When I met Denis in 2001, he was going to school for a Bachelor in Liberal Arts. I laughed thinking, what is that? who studies Liberal Arts? Of course, that was me back then. I used to think that if someone was going to pay for college, they should major in either engineering, law, or medicine; anything else was a waste of money and time. So I asked him what Liberal Arts entail and what kind of job he would have. He replied that he wanted to open a spiritual school where he and other people could teach spirituality and an integral program similar to that of Ken Wilber’s.
When we started dating and things got serious, I worried for him because finding a job with that degree was going to be difficult and opening a business seemed horribly scary to me. I had always said that I didn’t want people to depend on me to earn a living, I had rather let someone else worry about my paycheck. So a business, to me what not an option. He went back to school and got a master’s degree in Educational Technology, and I was very proud of him and his new career.
Over the years though, as I worked on my spiritual journey, and opened my mind to trust the Universe, I realized that I liked Denis’ idea of a school. I didn’t like to call it a school, I called it a Center, an Integral Lifestyle Center.
Visualizing Zen Mystery
For a few year I dreamed about it, visualized it, and even made a vision board with everything I pictured having there. I had even picked the building where it was going to be. And two years ago, as a trial, Denis and I opened a consulting business in online marketing which is another area we were experts at. Inbound Den opened in August 2011 to help conscious businesses promote their companies online.
Last year, Denis quit his corporate job to work full time on Inbound Den. That gave us the opportunity to feel comfortable in owning and running a business.
Taking a Leap
I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo, Kris Carr, and Mastin Kipp, and I had been dying to go to RHH Live because I was ready to take the leap into our Spiritual Center. But the price, the time, everything wasn’t working out for me to go to NYC and learn how to run a business. Sad about this one day, I opened my email and saw a message from Omega Institute about a workshop on how to start your own business and taught by Stephan Rechtschaffen, founder of Omega and former CEO. The price was right, the time was right, the topic was exactly what I needed, and who better than Stephan to learn from? WOW. I book that baby right away and went without a doubt.
I had told myself that I was going there just to take notes for Denis so that he could make his dream of a school come true. But the reality was, that I was the one that needed the hand holding. And boy, what a great place to shed the fears away! Omega in Rhinebeck was the perfect space to do just that. I learned a lot from Stephan and my classmates that weekend and was so inspired each minute I was there that I just couldn’t contain myself. I was ready to give birth to our baby: Zen Mystery.
Zen Mystery, Spiritual Center, Tea Room, and Boutique
We found the perfect place four our center. As of today, we are working very hard to open our doors in February 2013 and share with you all Denis’ vision that has been cooking in his heart from over a decade. We will be offering meditation classes, yoga, tai chi, dance, and more. In the tea room we will have vegan pastries and snacks like sandwiches, soups, and salads. In the boutique, we will have some clothing, accessories and other products that are aligned with the Integral Lifestyle. We also want to make the classroom available to anyone in the community that needs space for workshops or classes since it’s difficult to find a central location with plenty of parking.
Thanksgiving is over and that marks the start of the shopping and gift giving season. This Friday, vote with your money by shopping local and supporting the economy by helping local business stay open. Avoid all big stores that are owned by the 1%. Do we really need the walmart family in the top 10 list of richest people this year again? What about our friends that have opened retails businesses? Don’t they deserve a chance too?
Yoga gift certificate, local-made jam, non-gmo chips, and local-made spicy sauce
I invite you to invest your hard earn money in products that are made in America or that at least are fair trade. Shop local this season and support your community instead.
South Florida Local Shopping for Black Friday
There are many places to shop local in South Florida, but here are a few I believe are great places to buy local.
Tree of India is an aromatherapy store with much more than just oils. There are many products made here in the USA and handmade by the store owner. Prices are reasonable and if you can make up your mind, you can purchase a gift certificate for your loved one.
Thousand Pound Egg not only carries tons of cooking books but also local made jams and great gifts for foodies.
Acacia is not just an awesome and unique jewelry store but also has great accessories and other beautiful gifts for everyone. This is where I bought my wedding rings made out of recycle quarters.
Yellow Green Market is a large market with local artisans and businesses all in one place. You will be sure to find all sorts of gifts here.
Outside the Box Gift Ideas
Gift certificates are an awesome idea, but instead giving a restaurant, movie tickets, or store gift certificate this year, how about something more outside the box? Give the gift of…
Yoga! Buy a gift certificate to your favorite yoga studio and share the gift of yoga this season. You can also get a private class certificate or a workshop gift certificate for those loves ones that want to take their practice to the next level.
Motivation! We all have friends going thru hard times, and it might be hard to think of something that can help their situation. Giving them something to keep them motivated this year might be the solution.
Charity! For those of us that “have it all” or don’t like to get gifts, buying something can be difficult. I do enjoy when people donate to my causes or my charities of choices in my name. Ask your friends or loves one for local charities you can donate in their name.
We all complain about the economy but only a few of us will do something about it. Take a chance this year and don’t just think about saving money, but instead think about supporting your community by shopping at local this season.
Last year at Bhakti Fest, one of the MCs talked about a lifestyle challenge he entered as a way to improve his health. As he started the new vegan raw diet, he realized that his new diet is part of what Ahimsa in the yoga world means: Non-violence towards animals. I connected to that because being a vegan for me now is more of a choice-of-energy that enters my body than non-cruelty towards animals. But I knew Ahimsa meant much more beyond food. I was inspired by this topic and wrote about it on my post for MentalBlox.com. Here is a copy of the post:
Ahimsa | The Non-Violent Spiritual Diet
If you are a student of Yoga, whether it’s the asana practice only or all the other parts of yoga, you have heard the term Ahimsa. It means non-violence and avoiding harming ourselves and others including animals. Many yogis and yoginis are vegetarian or vegan, because, a true practitioner of yoga will take a vow of non-violence. Eating animals is part of Ahimsa because of the suffering and the violence animals are submitted before they died to become food on a plate. Vegetarism is a start, but Ahimsa is much more beyond being a vegetarian.
You Are What You Eat
I chose to become a vegan many years ago, at the beginning for health reasons, but now I choose to stay vegan for energy reasons. I don’t want the energy of another being in my body; I feel it affects my spiritual path, especially if the animal was hurt and tortured during the dying process to become food for humans. I’m fortunate to be allergic to eggs and dairy and therefore I’m not able to eat those either. Many of my friends have been able to get deeper once they adjust their diets to the principal of Ahimsa. And it’s no surprise that many religions avoid eating certain animals because they might not be as “pure” as others or because some animals are sacred and cannot be consumed.
Walking The Walk
When I started learning more about yoga, deepening my practice thru my teacher training, I became more aware of the term Ahimsa and why it was important in order to advance in my spiritual path. I felt great I was a vegan and thought that was all to it. Ahimsa doesn’t just refer to food and the killing of animals for food. It refers to everything in our lives, not having harmful thoughts about ourselves or others and other violent actions that lead to negative emotions like anger, frustration, fear, rage, and anxiety. So I had to stop wishing people on the road traffic tickets for bad driving, getting angry at my cat for spitting hairballs on my white couch, or killing roaches that come in to my house after a rainy day.
But the most difficult part has been not wounding and hurting me with my thoughts. Every time we judge ourselves and say mean things, we hurt our souls and self-esteem. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. Saying “I’m fat and ugly, nothing fits me”, or “I have a horrible hair day”, or “I’m so stupid”. Even not saying it out loud but thinking it, we are hurting ourselves. And if you have children or siblings that look up to you, they are learning from you to say those things about themselves too.
It may take a while for us to get used to being more loving towards ourselves and others. I started moving to the middle lane when I see a car coming fast behind me on the left lane, so instead of wishing them a ticket, I let them pass me. I stop telling myself how “fat I feel” when clothes don’t fit or calling myself “stupid” for closing a drawer on my fingers. One might be clumsy at times but it doesn’t mean we have to call ourselves a name or attach a negative feeling to that. Love your clumsy curvy self and the roaches or other animals that share this earth with us. That is the first step to Ahimsa.
Are there other ways you have come to realized Ahimsa applies in your life? Share with us!
I’ve been pretty un-girly most of my life, not much into makeup, nails, and anything pink. But I do take care of my body inside and out at home. I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to skin and hair care and products. Because I’m a strict vegan, I won’t use anything that has bees wax even. So it’s difficult to find places and products that I’m willing to try if they don’t meet my expectations. However, I was happily surprised in the last six months to find that I won’t have to order online or wait until I go to another state to find the kind of establishments and products that do meet my requirements. So I had a nice day of organic vegan beauty right here in South Florida.
Organic Hair Salon
My hair is one the best assess I have, at least I believe so. I’ve never been afraid to try new styles and colors because fortunately hair is one of the few things we can grow back and try again. We are lucky to have Debbie Carusso in South Florida of Capello Salon and Boutique in Fort Lauderdale. She’s not only a great hair stylist but also has started a great conscious business that many of us in the health community needed. For many years I had to get my hair cut by people that do not live my reality and therefore understand why I’m so “picky” on what I use. But with Debbie, she understands why some of us are sticking to our beliefs. They also offer organic vegan nail services too!
Organic Vegan Waxing
As my life got busy with my full time job and our new business, I was finding less time to spend grooming. So I had to outsource my eye brows grooming to an expert. The problem was finding someone who would not use Bee’s wax or chemical waxes on my face. So one day, on my way to my yoga class at Red Pearl, I passed by 1111 Organic Day Spa. I went to their site when I got home, but I hated the site. One day I found a Groupon for a massage, so I bought and went. I felt in love with the place I had judge by their website. So next I asked about the ingredients in their wax and it was not only organic but also vegan! So I schedule a time to go get my eye brows done and haven’t stopped going there since then.
My bff took me to the mall, which we both kinda hate. But she had to go purchase a face wash that she had ran out of. So I tagged along just hoping to get some tea at Teavana, but instead I stumble upon vegan makeup! The place she took me was launching their new vegan line. I played with some colors and other things and found the best mascara yet. My eyelashes are one of those top assess for me and I take really good care of them, and therefore have always been very strict about what I use. I was really happy to find vegan makeup that wasn’t at whole foods or online that I could try and see if it worked. The place is Lush Cosmetics and they have a store at the Aventura mall. The girls working there were so much fun and helpful that it made want to get a job there. But I can only take the mall for about twenty minutes every six months!
Body Oils and Soaps
Tree of India is the cutest soap and body oil shop in South Florida. It recently opened and its owner, Jessica is not only a yogini but connoisseur of oils. I’m obsessed with natural soaps and had traveled miles to get handmade organic vegan soaps, but now I’m able to go to Fort Lauderdale and get my soaps at Tree of India. I had been using Aubrey organics skin creams but started to make my own oil mixes in spray bottles instead using Jojoba oil from Whole Foods and avocado oil from Dr. Young. When the spray ran out, I decided to just keep using Jojoba oil. But once I discovered Jessica’s shop, I got the best oil I have tried so far on my skin.
It’s exciting to see our little South Florida organic vegan health community growing and providing the quality of services and products we all deserve to have accessible in our own backyard. As I discover more places, I’ll post them here. In the meantime, share with us any other places you have found in South Florida.
Each Spring, Denis and I plant hot peppers and other foods to grow. Living on the beach hasn’t change that. We have been able to grow kale, collards, red peppers, figs, herbs, and more.
We buy supplies and the vegetables we are planning on growing at different places. One place we like a lot is the organic nursery at Food and Thought in Naples, FL. We also get edible plants, vegetables, and other small fruit trees from our local farmers in Homestead and Miami.
We make our own compost in two batches and then mix it with the existing soil as well as new organic soil to grow food.
Even though we are not great at gardening, we have been able to get a lot of food from our own tiny urban backyard. Our neighbors also grow many greens and herbs in a much bigger space than we do and often share with us their collards and kale. And since I recently started to eat a little steamed vegetables, I enjoy steaming collards for less than 10 minutes to stay alkaline all the time.
Planting a edible garden is not that difficult even for busy people like Denis and I with no green thumbs! So I hope more of you get inspired to convert your backyards into a food source. Not only is a rewarding experience, but also a great family project!
Too bad is 111 miles away from where I live! Food& Thought is an awesome organic market, cafe, juice bar, clothing store, and nursery. It’s located in Naples, Fl and it has a great space where people can shop for food, prepared and groceries and enjoy their meals outside in the nice patio. After you meal, you can cross over the patio over to the organic nursery and shopped for plants and supplies for your garden including worm castings, seaweed fertilizer, and garden decorations.
Afterwards, you can walk next door to the organic clothing store where each item has been handpicked for the store. From organic jeans to underwear, bedding, towels, and children’s clothing and more.
Everything is organic! Whether you go to the nursery, the cafe, juice bar, or the clothing store, all items are organic.
Denis and I enjoy taking a drive there once in a while to shop. Not only do we get to cross alligator alley and enjoy the view, but also, we get to spend the day in Naples shopping for great organic products, and if we plan it right, watch the sunset on the west side of Florida!
The last time we were there, we bought a trunk load of supplies for our edible garden that included about 5 different types of hot peppers, kale, sweet peppers, and herbs. We also found an awesome seaweed fertilizer for both vegetable and plants.
We then walked over the clothing store and found great items to replace in our wardrobe.
This is one of the greatest places we are lucky to have in Florida! If you are visiting Naples, it’s a great organic market, cafeteria, nursery, and clothing store to visit!
One of the most important parts of planning your vacation or traveling is to know where to find food and restaurants. Some people plan ahead, specially if they have specific requests for food or if they love food traveling as much as I do. As a raw vegan and eco-activist, I always plan ahead my food stops before I head out in to my destination. One of my favorites sites to help me plan is Happycow.net where I can find all the local vegetarian and vegan places to eat and shop. As a full time South Florida resident, there are several places here for my fellow vegetarians/vegans to eat and shop. So here is a list of my favorite South Florida places to shop for healthy food:
Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood
Josh’s is probably one of the best, if not THE best, farmers market in the country. Most of the produce is organically grown locally and in Pennsylvania and treated with the utmost care. You can hear Josh scream and see him run every Sunday as he tries to keep the veggies and fruits in the best condition possible. Josh’s greens in the winter beat any store in the county. Once you eat his greens, you cannot accept anything less.
The juice bar is out of this world too! Even though you may feel the prices are high, other supermarkets charge way more for less. Josh’s Juice bar uses their own greens, veggies, and fruits right from the market to make the juices and smoothies. Nothing is processed or pasteurized.
Josh’s Organic Garden is open on Sundays from 9:30 to 5:31 pm and it’s located on Hollywood Beach’s Boardwalk on Harrison street. The Juice Bar is open Sundays 9:30am to 5:31pm, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm.
Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove
The actual farm is located way south in Homestead, but on Saturdays Stan and Tracy bring the farm to Coconut Grove from 11am to 7pm. Located just west of the main Coco Walk center on Grand avenue, Glaser Farmer’s Market is a great place to hang out and enjoy delicious organic, vegetarian, raw food including ice cream and pies! Other vendors set up tents around the market making locals and visitors feel at home.
Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale
Fairly new, Marando Farms offers great prices for mostly non-organic produce. Some are locally grown from other farmers and some from their own farm. They also offer eggs from their own chickens and sometimes you can see the chickens running around. Great for the kids! They recently open another “wing” for high quality pet foods, so now you can get your food and your pet’s food in the same place!
Marando Farms is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; Closed on Wednesdays.
Other places for Organic Produce
Other places in South Florida where you can find great prices for organic produce include Green Wave Cafe in Plantation, a raw vegan restaurant. On Mondays Green Wave opens for their “Organic Market” from 8am to 2pm.
Thrive Restaurant in Miami Beach and LifeFood Gourmet in Coral Way also have Farmer’s Market days. You can visit their sites to see more information on when they offer organic produce for sale.
I wrote this post last year when Denis and I were thinking of getting married but somehow it got lost in the shuffle and I never actually published it.
Most wedding aren’t environmental friendly. Unless both the bride and the groom are very conscious, they will make more than an effort to keep it “green” in every aspect.
Denis and I are very true to our beliefs, and we have been for the last nine years we have been together. We also are just not the wedding kinda people. While most young girls plan their weddings their entire lives, I was never interested in marriage. I strongly believed that if someone loved me, there wasn’t a document they could sign to prove it.
BUT, unfortunately living partners do not have the benefits that married partners do. Not even heterosexual couples… (don’t even get me started on how unfair I believe it is not allowing homosexual couples to get married!!).
Anyways, and unfortunately, in order to prevent a Stig Larsson case, (not that I’m a writer), we wanted to ensure Denis could visit me in the hospital and make decisions if ever came up to that. Why me in hospital and not Denis? Cause I’m most likely to get into a car accident than he is… long story and not for this blog post 🙂
Anyways, so I came up with this thought about “If we had the money to spend, what kind of wedding ceremony would we have?” And here is what I came up with:
If I was having a wedding, I would….
Host it at the beach: Of course, we love the ocean and it’s a great place for a party and “legalizing” an union.
Ask an Shaman to do the ceremony.
Wear a bikini, not white for sure! And Denis would wear swimming trunks. Guests would wear beach gear and no one would be allowed speedos or thongs!
Have my friends play music & do a drumming circle with the sage and all.
Serve all local seasonal raw vegan organic food catered by a friend or prepared by me. All the food left would be composted of course. The plates and utensils etc would all be re-usable of course.
Send email invitations, not paper.
Register at non-profit organizations like 350.org, PETA,J/P RHO, Humane Society, and have people donate money instead of gifts.
Have everyone that is coming farther than 30 miles be picked up in a hybrid vehicle. And anyone who was flying in, their trip would be offset.
Offset any carbon footprint left because of the party.
I think that’s all… I’m not familiar with what else happens at weddings so these are as much as I would do.
We certainly cannot afford something like this anyways at this time in our lives and anything else would not be true to our beliefs. Therefore, please know that as much as we would love to have you all be part of this moment, we are going to have to do what we can that meets our standards.
So yes, consider this post as your “Save the Date” email(sorry it’s now late though!). But who knows, maybe in 10 years we will be able to do something as such again, one never knows.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I wrote this in October or November and somehow it got lost with all the other drafts. So here are pictures of our actually wedding ceremony.
We are officially Mr. & Mrs. Gonzalez
The rings are recycled silver coins. They read "Liberty" 🙂
After the ceremony at the courthouse, we went to a new raw vegan restaurant that opened in SoBe, T.H.R.I.V.E.
Wedding Raw Vegan Food at T.H.R.I.V.E.
I had called ahead and asked the owner Sheryn, to make a nontraditional “wedding” cake for Denis and I that would have chocolate and berries. And this is the result:
In celebration of my 30th birthday, I decided to share 30 things I’m grateful for and some of the best things I’ve done, encounter, experience so far. They are in no particular order, the list was done in the way I was inspired to write it.
Moving to the beach is one of the best things Denis and I have done in our lives. It has been a spiritual experience for me. Being so close to the ocean has been life changing for me. There is no bullshit here, just you and your true self. That’s what the ocean has done for me and I’m very grateful for it.
Yes, he’s been THE BEST thing in my very short life. He’s been there for me when I’m down or up, put up with my drama, and has supported me in my spiritual journey. He’s my universe, my guru, my roomate, my lover, my friend, and partner in everything. I’m grateful the universe put us in the same computer lab back in college.
Experiencing Mt. Shasta has been one of the most peaceful and adventures journeys I’ve had. I love that beautiful sacred mountain and I’m thankful for all the experiences I had there.
Many milestones happened in Sedona for me. Getting lost in the dessert, discovering truth, dropping my heaviest baggage, drumming circles in the night, and my first Blue Moon experience was there too. I’m only sorry I’m boycotting Arizona for what they’ve done to my people there, but as soon as they get real people back into place, I’m sure I’ll be back to my beloved Sedona.
I never had pets, but always considered myself a dog person. We rescued Kitty after hurricane Wilma and she’s been really happy with us and loving. When I’m sick or alone in the house, she stays with me all the time. She’s unlike many cats and has taught me that you can’t have two controlling people trying to do one thing. I’m glad she’s off the streets and she enjoys being home in a warm bed with fresh food everyday.
Anita has taught me so much, specially things I already knew but had forgotten. She inspires me to be brave and not be ashamed. She taught me to never ask someone to do something you would never do yourself. She reminded me that sometimes the monsters are better than humans. She’s now one of my best friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.
Eating raw food has been an incredible journey and learning experience. I have been able to accomplish so many things thanks to being raw. I can’t say I’ll be raw my entire life because life is uncertain, but if I can, I’ll stay raw forever and ever.
Kirtan and Yoga
Discovering Kirtan and yoga 9 years ago was life changing for me. It jump start my heart to the right path and continues to guide me in my amazing spiritual journey.
When I first started blogging, it was hard for me to break away from my usual way of writing college papers or office reports. It took a long time to feel comfortable in here. Blogging how now become another tool in my way of healing. I blog for 7 blogs now where I can express my knowledge or feelings in all different aspects of my life. It’s so great to be able to share content with different audiences.
Moving to USA
I always knew I had to go somewhere far and when the opportunity came I took it. I’m grateful I was able to come here and start my spiritual journey which otherwise would not had happened in Colombia.
I’m all about making a statement, voting with my money, and walk the walk. Even though the prius may not be the best car for the environment, it makes a stand and it shows people they can afford to be green. The prius is one of the best things I’ve purchased, and if I can afford one, anyone can too!
I’m extremely grateful for not having children. I’ve been able to be a mother to others that needed one. I’ve been able to experience things that otherwise would be difficult to do if I had children. I’ve been able to experience unconditional love without having to bring another human being to this overcrowded world. And someday I hope to repay this experience by helping children who don’t have parents or are alone in the world just like I was.
I’ve volunteered in different projects, charities, organizations, etc. It’s always an amazing experience to give back without expecting anything in return. To be able to give from your heart and not because someone expects you but because your body, your heart, your soul, your mind wants to. I’m grateful to give back every time I can.
The 2001 Omega Yoga Conference in Miami
This is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my very short life. Denis dragged me to volunteer at this conference 9 years ago and it was life changing for me. I discovered Yoga Trance Dance and haven’t been the same since then. I’m so grateful for having attended this conference because it was one of the milestones in my life.
She’s a Goddess and absolutely loving. Shiva has inspired me to take a leap of faith and jump in to something I would not have the courage to do without the love.
My favorite Elephant God! He’s with me at all times either on my neck, my arm, my purse, my bag, my car, my office, every room in my house. Ganesh helps me remove obstacles and protects me. I’m thankful he’s with me every minute.
Learning to perfect manifestation techniques is one of the best things I’ve accomplished. I’m very grateful for knowing how to do it, and for everything I have manifested.
My favorite hobby is clearing clutter. I first discover clearing clutter on my way back from my first trip to Sedona and it’s now one of my favorite spiritual practices. Creating sacred space in your own space by clearing clutter is something I strongly recommend to anyone. I’m thankful for respecting my own space by clearing clutter and creating a sacred space.
Yeah ok, she’s in the list. But not because of her show or her “women power” spirit (which yes, I love), but for teaching me to forgive myself and for sharing her story. I’m very thankful for her openness because that contribute to my spiritual journey and healing process.
I wrote an entire post about this, and I’m grateful for that experience.
Experiencing Bhakti for 6 days was amazing. I wrote about and my journey to preparing for it. I’m grateful to myself for allowing this to happen for me.
Suzanne Sterling and C.C. White
Discovering Suzanne and C.C. was like finding a jackpot at the end of the rainbow. No other two women have inspired me so greatly to explore my spiritual musicality. Their voices are filled with so much love and devotion that is intoxicating! They are Goddesses and I will never forget them!
Mr. Deida opened my mind to love and healing. His teachings, work, concepts are mind blowing and extremely accurate. He’s contribute to my journey and I’m very grateful I was introduced to his work.
Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell is my newest role model. She is very honest and open to sharing her love for writing and caring for her fans. She’s helped me heal wounds with her own personal stories of healing and I’m extremely grateful have found her, her work, and her blog.
Becoming a Vegan
Becoming a vegan has been one of the best things I’ve done. Nothing teaches you more compassion and freedom than being a vegan. Not only has it improved my health, but it opened my mind to a new world that connect my spiritual path with every other aspect of my life. I’m grateful I changed my lifestyle and eating habits to create an environment for compassion and love to help me heal.
One of the best things I’ve done for my body and my belly. Nothing encourages femininity and freedom like Belly Dance does. My belly and I are very happy and thankful for Belly Dance.
Osho Zen Tarot Cards
I pull a card every week and that’s the meditation or subject I work on for the week. Many times things I don’t want to “fix” or heal come up, but I’m grateful they do so that I can stay honest and work on those issues.
Music has always been there for me. It was the first way I knew how to heal. It keeps my mind and heart open to new things. To not judge and to listen. To really listen to what’s there. It’s the only way I can successfully meditate, to get lost in the sounds. I’m grateful for the music in my life.
I’m thankful for me. For all the work I’ve put into my healing and spiritual path. For everything I’ve accomplished and for being here today to write this blog. For forgiven myself and loving myself even though it was the hardest to do. As I celebrate 30 years of pain, love, happiness, sadness, madness, misery, joy, passion, accomplishments, blessings, etc, I’m thankful for being here today and sharing these 30 things I’m grateful for.
About a week ago, Denis, my new BFF, and I drove to Fort Myers to ECHO Farms to check out their edible plants and trees and see what we could get. After a quick stop in Naples for lunch, we headed north on I-75 to Bayshore Rd and arrived at the farm.
ECHO stands for Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, they are a non-profit organization that educates and trains people that work or volunteer around the world to help communities in need.
It was getting ready to rain so we had to hurry. But the staff at the farms was very friendly and spent time with us showing us all the greens and fruits available.
The prices were reasonable and they had a nice variety of edible greens. So here are some of the trees and plants they had at ECHO farms:
Avocado Trees! This made me want to have a yeard to plant some of these!
Grapefruits! Our favorites! Once again I caught myself staring at it and wondering how I can grow a grapefruit tree on the beach! LOL
Neem: We bought this little tree and I hope I won’t kill it. Don’t know exactly what I’ll use it for, but I’m sure I be making something!
Tropical fruit trees: As most of you know, Denis and I stay away from tropical fruit as most is acidic. But ECHO had a good variety of tropical fruit trees if anyone is interested.
Jaboticaba Tree: This is one we love, but won’t be growing in our yard anytime soon for sure. But at least now I know where I can get one.
Katuk: This one will be on my salads this week for sure! We got it and it was about $5 bucks! You can get any better than that!
We also purchased two varieties of hot peppers, a moringa plant, spinach plant, and cilantro seeds for next season and worm manure. It was a great trip to the West coast!
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What is Pan y Vinito?
Pan y Vinito is my nickname. When I was born, a movie was released called "Marcelino Pan Y Vino." My grandfather saw the movie and named me after the movie. So from then on he called me "Marcelita Pan Y Vino." Years later the name became "Pan y Vinito."
The words Pan y Vino actually mean "bread and wine."