, it was at the exact time he was dying. I felt his energy travel through the universe and it alerted me. This is when I truly started to believe in the power of thought. ♥ I have many more interesting stories too, after his death related to energy, spirit and thought. I believe now - thoughts and energy are so powerful. -UTTER ONE-NESS BECOMES AN INESCAPABLE TRUTH ONCE WE BELIEVE AND FEEL THE ONE-NESS.

-this is the place where my father drowned, a beautiful lake in Montana where I grew up fishing and boating with him. He died doing what he loved. I find peace and beauty in that thought.

Staying centered in love allows us to process emotions and feelings (road blocks) that may arise. Start to write your story and how it will play out in 2012. “Life might be one frame in an infinite movie that lasts forever.” - Joe Rogan. You are the director and the main character. Write your story, your movie for 2012. Write from your heart so you can see what is buried in your heart. Your world is your mirror. What you are living is what you YOU have written so far. If you don’t like it, re-write what you have lived and write something new flowing forward.

Mine goes something like this...to give you an example, to inspire you to do the same. And this is not all of it, just a sneak peek!

2012 - MY STORY. CHAPTER 1 - THE BEGINNING, SEEKING FLUIDITY In this chapter of my life I will focus my main energy on my business Seeking Santosha. I will flow. I started out with the vision of Yoga Surf retreats targeting yoga teachers who had a strong following and have discovered that this is definitely where part of my passion lies, helping others experience the Nicaraguan culture which has truly made me appreciate the North American amenities I have always taken for granted. I’ve now seen a huge interest in voluntourism and karma work as society shifts to OCCUPY LOVE. I will work toward evolving seeking santosha as a means to inspire people to live out their passions, dreams and find a purpose that will sooth their soul. I now see the connectedness of all beings living in the world and understand first hand that the power of thought is the only way we can evolve as a species. The concepts of Relativity and Quantum Physics is no longer a paradox to me but has unfolded before my eyes as the yin and yang, the male and the female and we must learn to dance. We must accept the bad in each one of our neighbors, friends, co-workers, ect. to see that they are US. We are ONE. We cannot reject or judge these people because if they fall down, our whole universe feels the pain. We need to come from love and compassion. We cannot find separation in ONE but we need to learn how to co-exist with every one of us. Leave no man down. I will move through 2012 like a river flowing fast but I will go with the flow, flowing over obstacles but still finding my way to the ocean. That body of water - that is ONE. It is the same place where we all end up. “Like raindrops running down the window, they all eventually hit the windowsill.”-unASLEEP. I will be grateful for everything that comes my way in 2012. I will find blessings for each moment that passes because I’m happy to be alive. I will find the sunshine in my soul even if the rain is coming down outside. In 2012 I will continue to live out my dream and nurture new ones to unfold and manifest. I will get to the source of my road blocks and jump them like a hurdle, still flowing like a river. Or better yet, duck under them when I see them in the way. I will share my knowledge and wisdom to help my friends, family, and strangers to inspire them to follow their hearts and dreams. I will teach yoga. I will finally get paid for teaching yoga (haha) because I have been paying to teach THE YOGA, I’ve been teaching a year for free and believe I have a gift to share but now I can be rewarded for it so I can repay myself for the house I built so I can continue to travel this world, take on new experiences, take more training so I can share this with the world. I want to travel in 2012. I’m not sure where yet. I will go with the flow on this one. I hear India calling my name, Spain, Panama, and so many other wonderful adventures will come, and I will welcome them in. I will always think positive thoughts about myself and others. I will not gossip. I will not judge. When speaking, I will come from a place of love with that first and foremost in mind. I will not give up on love even through all the heart ache. I will conquer fear because if there is fear, love cannot grow. I’m making room for love. I will find a partner that will walk beside me on this journey, a man who will speak his truth and each of us will mirror each others best. But I will always love myself first and I will not compromise my needs to give to another. I will take care of me first allowing me to have energy to give to others......to be continued ---in my paper journal where my pen can flow!

Now what are you waiting for? I hope you write Nicaragua and Seeking Santosha in your 2012 story! GO! DO it. I challenge you to be brave enough to read your past story and write a new one.  YOU HOLD THE PEN. Don’t hold your thoughts as prisoners. Set them FREE.

With love from my heart. Wishing you all the best in 2012. Heidi <3

I'm grateful to all my teachers in this lifetime. My newest one, UnAsleep.  Thank you! You have helped END my 2011 and now I’m ready to start 2012! Thank you Mike Grefner for introducing me to UnAsleep. “For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." -- T. S. Eliot

Comment

Comment

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

When something is in ruins, it can lead to a beautiful transformation.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough not to lose the dream in the seeking of it.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

If you would create something, you must be something.

Happy are those who dream dream(s) and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.

Believe that you have it, and you have it.

Imagination is the eye of the soul.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up some place else.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. We don't live in a world of reality, we live in a world of perceptions.

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.

I’ll leave you with my favorite inspirational quotes:

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

“Service is not possible unless it is rooted in love and compassion. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” -Lord Buddha

Dedicate yourself to anything that elevates and embraces your heart. 1.39 Yoga Sutras

“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” -Lord Buddha

The karma we plant now will bear fruit in the future. “Whatever greatness a person does is followed by others who set their values by her/his example. They will not disturb others who may be still attached to the fruits of their actions. By continuously performing selfless actions, the wise person influences others in all they do.” -Bhagavad-Gita

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

What are you seeking? Join me in Nicaragua for a journey in manifestation, inspiration, love and compassion.

I'm surfing the waves of karma! 

Stay tuned for my next blog on manifestation and tips on how you can get to where you really want to go!

-Peace, light and love. Heidi

Comment

Comment

YOGA. The Devil made me do it!

My love for yoga and the practice grounds me in a world/society that constantly tests our foundation. Being on my mat practicing yoga makes me feel at peace and gives my mind a rest and allows me to turn inward so I can hear what my heart truly wants and needs. Yoga has brought such an awareness to my consciousness off the mat and now my actions are more unconditional versus conditional as they have been in the past. My teachers of Yoga inspired me to realize my life’s purpose and passion that I’m currently living. Yoga and meditation have taught me to control the mind waves, that endless chatter we tend to have with ourselves. It has enabled me to express my creativity through writing, and by starting my own business Seeking Santosha. I devote my practice to my personal spiritual beliefs that I have formed from a mixture of religions. Yoga is not a religion but it has become my religion. I do the best I can with my own personal moral imperative. And, even though I’m only one person, my contribution to our universal family as a whole is for the benefit of not only myself but for everyone. Yoga has helped me to be my truest self. Yoga has taught me how to love myself and not look for love from others to fill the void.

Some people do yoga for the right reasons and some people do yoga for the wrong reasons. It’s true. I know all kinds of yogis. And the people who don’t do THE YOGA, are sitting back and judging the ones that do!

Yes, it’s true and quite shocking that the Vatican’s former chief exorcist believes “yoga and Harry Potter are tools of the devil.” When I heard this I laughed out loud (lol), almost pissing myself and then I said out loud “Are you f-ing kidding me?”  W T F and O M G !!!

86-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth said “Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter and those seemingly innocuous Potter books convince kids to believe in black magic. In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses. As for yoga, it leads to Hinduism and all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation.”

Amorth made the hell-raising shocking remarks at a film festival in the Italian city of Umbria, where he was invited to introduce a movie about exorcism called “The Rite,” which stars Anthony Hopkins, the Telegraph of London reported. “Satan is always hidden and what he most wants is for us not to believe in his existence,” he said. “He studies every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil, and then he offers temptations.” Science can’t explain evil, added Amorth, who claims to have performed 50,000 exorcisms before retiring in 2000. He is both founder and honorary president for life of the International Association of Exorcists. No surprise, Amorth’s favorite movie is “The Exorcist.” While the Jesuit’s remarks might strike many as the ravings of a man possessed, Pope Benedict once warned of “subtle seductions” in the Potter books that “dissolve Christianity in the soul.” The Pope has also warned that yoga “can degenerate into a cult of the body.”

So, how does one live daily in this world and make all the right decisions free from the judgement of others and from our own judgement? We have to follow the leadership of our own hearts and stop listening to outside voices and influences such as those of the Vatican, advertisers, intuitions and media. What does your heart say? Listen to your own intuition.

As a yogi, I’m not hiding behind a big institution but I’m forging my own path. I guess being led by the devil isn’t so bad. The biggest thing I’ve learned from my yoga practice is how to stand tall on my own.  It’s a jungle out there and I literally just had a home/wellness space built for me in Nicaragua in the jungle. All by myself. A single women empowered by yoga and my own strength and intuition. Following my own path and purpose. What could be so wrong about that?

One of my personal favorite Yoga teachers Will Blunderfield believes “A big part of my growth as a yogi came from the realization that I used to be wayyyy too nice. Yoga is NOT about being a nice person: yoga is about being who you really are.”

Embracing my own darkness and stepping out of my own shadow into the light that my soul is casting is how I can fulfill my own dreams, not the dreams of others. This is my life. Without casting shadows, we can never step out into our own bright light. First we should all accept the fact that we are all human. Humans are not perfect. Recognizing our faults is a tool to rebuild. When something is in ruins, it can lead to a beautiful transformation if you are open to change. Maybe the devil is our own darkness and inability to stand on our own? How can you ever step out of the shadows if you do not know and come from the depths? Read my first few blogs. I have not always lived in this space. I literally had to build myself up from a broken soul. Even on my weakest days I get a little bit stronger. It does not happen over night but as soon as you take the first step out into your own light, the healing begins.

yo·gi   (per Heidi Parker) noun /ˈyōgē/ 
yogis, plural 1.) A person who practices yoga. 2.) There are all types of yogis. (The “good,” the “doing the best I can” and the “naughty”)

Which one are you, which yogi do you relate most with?

The good, the “doing the best I can,” or the naughty?

Stay tuned for my next blog. It is sure to make you laugh. Until then, I’m heading to yoga and I’m happy that the Devil made me do it!

What are you seeking?

-Join us in Nicaragua for a yoga surf retreat, I promise your life will never be the same afterwards. Jan. 21 - 27.

THANK YOUs...

My teachers of yoga....

Julia McCabe I training under Julia for my 200 hr. Yoga Alliance Certifications

Will Blunderfield his words inspired me and I signed up for my yoga teacher training with Julia.

Comment

Comment

re·gret

re·gret (per dictionary. com) 1.) to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.) 2.) to think of with a sense of (loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.) 3.) a feeling of sorrow “sorry” or remorse for a (fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.)

As I woke up today with a food hangover from eating too much poutine, a favorite classic Canadian dish consisting of homemade french fries baked in olive oil, fresh garlic, sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, smothered with cheese curds and gravy. mmmmm. I knew it wasn’t from the one dark beer I washed it down with. Upon waking I had an immense feeling of regret.

R e g r e t.

My regret was a negative conscious and emotional reaction to my personal past action resulting in a feeling of guilt and gluttony.

It’s funny because the word regret has been on my mind lately. Yes, the feeling of regret surfaced after my father drowned in a lake, not giving me the opportunity to say good-bye. I never got to express my gratitude or spend the time with him that I wished I had. Regret is a powerful feeling.

Regret has come up as a topic in recent conversations. And each time it does, it never fails that the other person in the conversation always repeats the same cliché phrase, “Never regret.”

Why shouldn’t we feel regret and why is the act of regretting in our society labeled a bad thing and a feeling we are told to suppress? Sure, I agree that we shouldn’t live daily with regret but momentarily we should recognize regret. Definitely don’t dwell in it. Accept it for what it is, acknowledge it and let it pass through a window to change. Use the negative emotion as a spark to light the new way. Let the guilt of regret transform into compassion for ourselves and our dislike of an action or inaction and use this feeling as fuel - motivation to make apologies or forgiveness and change.

So what, we made a big mistake to see it once our way and from that comes a little regret. Or maybe we regret not taking action. What’s the harm in acknowledging the fact that we are “sorry?” Being sorry is good. Maybe regret is our friend.

Holding one hand with regret allows your other hand to be free to reach for change. First hand experience is such an honest thing and every new day is another chance to change your life.

I know you won’t spend too much time on my words just as you won’t on regret. I’m just saying that it is okay to regret some of our actions and inaction by accepting your own mistakes as lessons. Remembering our universal family and how we are all connected is important. Let’s have some compassion when we do know someone who has messed up if such acts are forgivable. People are not disposable like garbage. We are all human and we all do it, we all make mistakes. When we make the big mistakes something good usually comes directly from having regret because we truly are sorry for our action or inaction and will learn from the lessons.  Regret is a sign that the person actually has a conscious and is actually feeling the negative energy caused by the sorrow or guilt of it. We can transform this negativity into positivity just by accepting it and then dealing with it. Regret should be regarded as a motivational tool toward change.

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday. I’m not always perfect or proud of them but now I allow regret to be the conscience living gateway that guides me down my true path. A path of consciousness, compassion, forgiveness, honest communication and love for each of our universal family members and especially for myself.

re·gret (per Heidi) 1) a feeling of remorse or sorrow. being sorry. 2) a sign that the person feeling regret has a conscious and is truly sorry. 3) negative energy that can be transformed into motivational energy and gateway to change. Regret is regarded as a motivational tool. 4) love for oneself and the universe to take notice of our own actions or inaction and to do something about it.

For a moment, regret -  then forgive, make apologies and continue on your journey.

What are you seeking?

Comment

1 Comment

Whats love got to do with it?

Love Bigger than any wave. More powerful than fear. Love is like an ocean. Impermanent as a wave rising. Every time I paddle out I remember my father’s drowning and I face fear. As energy surges through the water I find the rhythm of the ocean as I meditate on my surf board. I look toward the horizon, seeking a perfect set. Patience is required when waiting to catch a wave just as it is to find the perfect person to compliment your life. Learn to love the paddle. Pause in moments of difficulty because pleasure never lasts long enough. Enjoy what you are doing right now, and if you don’t change it.

I’ve been working hard to love myself so that others may love me. I’ve been searching to find freedom and love for the water after my fathers tragedy but initially it started on land. I ate my way through Italy, biked off the carbs in Croatia and came to Nicaragua for my yoga teacher training to pray and to heal my heart. A heart broken by love and from the loss of my father. I needed freedom to release the pain. Necessary. My own personal Eat, Pray, Love mission. But I had replaced the “Love” portion with biking around Croatia. After all, I don't look like Julia Roberts, and for the record I had planned my trip prior to the movie coming out! At that time my heart was broken and I wasn’t interested in love so it became obsolete. Eat, “Bike,” Pray. Little did I know that love was going to bring this journey around full circle and would be a crucial ingredient to finding Santosha (contentment).

If you are one of my faithful blog readers you may remember I once said, “whats love got to do with this anyway?!” Well, it has a lot to do with it and I finally understand its place in my story that you have all been following. *sigh.* Love. A word most people are not comfortable with including me.

Love comes in all different forms. It’s as vast as the ocean and as unpredictable as the waves at a beach break during onshore winds but one thing that is certain is that I have found love. Love for myself and for every one of our universal family members. I’m connected. I have given myself the freedom to face my fears and follow my heart. I wasn’t seeking love, I was seeking Santosha (contentment) and I found it through love and compassion for myself.

I still remember crying on my mat in Will Blunderfield’s yoga class on a Saturday fifteen months ago dreading the corporate bullshit that I would have to return to on Monday. Will’s message that day was about finding your life’s passion and purpose and loving one self as a necessity in your motivation to discovering it. His words were the initial spark that kick started my journey to discovering my purpose. Little did I know that loving my self was the only way I was going to get there. At the time I was not focused on love but I realized that it was entirely up to me, to pick my self up off my mat and make my own life better. After all, no one was going to do it for me, not even Will. We are put in the center of our lives to take charge of it.

I’ve learned through risk to adapt, to discover, to know, to learn, to grow, to inhale, to let go and to love. One must risk in order to find yourself, to love yourself. Love is like surfing. If you get caught in the impact zone you need to get right back up because you never know what’s coming. Rather than seeking out someone to love you try to cultivate compassion, kindness and forgiveness for yourself and our personal love will meld into the realm of unconditional love that others will be attracted to.

Education may not make you wise. Success may not make you giving. Poverty may not make you humble and being wealthy may not make you rich. But love can teach you everything. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and then give it - then surf the waves of karma.

What are you Seeking?

Find me on Facebook

1 Comment

Comment

Surfing the Waves of Karma

or the "Wave Of Optimism" as Project WOO would say.

If you read my last blog I ended it by saying "today I will surf the waves of karma," and "tomorrow I will write about it." Well, here I am. Back from an amazing four days of karmic work in Gigante, Nicaragua. Gigante is a small fishing village sustained by surf tourism an hour up the cost line north of my home in San Juan del Sur. Here, I had the honor and privilege to work with Project Woo and the Reef Redemption pro-surf team on a community initiative driven by Project Woo.

As the vast positivity is still resonating through the universe from last week’s community efforts every one of our Universal Family members, surfer or not, should grab a board and ride these waves of karma because the love behind this swell will be delivering awesome sets for weeks maybe even months to come.

Do-gooder, change-maker, and friend Bo Fox, Project Woo’s Program Manager, and surfer extraordinaire was head of the project. After my time in Gigante, reflecting back, I’m not sure which Bo Fox is better at, surfing big waves or bringing a small community together.

Bo set out this particular week to accomplish a large task of coordinating residents and volunteers to paint a bus. A bus that was identified through a community consensus previously conducted by Project WOO as the top necessity for the residents. This bus is the communities only source of transportation which is valued by the people who use it. The Reef Redemption team donated money and their time to participate during the week along with volunteers traveling through. Together with the residents of Gigante, they prepped the bus for painting, washing and sanding it. They also participated in educational activities at the elementary school and on the last day they all came together to pick up garbage to preserve the beauty and nature of the beach and give the children of Gigante a surf lesson and I was there to witness it all.

I’m still having a hard time comprehending the outcome of all these events with no one getting hurt considering the amount of children that participated. I saw Bo and his team in action all week. Not only did Bo with the help of WOO team members safely oversee and coordinate a series of tasks that involved risky elements, I also witnessed Bo continuously rip 10-12 foot waves at an area just north of Gigante. And when his leash snapped and his board washed onto the rocky shore, I’m not sure how he safely retrieved it. WOO team member Robbie Jackson and myself bobbed helplessly on our surfboards catching our breaths after a clean out set knocked us off our boards and drug Robbie 10 feet under scraping his body onto the reef and someone else’s board almost hit me in the face which sent me tumbling through the wave washing machine. After this incident I was scared to death and reminded by my father’s recent drowning, I wasn’t about to paddle for another wave but I didn’t say a word. Robbie said out loud that he was thankful it was Bo’s leash that broke and not one of ours, a thought so uncomprehendable to me. I climbed back on my board and looked toward the direction of the shore for any site of Bo but I couldn’t see past the 10 feet of white wash every time a wave broke, and after what seemed like a life time, here came Bo paddling back out with a big smile on his face.

Tonino Benson, Reef’s pro riper from Hilo Hawaii once throughout the week referred to Bo as “Bat Man.” I didn’t even ask him what he meant by it but I don’t think Tonino called Bo Batman because Bo gave up the comforts of his California condo to live in a humble concrete Nicaraguan style house, the size of a small bat cave located on a cliff top overlooking the town. Funny enough, it’s like Bo chose to live on this hill so when someone sends out the signal for help he can fly down like Batman and save the day. Maybe Bo really isn’t a superhero but he has qualities of one and if I can add in my two cents, qualities of a yogi. Walking humbly through life with consideration for all beings. Not only did Bo bring the residents of this small fishing community together in spirit to accomplish a series of projects to be carried out with volunteers from all over the world in a matter of four days, he took in a small stray cat, fed it and gave it love. The tasks carried out are a reflection of the spirit in his heart glued together by a million smiles and hugs. As the newly painted sparkly bus picks up the children and residents of this community and delivers them safely to their destination dry and free of mud from the rainy season, the bus will serve as a visual reminder for years to come and the love it carries will fuel it for it’s future purpose. Maybe Bo called on his Bat mobile to rescue him from the rocky shore that day, or maybe it was Karma for all the love he has spread around the community of Gigante. We may never know but I will personally call it karma.

Back to that. Surf spot. Lance’s Left. For all lovers of surf. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ll share the love. Imagine, a forty-five minute boat ride up the beautiful lush green coast line of Nicaragua, destination Lances Left, just north of Popoyo. The outer reef at Popoyo is considered one of the five most dangerous reef breaks in the world. Just past that is a little secret spot called Lance’s Left attainable only by boat. The reef here produces the most consistent ride-able left wave in this area. It’s simple, mother nature sends a swell and as the water hits the reef, it breaks and creates a beautiful consistent left. Sure, I hopped off the boat and paddled over with Bo and the Woo team that day, four days into the project, we were all exhausted from the previous days events and we could see an end in sight but first we were going to enjoy what mother nature gave us.

Throughout the week, many people came out to meet the Reef pro-surf team. Amazing guys, incredible surfers with funny personalities and big hearts - Tonino Benson, Paul Fisher and Sterling Spencer. But personally I watched Bo in amazement bring a small fishing community together in spirit to complete the painting of the bus, a beach clean up and surf lessons for the children. To no surprise, Bo knows every person’s name in this town. He is currently going door to door to see what each family deems as the next necessity for the community residents. Rumor has it, it may be a health clinic. As a community member walks past him at any given moment, he calls out their name, offers up a smile, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, handshake or high-five and speaks to them in perfect Spanish. He even has the Nica slang down pat. “Etonces, dale pues!” (So, do it!)

If you are one of my regular blog readers I have talked about relationships worth cultivating. Well, I mentioned Bo in my Universal Family blog because he is a person that continually inspires me and makes me want to be a better person and give back to our Universal Family. After all, we are the average of the five people we spend our most time with. WOO chose the right man for the job. Choosing the right person for a job and for your friends is not always as easy as one would think. I like to think of Bo as a great teacher, a guru, who has reflected his teachings and actions back to me and this community like a mirror to show us who we truly are and the greatness that is our essential nature. Now it is up to us to set it free and act. I’m thankful and appreciative that I was called to action to document this community project for Project Woo. Normally I have so much to say but this time, i’m going to let the photos I snapped do the talking. After all, pictures say a thousand words ...

~Heidi Parker of Seeking Santosha Nicaragua

Seeking Santosha on Facebook

Don't forget to "like" and follow Project WOO on facebook!

[slideshow]

Whatever career path you choose for yourself, let it be compatible with your dreams and inner convictions. If you sacrifice what’s in your heart for the sake of money, you will always feel in debt. Let go and be free.  When at peace and content with oneself and others (Santosha), supreme joy is celebrated. Embracing reverence and love for all (Ahimsa), we experience oneness. We all know that “money cannot buy happiness,” so why do we often trade our peace and health for material security to sustain our escalating lifestyles?

I'll leave you with my favorite inspirational quotes:

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

“Service is not possible unless it is rooted in love and compassion. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” -Lord Buddha

Dedicate yourself to anything that elevates and embraces your heart. 1.39 Yoga Sutras

“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” -Lord Buddha

The karma we plant now will bear fruit in the future. “Whatever greatness a person does is followed by others who set their values by her/his example. They will not disturb others who may be still attached to the fruits of their actions. By continuously performing selfless actions, the wise person influences others in all they do.” -Bhagavad-Gita

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Comment

1 Comment

The dog days are over!

The dog days are over.

Some days the song “The Dog Days Are Over,” has been the theme song for many a road trip. A soundtrack to be played with friends or on a “solo mission.”  It’s words of beauty and inspiration ring through to my core. This song in particular speaks to my soul. I’ve danced stupidly to it like no one was watching, clapped my hands to it happily but sadly enough with each clap a child somewhere in the world dies to its beat. I’ve enjoyed a celebration toast to it with friends and screamed the words from the top of my lungs without taking a breath. I’ve done yoga to it. Every day may I be reminded by the truth of its words and the sacred meaning behind them. Everyday I listen to it and its words take me to great heights. Today I will play this song if I feel like giving up because if tomorrow comes - there is no turning back.

Some days I have a lot to say and other days I sit in silence. Some days I love the company of others and other days I enjoy being alone. Some days I love to talk a friend’s ear off and other days I only want to listen. Some days I teach and other days I only want to learn. Some days I relish in the memories of my father and other days I purposely forget the tragedy. Some days I love doing yoga and other days I simply don’t make the time. Some days I’m sad and other days endless waves of happiness come over me at the strangest of moments. Some days I have the courage to go on and other days the thought of heading down my new path makes me question the road ahead. Some days I meditate to control my mind waves and on other days, the days I don't, my mind thoughts control me. Some days I remember old friends and other days I’m too busy making new ones. Some days I practice my goal of non-attachment and other days I mistake it for detachment. Some days I turn the detachment into connection and other days I can't help but to pull away. Some days I can inspire myself and other days I need to find motivation from other sources. Some days I give lots of hugs and other days I need some in return. Some days I paddle out and other days I sit on the beach contemplating the waves. Some days I paddle for a set and other days I just enjoy the rainbows that come from the mist off a closeout set not worth paddling for.  Some days I believe in love and am inspired by it and other days it was merely just a thought in passing from the day before. What’s love got to do with this anyway. Some days my heart is free and other days it’s trapped by my past. Some days I bring clarity and compassion to a community that needs it and other days I doubt my abilities.

That’s just some days and other days. ...

Every day I send out positive energy to our Universal Family. Every day I'm reminded by the good others are contributing. Every day I wake up. Every day I offer up forgiveness to the people who need it. Every day I ask for forgiveness. Every day I promise to love myself. Every day I accept my own imperfections. Every day I remember the revolutionary freedom and happiness that will come by telling the truth. Every day I step out of deception and into the truth. Every day I teach. Every day I learn. Every day I share. Every day I face my ego and let it go. Everyday I practice non-judgment. Every day I respect myself and my decisions. Every day I appreciate my family and friends. Every day I speak the truth. Every day I laugh. Every day I breath. Every day I have respect for mother nature and mother earth. Every day I face the pain of my history with courage, healing compassion and forgiveness and I’m learning to move on.

That’s just every day. ...

Today I will give. Today I will forgive. Today I will love everyone that steps onto my path. Today I will enjoy today. Today I will live for today. Today I will do everything that I can. Today I will practice Santosha - contentment with what I have. Today I won't regret. Today I won't look back. Today I will surf the waves of karma ....and tomorrow I will write about it.

That’s today. ...

Tomorrow there is no turning back. Today is what really counts because tomorrow may never come.

What are you Seeking? You only have one life.  Make this one count.

Bonjovi said it best. “It's my life It's now or never I ain't gonna live forever I just want to live while I'm alive (It's my life) My heart is like an open highway Like Frankie said I did it my way I just wanna live while I'm alive It's my life.” In Nicaragua we say  "Una Vida.”

After all, we only have one - One life!

1 Comment

1 Comment

Universal Family. What the bleep does that really mean?

One Universal Family. Karma bank contributors. Change makers. Do-good-ers. 

On my recent travels I attended a few yoga conferences. One in the snow-capped mountains of my former home, beautiful Whistler, BC and one in the bustling city of Manhattan, NYC. During this most recent journey I met and came in contact with so many wonderful people along the way. Not just at the conferences, but also in between from the local convenient stores, coffee shops, catching up with old friends in various cities, meeting new people on an air plane, partying at a music festival, while observing nature, and on my yoga mat. It was after I came back to Nicaragua, my home, that I realized more than ever that we live in a world full of lots of people doing positive things. Being courageous. Contributing in some way. I’m comforted by this and these people in my life, these do-gooders! I’m not alone. You're not alone. One universal family.

STOP. (That's for me, not you.) Please keep reading. I must stop what I was going to write about and share something with you before going any further. As you know, I’m always blogging and speaking about this so-called “Universal Family” thing. Well, today I tried to humor myself by Google-ing the word “universal family” and to my surprise nothing came up so I Wikipedia’d it and still nothing! WHAT!?!!?? I, Heidi Parker made up the term Universal Family?! Hell yah! I’m jumping on this boat before that ship sails. Or before some naysayer tells me I didn't make it up. Before I blog about relationships that I’ve recently cultivated or severed due to self-preservation. I feel obligated to explain what the term Universal Family means since I constantly write about it. My apologies as I thought it was a term people were familiar with.

UNIVERSAL FAMILY

Heidi-pedia

Universal Family (from Heidi-pedia, a free universal-pedia) is a universalist movement founded by Heidi Parker while on her journey of “Eat, Bike, Pray.” Where she ate her way through Italy, biked off all the carbs on a boat and bike trip of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and went to Nicaragua for her 200 hr. yoga teacher training certification. Our Universal family is based on unity of all people, places and things. It has no physical roots in the traditional framework of families but is more so the energy and mind thoughts that connects all people and spirits in the world primarily living between the north pole and the south pole, east to west.

History Heidi’s father died while she was in Pula, Croatia. He drowned in a beautiful lake surrounded by tall canyon walls and although she did not know he was drowning, she felt his energy come high above these walls and travel through the universe at the time of his death where she innately felt something was wrong.  Out of her normal character she requested to be alone. She left her friend, a tour guide from the boat who was with her touring the Roman Coliseum in Pula to walk alone down along the harbor where she could connect with the mother earth and the ocean. After finding out the tragic news, 11 hours later, this is when she knew for certain that the energy and thoughts-mental vibrations, that we echo or omit into the universe can affect the well-being of each and every one of us.

Universal Family Goals After Heidi’s fathers accidental and tragic death, she set forth the following goals and hoped other members of the Universal family would join her in striving to achieve them:

  • To realize and spread the knowledge of unity, positive energy from love, kindness and wisdom.
  • To get “involved” when other members of our universal family need help or cannot contribute.
  •  Let go of biases pertaining to races, religions and governments, let them fall away thus allowing our human hearts to overflow with love and kindness.
  • May all hatred caused by perimeters, distinctions and prejudices be rooted out leaving us with limitless boundaries making rooms for our dreams to be realized and manifested into action.
  • To generate positive energy between the worlds two opposite poles, North and South. East and West. Close together by the interchange of positive thoughts and ideas.

Beliefs Universal Intelligence, a deep level of consciousness accessible to all living beings. Being aware that our thoughts can generate positive or negative outcomes. The universal intelligence manifests in human consciousness. Putting our dreams into actions. Finding your true path or purpose in life. Your mission:

  • First, we have a dream. Acknowledge your dream.
  • Envision or imagine your dream through conscious thought. Send out positive mental vibrations into the universe regarding this dream.
  • Talk about it.  Verbally discuss it with other human beings. Disregard any naysayers that do not give you positive feedback. Drop them like a hot potato!
  • Take action. Start making steps toward living out our dream. This in essence is manifestation which generates positive conscious energy, thoughts - mental vibrations to the overall well-being of our universal family.
  • The outcome will be fulfilling your dreams leading you to your life’s purpose and mission in life. When we are happy, and content - when we have reached “Santosha,” then we can really contribute by omitting and delivering positivity energy for the overall well-being of our universal family. But it begins with ourselves. (Santosha means happiness in contentment).

Karma Understanding Karma in relation to our universal family. Everyone has heard of Karma and even if you do not believe in the religions of Hinduism or Buddhism, most people practice the idea of Karma. Right and wrong depend on the attitude and situation. Not only upon the act itself. This is what most people do not know or understand of karma. Heidi understands karma to being related to the thoughts of our mind chatter and energy that spins off from that as a huge contributor to Karma. We must always think positive thoughts about ourselves, others and of situations. It really pisses Heidi off when other people throw around the word Karma as if “they will get theirs.” We should never wish any ill will against anyone and use the mis-interpreted idea of Karma to fulfill it. This takes discipline of the mind that can be accomplished through yoga and meditation. “Do without attachment the work you have to do. Surrendering all action, freeing yourself from longing and selfishness, fight-unperturbed by grief.” -Bhagavad-Gita

Everything we do must be in awareness. Conscious direction. Our actions echo back after traveling through the universe. If we omit good positive energy or thoughts - mental vibrations, it will bring a positive outcome. If we echo negative energy or thoughts- mental vibration it will deliver back a negative outcome.

Karma is more than just “doing good” for others. Leave the ego out of this. It comes down to our conscious thoughts and the energy, and mental vibrations we are sending through the universe that can effect the wellness of our universal family as a whole. “if you wish to be happy, think of the happiness of your fellow human beings.” -Hazrat Inayat Khan

Universal Thoughts for the Family System

  • There is one family, the human family-our universal family which unites all beings.
  • There is one law, the karmic law which governs our conscious thoughts.
  • There is one master, ourselves. Not being led by ego but by mastering our mind and conscious thoughts through practice.
  • There is one moral principle, the love which springs forth from a willing heart. Kindness and love are the gifts we can give to everyone that costs us nothing.
  • There is one path, your path. Following your heart and your dreams. Taking care of yourself first and by making yourself happy you can give more freely to others because your positive mental vibrations will resonate toward the benefit of our universal family as a whole.
  • There is one truth, the truth that you will speak that comes from the true knowledge of our being, within and without. Being wise, the essence of our wisdom knowing that at this juncture it is almost nearly impossible to make a difference only being one. But at the very least if we join forces with our universal family we can slowly make change.

Sister and Brotherhood Being an only child, Heidi Parker realized the importance and necessity of sister and brotherhood within the universal family. The concept is as follows:

  • From a Human Point of View: Speaking the truth, always. Getting “involved.” Being kind. Being patient. Treating life-like a moving meditation-being thoughtful and peaceful.
  • From a Social Point of View: Showing respect and understanding for the beliefs and opinions of others. Remembering, not only your physical neighbors but our universal neighbors. Always send positive mental vibrations and thoughts out to them. Applying the law of karma.
  • Respecting Social media such as Facebooking, Twitter and Blogging. Being kind and considerate in our actions. Being respectful to all whom we can touch. Sharing. Educating.
  • From a Moral Point of View: Offering all that is expected - didn’t you’re parents say “do onto other’s as you want done onto you?” but more so - offer up everything you can while expecting nothing in return. Heidi Parker's Ecology professor once said, “never expect a free lunch,” but Heidi says, “Always give a free lunch, or make it with love, share it and expect nothing in return.”
  • From a Wise Point of View: Being a living example of honesty, love, and harmony. Be good, do good. Or don’t listen to Heidi, listen to that smart little chubby round guy Buddha "What you have become is the result of what you have thought." -Buddha...and something about being the “change you want to see in others.” Basically, think it and then lead by example.
  • Mystical Point of View: Letting go of the ego by understanding when the ego arises. Freeing oneself from the illusion of the self. Know your ego and when it flares up. Get to know it.
  • From a Spiritual point of view: Believing in something other than yourself. Attuning oneself to the divine spirit of guidance.

Practices

  • Santosha - means happiness in contentment. Being content with what we have rather than longing for things we don’t have. Accepting what we have. Literally the word means happiness. There are occasions we work hard to get something and when we don’t get it, we become very disappointed.  Some people can become seriously depression as a result. Some may even contemplate suicide in extreme cases. We do these things because we do not have the discipline of being content with what we have. We should accept that there is a purpose for everything - yoga calls it karma. The real meaning of santosha is 'to accept what happens.' www.seekingsantoshanicaragua.com
  • Yoga - postures and meditation. Yoga means to Yoke or Unite. We must unite with ourselves, control the irrational mind chatter and form a positive union with ourselves and our universal family.  We can do this through the practice of yoga. And if you don’t do yoga, what is your yoga? Surfing? Skiing? Connect with nature.
  • Respect nature. Mother earth. Recycle. Don’t be wasteful of our earth’s resources. Preserve. Be pro-active.
  • Dance like no one is watching. Accept yourself and do what you love.
  • No judgment. Refrain from judging others. We ourselves are not perfect. Perfection scares Heidi and although some religions such as Hinduism strive to move past perfection, Heidi likes to acknowledge all the imperfections that make us human.
  • Dream. Envision your dream. Verbalize it. Take action to manifest it. And don’t just watch the movie or read the book “The Secret” and think that that’s the way to manifest something. Fat chance! If you don’t apply the “action” you might as well just let your dreams fade away.
  • Ignore the naysayers. Those are the people who discourage us from accomplishing our goals. They try to throw a stick in your wheel spoke. They secretly, in others ways, try to take you down. Serving only to extinguish your hopes and dreams. Oh, they pretend to be supportive by saying the words like “I’m here to support you in your dreams and goals,” but then they do nothing to help advance them besides blow smoke up your ass. Most times we are clouded by the residual smoke that they blew leaving us dazed and confused. We don’t see past the smoke cloud of falsities into their true mis-intentions. Ignore these people! In oneness, send them peace and love through the universal family system in hopes they will follow your lead by feeling the love and peace from afar.
  • Cultivate relationships worthy of your time and energy. Do not judge others but review who you spend your time with. Heidi believes we can have all sorts of relationships but she will try to spend the most of her time with people who are mirroring her actions or with people that inspire her or are generating change or leading. Leaders. People whom are also contributing huge amounts of positive energy- thoughts - mental vibration toward our universal family. People who care about a community and contribute to it.
  • Enablers. Surround yourself with enablers. You are the average of the 5 people you spend your most time with. Do you want to be like these people?
  •  Self Preservation. In order to give to our universal family, we must respect and preserve ourselves be eliminating the relationships or people who are not serving us or contributing positivity any longer. Do not be a naysayer to others. Don’t deny yourself of the life you should live.

I’d like to leave you with this quote by John Eliot: “History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.”

THANK YOU’S!!!!   A few people currently in my life that I want to acknowledge. They are an inspiration. They are the people I have spent a lot of time with or hope to spend more time with. Remember, we are the average of the 5 people we spend our most time with.

Julia McCabe, my guru and yoga teacher that certified me. She shined the light that led to my new path and I stayed true to it and followed it.  Read my testimonial about Julia on her site.  http://www.juliamccabe.com/yoga-testimonials.html

Will Blunderfield, an amazing Yogi on his own path in search of freedom through courage. Another guru who said the initial words that inspired me and filled me with courage to live out my dreams starting with my Eat.Bike.Pray mission. http://www.willblunderfield.com/Will_Blunderfield_Yoga_%26_Music/The_Official_Will_Blunderfield_Site.html

Karim Ladki owner and founder of 9Lives Adventures. Adventures for the disabled. A hard worker. An inspiration.  http://www.9livesadventures.com Read the blog I wrote about 9 Lives. http://seekingsantosha.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/one-life-or-9lives-9lives-adventures-relationships-worth-cultivating/

Robert Sapolsky. My friend Daniel introduced me to a riveting talk on Ted Talks by Robert Sapolsky that helped me to realize that I MUST continue down my current path. My Moral Imperative: “The less forgivable the act, the more it must be forgiven. The less lovable a person is the more you must find the means to love them. Being educated and wise you realize it’s impossible for one person to make a difference but that just means the more you must. Being educated and wise makes us privileged to be sitting here at this juncture. No one else is better to sustain a contradiction like this and use it as a moral imperative.”- Robert Sapolsky

Bo Fox, Project Manager of Project Woo. A wave of optimism making changes in the small town of Gigante, Nicaragua. My new friend and awesome surfer! An inspiration.  http://www.projectwoo.org/

Rex Calderon, founder of Happy Waves and his lovely girlfriend Anne De Zeeu who helped bring it to life. I currently volunteer for Happy Waves, a not-for-profit organization teaching children of the Nicaraguan Community to surf.

My yogi friends, some of whom graduated with me under Julia McCabe. They are currently moving down their new path to make a difference. They took what we learned under Julia and had the courage to make a change in their lives and are applying it. Most people after such a hard training resort back to old habits 4-8 weeks but not these yogi’s they continue to move forward! I’m so proud of them.

  • Laura Brameld teaching karma yoga to the native american community, Jennie Small is creating change though the empowerment of food toward a plant-based diet initiative. Dan Eby who is out pounding the pavement generating buzz about Nicaragua and Seeking Santosha. Kim Slater who is coming to teach a retreat in Nicaragua who has been involved with much karma work in Africa and organized a yoga-thon to help save the baby sea turtles in Nicaragua. Ashley Carter - we graduated our 200 hr. yoga teacher training together and he continually inspires me to keep on keeping on. He will be joining me in Nicaragua to assist me in the creation of a promo video for Seeking Santosha Nicaragua. Stay tuned. http://www.apokindustries.com/

Some rooted family members:

  • My Aunt Debbie for loosing a ton of weight and being so positive each and every day. And for being the one who contacted me on a boat in the middle of the ocean to let me know the bad news my father died. My Cousins Stacy and Laurie for staying true to their beliefs in Christianity and always sending me peace, light and love from a far.

Lailanie - aka "Lotus Child" - my graphic & web designer, a former roommate and colleague and universal family member.  She brought my vision to life through her design. www.seekingsantoshanicaragua.com

My father for giving me my sick sense of humor and always believing in me.

The friends who have always been there to support me, not just on moving day! The true friends that speak the positive truth to you always. They are the wind in your sails, not the naysayers that throw a stick in your wheel. You may not see them often, but when you do, it’s all love! I don’t feel the need to name names, you know who you are.

Now, Go like these pages on Face Book - and think about how you too can contribute positive energy to our universal family. http://www.facebook.com/#!/seekingsantosha http://www.facebook.com/#!/9lives.page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Will-Blunderfield/111639805520343 http://www.facebook.com/pages/APOK-INDUSTRIES/30587281902?ref=ts http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha?sk=info#!/pages/Project-WOO/195069189015 http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha?sk=info#!/pages/Happy-Waves/172686442784052 http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha#!/pages/Find-Your-Seat/113847005360471

Check out our fun Nica videos!

http://vimeo.com/user6909594

1 Comment