The Lotus Manifesto

Nourish Yourself From the Inside Out

Month: August, 2012

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

For this “simple man’s” zucchini carpaccio, I used a potato peeler to create paper-thin zucchini ribbons.

I’ve always been a glutton for delicious words like “kumquat” and “soliloquy.” Diving into the world of culinary arts has opened up a treasure trove of new words that make me tingly just to say them. One such word is “carpaccio.” I love the way it rolls off my tongue, especially when in the same phrase as multi-syllabic words like “zucchini” and “avocado.” Call me a word nerd, but I don’t care. I take almost as much pleasure speaking the names of these dishes as I do tasting them. So I present this beautiful dish, which was spawned from food icon, Patricia Wells’ cookbook Vegetable Harvest, but I found and adapted this version from http://www.food52.com. It takes a few minutes to assemble, can marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, and is absolutely divine. The tartness of the marinade is rounded out by the fat of the avocado and the salty creamy crunch of the pistachios. I didn’t include lemon thyme in this version, but that would surely elevate the tasting experience even more. Enjoy!

 Ingredients:

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. fine sea salt, plus additional as needed

1/4 cup high-quality pistachio oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil

4 small or 2 medium zucchini

1 ripe avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts, chopped

4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, preferably with flowers.

Method:

Combine lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in small jar. Cover and shake to blend.

Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using mandoline or very sharp knife…I used a potato peeler and had pretty good (albeit not perfectly even) ribbons.

Spread slices on platter and drizzle with lemon mixture. Tilt platter to evenly coat slices. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Alternate zucchini and avocado slices on your platter (or individual salad plates), slightly overlapping each slice.

Sprinkle with pistachios. Season with salt to taste, garnish with lemon thyme, and serve.

Health Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pistachios: These nuts are rich with antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and thiamin. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

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Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

This 5-minute salad was one of my favorites of the summer…Sweet, tart, and tangy, I’m drooling a little just thinking about it.

Nectarines and tomatoes might not seem a likely pair, but oooh, they are. Sweet yet savory, tart but smooth, the ripe flesh of both of these fruits (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit) are a sultry match, like a tango in my mouth. I had to make an instant salad to go with dinner, and ended up enjoying this way more than the main course. So I offer it humbly, and hope the results are equally as satisfying to you.

Ingredients:

2 large or 5 small/medium RIPE heirloom tomatoes (I like the smaller ones as their flavor is more concentrated)

2 RIPE nectarines

2 Tbs. julienned basil

High quality olive oil and sea salt for marinating

*NOTE: This recipe can be made with ripe peaches as well for a similar effect, but I recommend using nectarines. If using peaches, peel them for less “mouth fuzz.”

*OPTIONAL: If you’re craving dairy, try a few crumbles of goat cheese for a nice variation on taste and presentation.

Method:

Slice tomatoes and nectarines into a bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Toss.

Sprinkle with basil and allow to sit 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long!)

Serve and enjoy.

Health Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nectarines: Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene (read: high in cancer-fighting free radicals!), and are high in fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain healthy blood pressure. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Avocado Lime Coleslaw

Avocado Lime Coleslaw

The perfect companion to any summery meal!

Adapted from http://anutritionisteats.com

I’ve never known what to do with cabbage. But one fateful Saturday morning, a cabbage appeared in our farmshare goodies, so I realized it was time to get creative. This recipe is perfect for the last summer barbeques and dinner parties as a side dish. Or nestle some in a corn tortilla with some fish and create some gourmet-ified fish tacos. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 Cups cabbage, shredded

*Optional 2 Tbs. red or white onion, minced

1 Cup + 2 Tbs. cilantro

1 Small avocado

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbs. honey

2 Tbs. olive oil

Water to thin dressing  (as needed)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine cabbage, onion, and 2 tablespoons of minced cilantro. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed.

Toss with cabbage mixture with dressing and let chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Health Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cabbage: Cabbage is a powerful cancer fighter and lowerer (new word?) of cholesterol. It contains massive amounts of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C. While purple cabbage is more nutrient dense than the lighter green varieties (due to their added phytonutrients), all varieties are nutritional powerhouses. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It’s also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca

Delicately sweet with a little kick of basil, this take on agua fresca is thirst quenching and über tasty. Enjoy!

To show my appreciation to our landscapers, who have been working tirelessly for the last few weeks arranging boulders and moving the earth in our backyard, I whipped up a batch of this agua fresca. They were forced to retreat out of the rain by an afternoon cloudburst, so I presented them with this pink drink. Cooling, summery, and infused with my heartfelt thanks, they slurped each sip like the last few drops of the remaining summer. Hope you enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

8 cups watermelon (preferably seedless), cubed

2-1 cup fresh basil leaves (depending on how adventurous you’re feeling)

Juice of 1 lime

*OPTIONAL: Honey or agave to taste (if you like it sweeter, but if you have a totally ripe melon, there’s really no need.)

Method:

Place all the ingredients into a blender.

Puree until smooth.

Strain through a fine chinois.

Serve over ice and garnish with basil.

Health Benefits:

Watermelon: An excellent source of vitamins C and A, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. All of these are powerful antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional value.

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

The Easiest Homemade Hummus Ever…

They could call this “yummus.”

This week I had the absolutely delightful experience of hosting a few young cyclists at my house in preparation of the USA Cycle Pro Challenge, Tour de Colorado (which started in Durango this year…boo ya!). Long story short, I needed to find a way to feed some grande appetites without hours of preparation. One of my staple recipes for such an occasion is hummus. See below for the base recipe, but keep in mind that you can add whatever you want. This recipe is the standard hummus, dressed up with a few other fresh ingredients to kick up the flavor quotient. I added chopped Greek olives, basil, pine nuts and paprika to this batch, and it was gone in minutes.
Happy creating!

In other news, I totally enjoyed being “cycle Mom.” Who knew how much fun it could be to have four 20-ish-year old sons. I cooked a massive spaghetti dinner, they cleaned, and we all jammed out to Notorious B.I.G. Yes, Biggie Smalls is the illest, but team Bondrager/Livestrong, the feeder team for Team Radioshack, is pretty bad ass too. Good luck this week, guys!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed (or you can use a hefty sprinkle of garlic powder)

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans (or soak your own and cook according to package directions which I think is waaay better)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 heaping tablespoons tahini

1 heaping teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons-ish olive oil

Method

Rinse garbanzos and pour into blender, reserving a couple tablespoons for garnish.

Place lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic, and salt in blender.

Blend until creamy and well mixed. (Add a little water and/or olive oil if not blending easily.)

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans and other tasty and pretty items for an impressive flavor and presentation.

Serve with bread, crackers, crudite, or your fingers…kidding.

*Optional items to put in and/or on your hummus: paprika, Greek olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or rosemary, pine nuts…the list goes on. Just use your imagination.

Health Benefits

This bean/seed combo makes a complete protein, which means that all the amino acids your body needs are present in this combination. See here for other complete protein combos to get the most out of your nutrients. Enjoy!

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as “chickpeas,” these beans are particularly high in insoluble fiber, which means you have a squeaky clean colon and feel fuller for longer when eating these legumes. They are also extremely high in lots of nutrients such as manganese, folate, and tryptophan. They are a great source of plant-based protein. If you find legumes make you gassy, try pre-soaking them for easier digestion. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tahini: Sesame seeds (of which tahini is made) are jam packed with manganese and copper, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, and dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Juice: Lemons (and limes) are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

A Spoonful of My Own Medicine

Sometimes listening to yourself is the best medicine. (I have to remember that too…)

During one of my private yoga sessions this week, I had a beautiful moment of clarity. We were practicing yoga in the park and I heard myself saying, “Meet yourself wherever you are in this moment.” Of course this instruction was directed to help my client deepen into a pose. I often offer this simple verbal queue to help each person gauge where they are in mind, body, and spirit, to allow their yoga practice to gently coax them into equilibrium. (That’s the whole point of practicing yoga, right? To re-unite and come back to your wholeness?)

But in this moment, I heard these words as if for the first time. And I was saying them to myself. And something in me let go, allowing me to meet myself exactly where I was: body tired from training for a half marathon, mind tired from juggling work and domestic duties, craving a moment of peace and stillness to anoint my jagged nerves.

In the blink of an eye, I was freed from my habitual tendency to push through exhaustion and fatigue, and unfold into that glimpse of relaxation, letting muscles and bones melt into the pose, breath to soften and slow, and remember that letting go of our need to “do” can be more powerful and beneficial than holding on and powering through something only to move on to the next thing. The next pose. The next meeting. The next task…

Why is it so difficult to allow ourselves these moments of calm? Are we products of our society, which tells us to, “go, go, go!” until we are forced to stop via injury or mental breakdown? Sometimes less really is more. When we feel overwhelmed or exhausted, why not ask ourselves what is absolutely necessary to “do” or “be” in any given moment, and let the rest unfold as it may? Of course we still have responsibilities. No shortage of them. But what a gift to give ourselves a hint of breathing room. To surround our duties with a little padding so that we may live with a bit more ease, and in turn experience better mental and physical health.

It is a powerful practice to remind ourselves that this is all we ever have. This moment. This body. Right here and now. And to allow ourselves to be exactly who and how we need to be in this moment. Who knows, you just might get a glimpse of your own divinity, who is always there, glimmering away in those moments of ripe stillness.

May you allow yourself to tap into your being’s inherent ability to bring itself back into perfect balance.

Love,
Celestia

“You get there by realizing that you are already there.”
-Eckert Tolle

Cobb-ish Salad

Have some leftovers? Put them in rows on a plate for a beautiful gourmet treat!

(A.K.A. Use Up All My Leftovers in a Pretty Way Salad)

Aah, the beloved Cobb…Vegans, plug your ears for the next sentence…This standard American favorite traditionally boasts the artery-clogging (albeit delish) combo of chicken, Roquefort cheese, bacon, hard boiled egg, and some vitamin-packed (NOT!) iceburg lettuce, just for good measure. But if you’re not in the mood for a triple bypass heart surgery, then this salad can come in many delicious and flavorful combinations that your body will less likely to reject.

I like the Cobb salad because it’s a nice excuse to play with your food, creating color and flavor combinations to suit your mood and dietary requirements. It can be tailored to any diet: paleo, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, fun-free, flavor-free…anyway, you get the idea. The ingredients below are just what I had on-hand this evening, so feel free to get creative! Kick it up a notch with meat, egg, or cheese, fresh or dried fruit, and perhaps a sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs to embolden all the flavors. Please share your favorite combinations. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 medium/large avocado sliced or chopped

1 medium large tomato sliced or chopped

2 cups chopped greens (spinach, or head lettuce)

1 cup shredded carrots (Or Moroccan Carrot Salad)

1 cup green peas or the legume of your choice

1 cup grain of your choice (I used black rice with chopped greek olives, olive oil and pepper)

Method:

Arrange all ingredients in clean rows on your plate to suit your color and texture preferences.

Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, or your favorite salad dressing.

Admire the pretty rainbow of ingredients.

Then mix them up and eat!

*Note: If you’re a meat, egg, or cheese eater, those make welcome and tasty additions to this delightful salad. Otherwise the “grain and legume” combo makes a complete protein.

Health Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Black Rice: Known as “forbidden rice,” black rice was only eaten by nobles in Ancient China. It contains high levels of antioxidants known as “anthocyanins,” which have been linked to decreased rates of heart disease and cancer. Black rice is also high in other vitamins, fiber, and protein. See here for more health benefits.

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Green Peas: Green peas are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as Vitamins K, C, A, and B1, as well as manganese, folate, and fiber. As “nitrogen fixers” in gardening, green peas can provide the soil in which they are grown with nutrients, and thusly are considered an environmentally friendly food. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Moroccan Raw Carrot Salad

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Adapted From http://www.epicurious.com

We had too many carrots. And I needed an excuse to get over my fear of the Cuisinart food processor that our chef friend thought would come in handy in our kitchen. And it only took me seven months to work up enough courage to plug it in. Then another half an hour and a few spare brain cells to put it together. But the results were totally worth it!

This salad makes a delicious side dish and packs a massive dose of beta carotene. Yum!

Ingredients:

1 pound-ish carrots, coarsely grated or food processed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced (or more if you’re really brave)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Pinch of salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

*Optional ingredients: 1/4 cup raisins or currants, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans

Method:

Mix all ingredients but the carrots in a large bowl.

Add shredded carrots and mix thoroughly.

Cover and let marinate in the fridge for a couple hours (or up to a couple days to let the flavors really cross-mojinate).

Served chilled or at room temperature.

Temple of Health Juice Numero Uno

And the Goddess said, “Let there be green juice!” And there WAS green juice. And it was good.

We’ve had a lot of house guests lately. Which is wonderful, but it also inspires me to indulge in the occasional scone, breakfast burrito, glass of wine, and decadent chocolate item…sometimes all in the same day. (This is some form of Tantric Yoga, not pure gluttony, I assure you.). Soooo, in order to counterbalance any moments of excessive conviviality, I will be offering a series of green juice recipes to cleanse your bod. You can throw pretty much any fruit, veggie, or herb in the blender and your body will benefit. But here is one staple “green juice” that is sure to cleanse your guts and nourish you cells. This one is not for the faint of taste bud, so stay tuned for future, sweeter, green juices. But if you’re a green juice veteran, this’ll be right up your alley. Kick it up a notch by adding a larger pinch of cayenne. ¡Ay Caramba!

Ingredients:

½ cup water or aloe juice

1 handful spinach

1 medium carrot (peeled and/or chopped if your blender is finicky about hard items)

1 medium tomato

1 small handful cilantro

juice from half a lime

pinch sea salt

pinch cayenne

1 small handful ice

Method:

Place all items into blender and blend to smithereens (about a minute).

Drink immediately.

Health Benefits:

Aloe Juice: The aloe vera plant abounds with vitamins, minerals, proteins, polysaccharides, enzymes, and amino acids. It is particularly helpful to aid with digestive ailments (constipation, gas, bloating), and inflammation (internal and external). Research also shows that aloe vera juice can help deter cancer (particularly colon cancer), stroke, and heart attack. See here for more health benefits.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Carrots: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It’s also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cayenne: Cayenne pepper is a powerful detoxifier and has anti-irritant/fungal/bacterial/inflammatory/allergen properties. It can also help with digestion and relief from intestinal gas. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Embrace Your Nerdiness, and Embrace Your Dharma

Me at age 5 when I was totally already awesome.

About a quarter of a century of this lifetime, I have struggled with feeling the need for acceptance from others. When I was five I had a very strong sense of self acceptance. Being an only child I was used to getting love and attention from everyone around me, all the time. I was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I could turn on the charm with the best of them, and hold my own in conversations with grownups on any subject. Then I went to kindergarten, and it was all downhill from there.

I quickly realized that I was not the only one who was blessed with good looks, intelligence, and a shining soul. As a matter of fact, everyone else around me did too (whaddaya know, they still do!). But the problem was, I was a nerd of magnitude. And that was not lost on my classmates. They decided to point that out to me at every opportunity. And so, for the following 20 years or so, I made it a point to be as cool as humanly possible…and inadvertently started to shed my innate sense of self. I succumbed to peer pressure. I tried to dumb down my nerdiness and my uniqueness, which resulted in a lot of years of feeling inadequate. And sadly, I was still not satisfied or happy. Probably because I was not authentically being me.

I had alienated my “Big S” Self.

Then by some miraculous stroke of the Divine, through discovering yoga and its many teachings, my dharma (or “life purpose”), was unveiled. I realized that being my authentic Self, nerdiness and all, it was absolutely mandatory. Does this sound at all familiar?

It is your sacred duty to unabashedly be yourself. To share whatever gifts you have with your fellow citizens, human and otherwise. Because if you don’t then they will go to waste. “Only when you figure out what you are uniquely able to do, and carry it out as well as you can, can you truly feel fulfilled in this life,” says Timothy McCall, M.D. (See here for the article from whence this came.)

Don’t allow the opinions of others dilute the essence of your being.
Don’t allow feelings of inadequacy, fear, and self doubt rule your being.
Do listen to your intuition, your inner five-year-old, and allow yourself to be who you know you really are. And if you don’t know who you really are, take a few minutes every day to find stillness—that ultimate place of quietude and subtlety, where the magic alchemy of Self discovery really happens—to start rediscovering who that being is.

Your inherent nature is exactly as it should be. Cultivate it. And let go of others’ expectations of normalcy and greatness. Only then can we truly come into our full potential. Be your best Self. You owe it to your Self, and this world, to shine your brightest.

I leave you with this quote:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

If that’s too heady, try this on for size:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

Love,
C

Just about 25 years later when I re-membered my inherent awesomeness. (And that everyone else is inherently awesome too…)

P.S. Have a story or a picture of yourself being awesome? Please share.