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Planting a Moon Garden

What does the moon have to do with flower essences and ritual? As we discussed in an earlier chapter, the moon represents a time before the dominant culture came into power. While the moon has no gender, it is a metaphor for the divine feminine and a symbol for the creative, the intuitive, the unconscious, and the shadow. Before the Gregorian calendar came into use in the sixteenth century, many cycles of time were measured on a lunar basis, as are the Islamic, Chinese, and Jewish calendars today. All ancient agriculture was organized around lunar and astrological transits, which is one of the basic practices of biodynamic farming today. Many of us feel a fascination with the moon, and I feel it beckons us back to a different consciousness, where much healing potential awaits.

Creating altars or sacred spaces outdoors can be another place for ritual work. While I can’t have a moon garden in the city, I can have a few lunar plants in my windowsill to catch the moonlight.

Not all flowers bloom in the sunlight. Some plants prefer the darkness, opening to the night. Moon plants can be cultivated in any terrain. Many night bloomers are also very fragrant. I consider all plants medicinal to some degree; however, some of the moon garden plants may be more therapeutic than others. These can also be plants that you use for making your own flower essences. Or, if you like to make dried sticks of herbs to burn, you can use the plants from your moon garden, such as mugwort.

You can see the lunar signature of mugwort by observing the underside of the leaf, which is silver. The Latin name for it is Artemisia vulgaris; Artemis, if you remember, was the Greek goddess of the moon! Plants with light and white blooms work best, as well as gray and silvery leaves.

Here are some perfect moon garden plants:

plants for a moon garden

 

The video on how to make your own flower essence medicine can be found here.

This is an excerpt from The Bloom Book: A Flower Essence Guide to Cosmic Balance by Heidi Smith.

 

Heidi Smith, MA, RH (AHG), is a psychosomatic therapist, registered herbalist, and flower essence practitioner. Within her private practice, Moon & Bloom, Heidi works collaboratively with her clients to empower greater balance, actualization, and soul-level healing within themselves. She is passionate about engaging both the spiritual and scientific dimensions of the plant kingdom, and sees plant medicine and ritual as radical ways to promote individual, collective, and planetary healing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner and two cats. For more, visit moonandbloom.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lavender Rose Chocolate Truffles

Lavender Rose Chocolate Truffles

From the book, Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream, from the top of a chilled 13 1/2-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 drops food-grade pure lavender oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried rose petals, crushed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Scoop the coconut cream into a double boiler. Heat the coconut cream until it’s hot to the touch, then pour in the chocolate. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir the chocolate and coconut cream together until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture forms a shiny ganache.
  2. Remove the ganache from heat and stir in the lavender oil. Place the bowl of ganache in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours, or until completely solid.
  3. Line a plate with parchment paper. Scoop the chocolate mixture into 16 pieces using a tablespoon, and place on the plate. Don’t worry about forming the pieces into spheres yet. Place the plate back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.
  4. Pour the cacao powder and crushed rose petals into 2 small separate bowls. Roll the refrigerated chocolate blobs into balls, then roll them in either cacao powder, rose petals, or leave them plain. Serve.
  5. Store leftover Lavender Rose Chocolate Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost before serving.

chocolate truffles

This recipe is featured in the young adult book, Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

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Release emotional baggage and reclaim your joy

If you or someone you know suffers from any form of depression—from feeling exhausted or blue to not being able to get out of bed—I am excited to share something with you that can offer a new approach to this huge challenge facing so many people today. Depression happens on a “spectrum” and can have a huge impact on our daily lives. I see depression as the literal depression of self—a side effect of being buried under the sometimes-overwhelming thing called “life.” 

In my latest book, How To Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can, I’m bringing my tried-and-true methods to one of the greatest challenges of our time.

My work has helped thousands of people overcome emotional and physical challenges when nothing else has worked. Today I want to share with you one technique that we use in several different ways together in the new book: The Sweep Technique.

The Sweep Technique is a script that you repeat in order to clear subconscious blocks and beliefs. It can be done by simply reading the script out loud or in your head a few times in a row.

The Sweep Script 

Even though I have this _______ (describe what you want to release such as “feeling depressed and fatigued”), I acknowledge it’s no longer working for me. 

I give my subconscious full permission to help me clear it, from all of my cells in all of my body, permanently and completely. 

I am now free to thank it for serving me in the past. 

I am now free to release all resistances to letting it go. 

I am now free to release all ideas that I need this in order to stay safe. 

I am now free to release all ideas that I need it for any reason. 

I am now free to release all feelings that I don’t deserve to release it. 

I am now free to release all conscious and subconscious causes for this energy. 

I am now free to release all conscious and subconscious reasons for holding on to it. 

I am now free to release all harmful patterns, emotions, and memories connected to it. 

I am now free to release all generational or past-life energies keeping it stuck. 

All of my being is healing and clearing this energy now, including any stress response stored in my cells. 

Healing, healing, healing. Clearing, clearing, clearing. 

It is now time to install _______ (insert a new, healthy energy such as “the energy of moving forward,” “the feeling of being content,” or “the belief that I can feel better now”)

Installing, installing, installing. Installing, installing, installing. And so it is done. 

If you’d like to join me for more healing in the new book, I will walk you through using more of this technique, along with others—to release emotional baggage, reconnect with yourself, and reclaim your joy.

Love,

Amy B. Scher

This originally appeared as an author letter by Amy B. Scher, author of How to Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can: A Self-Guided Program to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t.

 

amy scher

Amy B. Scher is an energy therapist, expert in mind-body healing, and the bestselling author of How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can and How to Heal Yourself from Anxiety When No One Else Can. She has been featured in the Times of India, CNN, HuffPost, CBS, the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Curve magazine, and San Francisco Book Review. Scher was also named one of the Advocate’s “40 Under 40.” She lives in New York City. For more, visit amybscher.com.

 

 

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Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

From the book, Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky

Yield: 8 servings

 

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1 ½ cups roasted pecan pieces 
  • 2 Tbsp monk fruit maple-flavored syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

FILLING

  • 2 cups raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked overnight in 4 cups of water, then rinsed
  • 1 cup freeze-dried or fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup coconut cream, from the top of a chilled 13 1/2-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp monk fruit maple-flavored syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted 
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

CRUST

  1. Line the bottom of a 6-inch springform cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a high-speed blender, blend together the crust ingredients just until it forms a dough-like consistency. It might help to use your blender’s tamper, if you have one. Do not overblend or it will turn into pecan butter!
  3. Press the pecan crust evenly into the bottom of the cake pan and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

 

FILLING

  • Without washing your blender, combine the filling ingredients (except for 1 cup of fresh blueberries) and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour the filling onto the frozen crust and top with 1 cup fresh blueberries. Place in the freezer for approximately 5 hours, or until it’s frozen through.
  • Using a butter knife, gently swipe around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the cake from the springform pan. Slice and serve. Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw for 15 minutes before serving.

blueberry cheesecake

 

This recipe is featured in the young adult book, Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude Is a Byproduct of Service

Among the lessons I’ve seen people embrace by performing their microgestures is the true meaning of gratitude. Gratitude has become a big idea in certain circles these days, and a lot has been written about research showing that a focus on gratitude has real benefits for people in terms of their mental and physical well-being.3 This is probably why the practice of gratitude journaling has become so popular. You can even buy gratitude journals at your local bookstore ready for you to fill in the blanks about what makes you feel lucky today.

I have to admit that I have a bit of a bone to pick with the gratitude journalers of the world. It’s not that I disagree with the research or the idea that gratitude can be a powerful force. It’s that I think the idea of gratitude, perhaps because it has become so popular, is too often misunderstood.

I don’t believe that gratitude is about sitting in your room and saying thanks so only your walls can hear you. I don’t believe it’s something that should remain in the pages of a journal. I don’t believe it’s something you can find on a bracelet or in an Instagram quote. These can be good ways to remind yourself to be thankful, but they’re not enough. That’s because gratitude isn’t meant to be passive. “God is a verb,” as Paulo Coelho once said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey about his bestselling book, The Alchemist.4 I believe that gratitude, too, needs to be treated as an action.

In fact, we used to talk about gratitude in terms of giving thanks, which makes it sound so much more active, instead of merely being thankful. Rightly so, because I believe gratitude is something you should do, not something you merely think or feel or write about. This means you can’t just read in the news about the hurricane that devastated a town or the drug problem that plagues a community and feel thankful that you’re removed from it and safe. You can’t just walk by people in need and feel sorry for their suffering and grateful that you’re not in the same position. True gratitude is more than just a feeling. It’s the expression of that feeling through action—the action of serving others. To truly be grateful, you have to act gratefully.

It’s a bit like that old philosophical question about whether, if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it really fall? By the same token, if you love someone but you never express that love, either verbally or through your actions, can you really call it love? If you’re grateful for what you have but never extend that gratitude to others, then are you truly living a grateful life?

When we mindfully show our appreciation for what we have through the action of serving others, then gratitude is the result. It’s the byproduct of that service, and there’s really no other way to get it. We live in a world that loves shortcuts. If there’s a faster, easier, simpler way to get something done, then we’re all over it. People write about “life hacks” as if they’re going to save us, but some things can’t be hacked. I believe that gratitude is one of them.

In the energy exchange, there’s a dynamic between people made up of living, breathing energy that flows back and forth. When that energy stops moving, it dies. Gratitude has an energy behind it too, but I believe that energy dies, or at least atrophies, when we keep it confined to our thoughts and prayers or the pages of our journal. Even sharing grateful thoughts on social media—which I highly encourage as an antidote to all the complaints and judgments that tend to be put on display—is not the same as allowing our gratitude to inspire us to act on behalf of others. Because it’s so often relegated to contexts like these, gratitude is really in danger of losing its meaning.

I was once in a yoga class that was winding down on a hot day when I witnessed a missed opportunity to really live gratitude. We were all sitting in Lotus Position with the lights dimmed and the door open so the breeze could flow through the studio. Soft music was playing in the background and our hands were pressed together at our hearts as we whispered our “namastes.” Just then a man, who appeared to be suffering from mental illness, walked in through the open door to say hello and ask, “What are you all doing in here?” He was friendly

enough, but the reaction was immediate. The people closest to him scattered while others turned away or shook their heads. No one answered him. I meant to, but I didn’t gather my thoughts quickly enough. The teacher rushed over to tell him to leave, pushing him out the door and closing it behind him.

It was as if everyone in the room had forgotten what they’d been doing right before the man walked in. Yoga classes often end with the students saying namaste as an expression of gratitude for the experience they just had, the teacher who guided them through it, and the fellow students they shared it with. But it’s also generally considered to have spiritual connotations, to be a conscious acknowledgment of another person’s soul, of the divine light that resides in all of us. Some literally translate namaste from Sanskrit to mean: “The light in me acknowledges the light in you.”

I guess my fellow classmates decided that not everyone was worthy of a namaste. I don’t mean to be overly harsh. I get why people were frightened, as they often are by mental illness, or turned off by the disruption when they were in the midst of a peaceful moment. But if we’d all taken a moment to simply notice this man (an act of non-resistance), I think it would have quickly become clear that he meant us no harm. He was just curious and, I think, lonely. It seemed like what he wanted most of all was someone to talk to, and here he’d found a group of people expressing gratitude in a tranquil place. We can perhaps forgive him for thinking we were the kind of people who might be receptive to his attempt to connect.

We live in an amazing time. Being part of the Information Age gives us exposure to all kinds of wisdom and ancient teachings along with all the new. Yoga has been practiced for hundreds of years. Verses on gratitude can be found in the Bible. There is truth and power in these old ways, but let’s make sure we’re getting the most out of them. These ancient concepts should be more than just things you think to yourself or utter on autopilot. If we really want the benefits, we need to learn how to live them.

If you are grateful for something in your life, you have to find a way to put some of that grateful energy back into the world instead of holding onto it. That’s the only way to keep it flowing. That’s the only way gratitude can come back to you. If you have your antenna up while you perform your microgestures, you’ll start to notice the flow and you’ll start to better appreciate when some of it flows back your way.

❤ HEARTWORK

Ask yourself: How can I do more than just think grateful thoughts? How can I act gratefully in the world today?

If you keep a gratitude journal, consider recording not just what you’re thankful for, but the full energy exchange: what you’re grateful for and what you gave gratefully in return.

Notes:

  1. Colby Itkowitz, “The Science Behind Why You Shouldn’t Stop Giving Thanks After Thanksgiving,” The Washington Post (November 24, 2016).
  2. Paulo Coelho, “What if the Universe Conspired in Your Favor?” Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations (August 9, 2017). 

This is an excerpt from Love Without Reason: The Lost Art of Giving a F*ck by LaRayia Gaston.

 

larayia gaston author photoLARAYIA GASTON is a former model, actress, and founder of the nonprofit Lunch On Me, an organization dedicated to bringing organic, healthy food and holistic healing to those experiencing homelessness. She’s also a regular public speaker, podcast guest, and activist. She resides in Los Angeles. For more, visit lunchonme.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tahini Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Tahini Chocolate Chunk Blondies

From the book, Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (optional)

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and tahini just until combined. Whisk in the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, and sea salt. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chopped dark chocolate.
  3. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake the blondies for 16 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and the center is just cooked through. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, if using.
  4. Let the blondies cool for 10 minutes. Slice them into 9 large squares or 16 smaller squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

blondies

 

This recipe is featured in the young adult book, Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

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