Peace Comes First

Your guide to creating inner peace through yoga therapy, practical spirituality and the gluten-free lifestyle.


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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pancakes

pancakesThese pancakes are gluten-free, vegan and 100% yummers! And so easy to make. You know I like quick and easy in the kitchen. Who has hours to slave over a hot stove? Not us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy good home cooked, healthy meals like this one. Low sugar, good fats and protein packed.

Obviously, if you’re allergic to peanut butter this will be a no go. I’ll provide substitutes you can use instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • *1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

*substitutions: cashew or almond butter, applesauce, blueberries, experiment!

Instructions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and coconut oil.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sweetener, vanilla, peanut butter (or substitution), and milk. Slowly mix in half of the liquid into dry bowl, stirring constantly. Mix until you get the lumps out of the batter.

3. On a greased, heated griddle or pan over medium heat (or low depending on your stove), begin to cook pancakes about a 1/4 cup of the batter for each one, or a couple of teaspoons.

4. Cook 1-2 minutes until they start to bubble around the edges, and flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup on top if you’d like!

The result will look like the photo above, which was my first try experimenting with this recipe. Yes, they were as good as they look. In fact, just looking at the picture makes me want to make them again!

For years, we’ve been searching and experimenting for a GF pancake recipe that actually tasted like real pancakes and stuck together instead of falling apart. This is it, enjoy!

©2015 Lauralyn Kearney

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The Spirit of Food

ãîðà îâîùåé, îâîùè, ïîìèäîðû, îãóðöû, ìîðêîâü, ÷åñíîê, ðåäèñ, çåëåíü, ñàëàòYou know that gut feeling you get about people or situations? You can apply that to your diet. How? Start tuning into the food you eat, and see what your first instinct tells you about it.

Practicing Non-Attachment

This won’t be as easy to do if you have an emotional attachment. In that case, you’ll have to detach yourself from what that food has symbolized: comfort, feeling good, happy times, etc. and instead see the food for what it really is, separate from your past memories. Apply the being present yoga philosophy to food so you can experience a new relationship with it. If you have very strong emotional attachments, you may want to talk to a counselor or try emotional freedom technique to heal old hurts and break that emotional pattern. I included EFT statements you could use below.

Making The Connection

When I started becoming more conscious about the spirit of things, that subtle energy vibrating everything around me, I realized that food has it’s own life, too. When I walk through the fresh produce section I feel uplifted, as if on a nature walk. When I walk through the meat section, the vibration drops a bit. And when I walk through the candy and bread aisles, I feel the same as when I walk through a graveyard. When I pick up a head of organic broccoli, I feel life, I feel vibrancy, I feel God’s miracle right there in my hand, perfect as it is. When I pick up a loaf of bread, I feel like I’m holding dead weight.

Everyone’s body is different, so even if a living food is healthy, it may not be healthy for you. For example, nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplants, aren’t good for inflammatory illnesses. The more you tune into the subtle feelings your body is trying to communicate to you, the clearer you will become about which foods are your best fuel, and healing remedies. (Allergy testing helps, too. Check out Meridian Valley Lab, recently recommended by my integrative M.D.)

Next time you’re at the grocery story, or farmers market, see if you can tune into food and notice it’s spirit. What feelings are evoked for you? What reaction do your mind and body have? What makes you feel good, and what is tempting you with an emotional fix only? See if you can measure how high the spiritual and nutritional energy feels on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least alive.

Nutritional Mindfulness

Here are three ways to recognize whether food is bursting with spirit or hopelessly lifeless, and EFT statements to heal emotional attachments that may be holding you back.

Living Foods are unprocessed whole foods picked straight from the earth. They contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes just as God intended to meet our survival requirements here. Fresh organic fruit and vegetables contain the highest energy, followed by nuts, seeds and raw honey. The underlying belief with living foods is, I am good enough to receive the support I need. It is my birthright to have access to the purest foods possible. My health is an important priority.

Manipulated Foods still have some natural properties, but have been manipulated in some way. This includes genetic modification, hybrid grains, pesticides, hormones, MSG and other added chemicals to “enhance” flavor or (as is claimed by the food industry) improve food production. These foods vibe with hard workers who don’t have time to read labels, or don’t believe they can afford natural, organic foods. Manipulated foods may not cause problems right away for some people, but eventually may lead to inflammatory illnesses, autoimmunity, food allergies, headaches, rashes, digestive illnesses, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility and other health problems. The underlying beliefs with manipulated foods are, I’m not good enough, Life is complicated, and I am not enough.

Tap It Out

I don’t have the time or the resources to take care of myself. I’m not good enough, I’m not worth the time or investment. Other things are more important than me. Maybe I can make time to take care of myself. I deserve to feel well, and just as good as anyone else. My health is worth the investment. My health is an important priority. Even though I have a hard time giving myself permission to take care of myself, or trusting that I can afford organic food, I still deeply love and accept myself, and everything is okay.

Dead Foods have lost their natural frequency, their enzymes, their nutritional healing properties as intended by nature. These foods are deep fried, overcooked, processed; fast foods, unhealthy frozen dinners, sugary candies, corn syrup, soda, all completely lifeless – nutritionally, and spiritually, dead. These foods hook into the part of us that feels empty and void, triggers an addictive response, creating an illusion of satisfaction when really it’s filling emptiness with more emptiness. Dead foods create weight gain, depression, high cholesterol, and other health issues. They feed the underlying belief that we’re not good enough, and give us more reasons to feel stressed and depressed, more reasons to feel victimized.

EFT pointsTap It Out

I feel dead inside. I feel empty and alone. No one cares, and I don’t care. I feel unmotivated to change. What’s the point? Nothing ever changes. Maybe things can change. I do care. I know other people who care (name them). Maybe I don’t need these foods anymore. Maybe I can let go of the hurt in my heart. Either way, whatever I decide, I deeply love and accept myself, and everything is okay.

Schedule a healing session for support.

©2015 Lauralyn Kearney


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Loving Your Heart with Your Lifestyle

fried-food

Deep-fried, nutritionally “dead” and inflammatory foods.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, accounting for 1 in every 4 lives lost. It’s prevalent throughout the country with the largest number of cases found in the south (the first place I’d ever seen deep-fried candy and soda). Stress and diet are the main culprits. According to the Mayo Clinic, 80% of heart disease is preventable!

It’s not surprising that alcohol, junky foods and smoking are three of the biggest risk factors. This is how people are choosing to cope with stress because they never learned another way. Another big problem is a sedentary lifestyle: drive to work, sit at desk, drive home, sit on couch. Repeat. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and it needs the health benefits of exercise. Even moderate exercise, like a ten minute walk or sun salutation every day, can slash the risk of heart disease in half.

If you feel too tired to exercise, you may want to ask yourself: am I getting enough sleep? Do my adrenal glands need support? Is my thyroid function low? Am I deficient in B-vitamins, iron or folate? Do I need a detox for microbial infections or heavy metals? Am I feeling depressed? You don’t need to accept being fatigued as your norm. Address the root cause and you can feel better.

Meat and eggs are no longer the enemy. We’ve now discovered that sugar, grains and other inflammatory foods are. If you had a balanced meal of an organic hamburger with a load of veggies and tall glass of purified water with lemon, chances are your heart wouldn’t feel stressed. But add the side of inflammatory fries, hybrid wheat bread (that also contains sugar), GMO corn syrupy ketchup, soda or beer and now you’re heading down coronary disease drive.

Physical Risk Factors

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Consuming junky foods, including vegetable oils and processed foods
  • Diabetes
  • Gaining too much weight
  • Inflammation
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • Chronic sleep deprivation

Emotional Risk Factors

  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Poor stress management
  • Unhealed heartache
  • Holding onto grudges and resentments
  • Difficulty giving and receiving love
  • Difficulty loving oneself
  • Chronic stress, especially family or financial
  • A fast-paced lifestyle that doesn’t allow ample time to rest
  • Working too much and not enough play

Famous People Who Had Heart Interventions

  • Rosie O’Donnell: had artery that was 99% blocked
  • Star Jones: heart surgery when she was 47 years old
  • Barbara Walters: heart surgery to replace a valve
  • Bill Clinton: heart bypass surgery
  • Larry King: quintuple bypass surgery
  • David Letterman: same as above
  • Toni Braxton: inflammation of heart tissue and high blood pressure

Singer Whitney Houston was living with heart disease before she died. Drug addictions, bulimia and anorexia are also known contributors to heart disease, and heart attacks.

In upcoming posts this month, I’ll share yoga exercises for the heart, a spiritual lesson in nutrition, and my favorite heart-healthy recipe. It’s American Heart Month – let’s take positive action and take good care of ourselves!


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Messages for the Soul: Healing The Heart with Love and Stardust

heartchakra

Image by Floramations

Has something been weighing on your heart lately? Have you not been loving yourself, or feeling loved? Have you experienced setbacks or disappointments and don’t feel moved on? Has your self-care practice been lacking? Have you recently had an argument with a loved one, or is one of your relationships hanging by a thread right now? Have you felt anxious, depressed or been grieving a loss? Have you felt personally attacked or misunderstood?

This message is reminding your soul that love isn’t a temporary, fleeting emotion. Love is what your soul is. If your heart feels heavy with hurt and pain, please know that this innate love within you has the ability to make your heart feel better.

Here’s your spiritual Rx: take extra good care of yourself, pamper yourself. Allow your faith in God to be stronger than the pain. Let this faith help you feel calmer, divinely loved, lead to new inspiration, and help you see new opportunities. If we’re dragging around a heavy heart, it will be hard to feel grateful, celebrate our small victories, or even see what great plans God has in store because we’re too much in a funk.

Do you want to know something cool about yourself? The atoms in your body were created by stardust, the same exact atoms that created all of life on Earth. That’s right, you were born a natural star! Astronomer Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.” You have a light within you that, even if it feels dim sometimes, will never go out.

Try placing your hands on your heart and saying, “I love you, you’re okay, I accept you, everything is okay.” Let some of that stardust within you sparkle.

Healing your Heart

  • Pursue a creative hobby that makes you happy
  • Go wild with self-care, treat yourself like royalty
  • Write a list of things you love about yourself
  • Ask your friends to share what they love about you
  • Create a love jar for yourself and fill it with positivity
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who love you just as you are
  • Gaze at the stars, they’re really quite beautiful just like your soul
  • Commit yourself to accomplishing something you’ve been putting off
  • Practice positive thinking daily, including what you feel grateful for
  • Break out of your routine by traveling or doing something outside of your comfort zone
  • Practice heart-openers (back bends) like restorative fish pose in your yoga practice
  • Use EFT to tap out grief and sadness
  • Breathe deeply and stand tall, allowing more comfort room for your physical heart

IMG_8607Heart Healing Affirmation from Chakra Healing with Archangels

“I don’t need a reason to love. I love because that is who I am.”

Download this affirmation on iTunes!

May we always feel loved, especially by ourselves. xo, Lauralyn


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Are You Checked Out? Here’s How To Check In.

im-just-here-for-the-savasanaIf after a yoga class or healing treatment, you’ve felt out of your body, spacy, floaty or a “natural high” that’s a sign that you’ve become ungrounded. You’ve lost your connection between mind and body. If you feel this way often and think it’s because your soul is ascending, your spiritual energy is high or you’re just “sensitive” this is still a sign that you’re ungrounded. And probably stressed. And may have been hit with mounting stress for quite a while.

Who doesn’t like a break from stress, float around in some peaceful, dreamy state for a while? Some people have such difficultly grounding themselves, I’ve watched them immediately dissociate as soon as we start our meditation, and return an hour later with no memory of what happened. Some people enjoy this because it gives them a break from their pain and anxiety, but unfortunately, it’s not a real healing practice. It’s a temporary escape. It only deepens disassociation, or separateness, from ourselves and avoids what needs to be healed.

Learn Effective New Skills

I’ve worked with a lot of disassociated people, and that’s not a judgment because I’ve been there myself. I get it. It’s a natural reaction to stress and trauma. I get the short-term payoff to float away in Savasana when life hasn’t been a bed of roses, but a painful, thorny mess. The problem is checking out leaves you feeling scattered and still overwhelmed instead of feeling stable. Inner stability is what keeps us focused, organized and functional. It helps us move on when we need to, when the new chapter of our life is calling.

I’ve learned how incredible it feels to be fully present in my body, and how clear-headed, confident and calm I feel when I’m grounded. Think about it, if we use our healing time to check out of reality for a bit, then how will we learn new skills to deal with stress we’re trying to avoid? How will we learn to sit with uncomfortable emotions if we’re always flying outside of our body? A true healing practice is centered on mindfulness and being present, even when it hurts to do so. If we learn new skills for how to cope with the stress and pains in life, then we’ll feel more secure and we can help ourselves heal emotionally. Yoga can be so grounding, guiding us to experience that union, that interconnectedness between body, breath and mind. It’s such a sacred gift, being present in this way. When floating in the ether, you come back to the same challenging world without any new tools to coach yourself into peace, or any new insights to overcome emotional hurts.

Disassociating is like feeling really stressed at work, going on vacation and then coming home expecting things to be different when you’re returning to the same situation. Vacations can be rejuvenating, of course, but they’re not a lasting answer for daily inner peace. Consider this next time you’re in final relaxation pose, or meditating, are you still present? Or have you checked out? And if you checked out, why? What feels overwhelming? What emotions are difficult to acknowledge or accept? I think it’s better to have a good cry or admit you’re angry or grieving rather than separate from yourself because at least you’re opening a valve to let off steam instead of ignoring the boil altogether.

Stop The Windstorm

In Ayurveda, disassociating is known as vata derangement. It’s a symptom of the wind element within us becoming  blustery from living on autopilot, living a fast-paced lifestyle, too much thinking, too much rapid change, too much chronic stress, too much movement. The result is a jacked up nervous system, insomnia and/or anxiety. Think about grounding as the earth element coming in to stop the wind from moving so wildly. It’s the tree or mountain that stands securely in it’s path and says, “Hey! Calm down. Stop all the movement. Be still and breathe. The vehicle you’re moving in, your body, it needs your attention now.”

Feel Secure

Being grounded is also a great protector whether you need your street smarts for extra awareness, or you need to be extra discerning about what you choose to believe. Feeling grounded and within your body leads to practical thinking, smarter decisions and an all around feeling of safety and security. Grounded people are less easily manipulated by things they see, and can’t see.

Also, how can you learn how to love yourself if you’re avoiding yourself?

Above all, have compassion for yourself. Sometimes it takes time to feel safe in your body (this world) again, and if you’re in that phase of healing, just know it’s a natural reaction to stress, trauma and overwhelm, and small steps like just breathing deeply will help you work toward peace.

Tips to stay grounded:

1. In final relaxation, try being present instead of allowing yourself to drift away. It may feel uncomfortable at first, like a kid who wants to run out and a play and is being held back. But just experiment to see what it feels like to instead bring your attention to the top of your head, your face, your neck, your chest, your back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your legs, your feet and your toes. Bring your attention to the sides of your body. Bring your attention to the sensations of the floor beneath you, and the air coming in and out of your nose. See if you can connect to the physicality of your body and release the need to separate from it. You can use final relaxation with the intent to know, accept and love yourself. I recommend the same practice when meditating.

2. When getting a massage, instead of dozing off into dreamland, try noticing what the muscles feel like as the masseuse is kneading through. See if you can assist the healing by consciously releasing tension in your muscles. Communicate with your masseuse and let him/her know if you’d like them to stay a bit longer on your neck, or assist you with an arm or leg stretch. Try being fully present during your massage, paying attention to your breath and consciously choosing to let go of tension without mentally drifting away.

3. When receiving an energy balancing treatment like acupuncture or hands-on, I recommend trying the same practice as above. It will be tempting to fly away since energy therapy is working on a non-physical aspect of yourself. Still, you can stay grounded just by staying consciously aware of what is happening, and allowing yourself to be present with the feelings you experience. You can also ask the practitioner if they know any breathing techniques to help you stay grounded.

A good friend, a fellow yoga teacher, and I were talking about the importance of grounding today and we related the practice to the saying, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Just thought I’d share, I’m gonna use that thought to stay mindful, and crack myself up!