Is It Too Late To Take Care of Yourself? (AND some news at the end you will not want to miss!)

I hope this isn’t reaching you after this season of holiday preparations already has you in a place of overspent (financially, emotionally), unwell (due to stress, too much commotion, or the seasonal weather and exposures), or otherwise regretting this whole time of year. In my own case, well, yes, there is definitely regret that I didn’t get this to you in time to perhaps help prevent ALL of that, but some family urgencies delayed my elaborate intentions. But fear not, wherever you be in the continuum right now, from loving-it-all, to okay-but-on-the-edge, to can’t-wait-until-it’s-all-over, I hope the following tips for gifting yourself and others in the most nurturing ways ever will help!

-Take that meditation break. And I don’t mean it needs to be a particular form that others deem “meditation.” Here are some 5 minute miracles:

This could be just intentional, deep breathing for a mere 5 minutes…you can’t even imagine how that will improve everything else. Or take the same 5 minutes for a walk in the sun…if weather permits. Sunlight is so healing!

Santa Cruz Coastline, California

Sunlight on California Coast photo by Elizabeth Good

Or 5 minutes of just listening to music is also perfect. Draw for 5 minutes! Engage that right brain part of your healing brain. Or laugh and giggle at something, anything, if you can. (And, did I mention…breathe!). Here is a fantastic link if you need support for breathing or body-based quick breaks: Free Short Meditations from UCLA. And by the way, a soothing fragrant candle like this one never hurts.

-Don’t forget the helpful supplements, teas, and foods.

Those of you who have followed me for awhile know I constantly harp on my favorite supplement site, iHerb. They have fast delivery, a very intuitive, easy-to-use website, great customer service, and even carry healthy foods and great body care products too. With their overnight shipping, you can still get great gifts there (or for you!); just a few of many examples are these travel items, fabulous men’s skincare products, a relaxing chamomile neck pillow, a hot chocolate sugar rub for the body, or this culture starter for your fermented-food-making pals!). And YES, I do get a very, very small referral fee if you use my code LIZ264 on your first order at checkout (which gives you $5-$10 off, depending what you spend). But also, they really do have the best price on my FAVORITE go-to-supplements for keeping well during exposure times of year. This is my absolute #1: Gaia Quick Defense. I can’t tell you how much I loooooooove that one. Some other popular ones are here; see which appeal to you and keep a few on hand. (Oh, and here’s a whole slew of ways to organize your pills for travel…or busy schedules in general: pill organizers).

– The nurturing, the laughing, the fun and games, oh my.

Well we know holidays CAN be great, and/or can bring up so much stuff (grief, anger, loneliness, regret, and more) that we prefer not to have at the table. I say, nurture thyself first and foremost by befriending the feeling states.

Definitely give air to that which is painful (cry, scream, talk to someone, hit a pillow. Then cuddle yourself: drink some really yummy warming tea (make sure it’s organic to avoid those chemical flavorings), escape into a good book or an escapist and/or happy film, let yourself BE when you can…demands aside (have you noticed how many who say they don’t have time for themselves nor for relaxing, wind up sick and then have to do exactly that?).

If you ARE lucky enough to have a really happy time with friends or family on the horizon, do whatever is the most fun fun fun for all…including making sure your own preferences are clear. I have a fantasty that someday, someone(s) will take me up on my suggestions to read this recipe and then these hilarious reviews at a holiday (or other large gathering) as quite a few of those 1087 reviews are priceless. (Besides which, it not incidentally also gives me GREAT hope for humanity, even my fellow Americans who lately I wonder about, to see the cleverness in that venue).

You, of course, may have some other ideas for fun and games.  

So that is a quick summation for now. before it’s REALLY too late to give you seasonal tips. Oh, and about the news you don’t want to miss. My next blog post, right around Christmas, is going to have the most amazing (and spiritual) news item that I promise you have never, ever heard about!! Make sure to sign up on my mailing list below if you aren’t on it already; you will not want to miss it!

 

 

The Week of Rainbows, Love, Exuberance and Auspicousness

Did you notice? There was a lot “going on” this past week. While I suppose this might always be true on a cosmic level (“Fish got to swim, birds got to fly”), some of the outward manifestations of the heavenly energies were unmistakable!

Venus Jupiter Conjunction; NASA photo

Venus Jupiter Conjunction; NASA photo

I’ll reiterate as I have in a column or two prior: I’m not an astrologer; I am a psychic. Nonetheless, there was a potent configuration astrologically, even astronomically, that got just about everyone’s attention (if it’s even trending worldwide on Twitter, you know it’s a thing, right?). And meanwhile, much was going on in the reflective “consciousness mirror” of Earth’s inhabitants to underscore this.

The planet Jupiter (associated with expansion, luck, well-being) came so close to the planet Venus (related to LOVE, the Goddess, the Feminine principle, pleasure) that they looked like one huge BRIGHT star over the world’s skies. This rare potent configuration many even referred to as “The Star of Bethlehem.”

Venus

Venus

Yes, there was much potency, and some of it, as always, was not pretty. I won’t discount the bevy of front and back page news that is uncomfortable at best and tragic at worst.

But these energies brought a soft, expansive, incredible wave of energy which, in my own Being I felt as a long-lasting sense of jubilance, waking up on the day of the conjunction without, at that point, having any awareness of what the stars were doing.

And so, this past week…there was so much to celebrate, so much that aptly fit this huge, unusual, strange energetic configuration!

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

 

Most obvious, for those of us in the USA and I suspect noted around the globe, civil rights scored a huge and unexpected victory for LOVE with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of making same sex marriage the law of the land. This happened a few days in advance of the planetary conjunction. But the effervescence throughout most of the country, evidenced also throughout social media, was profound, huge, and transformative. It was nearly impossible not to be effected and transported by the uplift. Make SURE to read below the wonderful reflections on it by my cousin, and do not miss the viral video of one of my closest pals and his husband, also below.

Not three days after this event—at the San Jose Grateful Dead 50th Reunion show, two rainbows came over the crowd in a double arc! There was, I hear from many I know who attended, soooooo much love and magic at these shows! Quite synchronistic, I say, too…rainbows harkening back to 3 days prior, also a symbol for Gay Pride.

Double Rainbow over San Jose & Grateful Dead Show, CBS News

Double Rainbow over San Jose & Grateful Dead Show, CBS News

Some in the USA might even add in the Women’s World Cup SemiFinal win (more Venus–Female principle, & Jupiter– good fortune!) to the mix, for extra joy and import.

There is some indication from upcoming astrological signs and many channelings I’ve seen, that the coming couple of months hold more traditionally challenging energies, those which may tax patience, equanimity, and a sense of progress. So anchor in the “wins” and good feelings of this potent Arc of Love we all just underwent, to help you through.

Congratulations if you’ve read this far. You’re in luck, as the best is next. I want to share this wonderfully penned reflection from my cousin Michael Kroll on the San Francisco Gay Pride parade (an annual large event which, also AMAZINGLY fortuitously, was already planned for just 2 days after the Supreme Court ruling!). Also, watch this new (relevant) video, which has over 1 Million hits on YouTube as of this writing…and has one of my oldest, dearest friends with his husband making four appearances. They are the “two white guys.” Enjoy!

It Is So Ordered

By Michael A. Kroll

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

I have just come from San Francisco’s 2015 Pride Parade. I always enjoy the Parade, but with a full day to absorb the implications of being declared a full citizen in terms of marriage equality, there was something different this year, something in the air, something in me. “Happy Pride,” strangers wished each other, with a newfound pride in their voices. I found myself cheering at least once for every contingent, even odious corporate ones like Walmart and Bank of America, and cheering raucously for legal services, housing services, for all the “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts, and for health-care services, like Planned Parenthood. I wanted to acknowledge their acknowledgment of me – of us – whatever I might feel about their corporate ethics or political affiliations.

         There were disquieting elements about the Parade, as there always are. The corporate presence was best represented by Apple whose nearly endless river of young workers flowed by, row after row. On and on they came, like a colony of white ants. Occasionally, a darker ant passed by, all the more visible by its scarcity. In only one case did I withhold my applause and cheers altogether, one which in previous Parades might well have earned my very vocal boos. But now, I kept my silence as the gay open-carry gun lobby, Pink Pistols, went by (its advocacy expressed with a picture of a whistle and a gun, asking which you’d rather have in the face of crime). But even my political biases could not diminish my sense of witnessing something seminal in the history of human rights, my sense of belonging to this moment, and the newfound empowerment I felt. It was a day when everyone I encountered was beautiful.

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

         I felt beautiful. Maybe because of this, early on, a beautiful dark-haired, dark-eyed boy (I say “boy” – he was between 20 and 30 years old) got out of line and ran up to me with uplifted hand to exchange high fives, which we did, and then leaned over and planted a delicious wet kiss on my 72-year-old cheek! That would have been enough to boost anyone’s ego, even if he had come from a corporate contingent and not the Human Rights Campaign, but my ego needed no lifting. Later, preparing to leave, I put on my wide-brim hat garlanded with its bough of purple bougainvilleas I had cut that morning, when someone in costume on the San Francisco Opera float pointed at me and donned his own opera headgear, complete with horns. I bowed to him, with a dramatic sweep of the hat he had acknowledged. How free I felt, unfettered by legal discrimination, free to flirt with strangers in a parade, free to marry my partner of more than 30 years anywhere in the country and have it legally respected from Alabama to Wyoming, the A to Z of American states. 

“Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right,” Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court, leading him to conclude “…the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

 

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

San Francisco 2015 Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Michael A. Kroll

         I profoundly disagree with the Chief Justice who, in his dissent, lamented that this decision, though it might be cause for celebration for many reasons, respect for the Constitution is not one of them. “(The Constitution) has nothing to do with it,” he wrote. The great genius of our Constitution is that we are all free to read it, and to decide for ourselves what it means – until the high Court rules, and its opinion becomes the law of the land, binding both those who agree and those, like the Chief Justice, who disagree.

         The final, lofty words of Justice Kennedy’s historic opinion soared above the celebration. Referring to the plaintiffs in this case, he wrote: “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

         And then came the most empowering words of the entire opinion:

“IT IS SO ORDERED.”

==============
And here is the brief, adorable, “gone viral” video about some perks of being married….featuring 4 appearances by one of my very dearest, oldest pals and his wonderful husband!:

My Prize-Winning Poem

I received a second place prize (and even money, when does that ever happen for a totally amateur poet!) in an international poetry competition. I entered a poem which I wrote decades ago in college.

The poem “came through” me, like most of my earlier poems, in just a few minutes time.

Whether I was channeling a past life or the collective unconscious, it certainly points to an experience I have never been anywhere near in this incarnation. (Fair warning: it is rather intense).

After They Named My Granddaughter

I stood

and thought

about this nascent spark                              baby mystical

arriving, open and ready

 

Alexandria Jai

 

Such a solid first name

invoking wisdom of ages

the famous ancient library

in the middle of the world

 

Middle name like a bird

flying though the forest

betraying

no one in its flight

Egret, Capitola California

alighting, just to look

 

A name stable yet fluid

ancient and of the moment

a name fitting

a name just right

for my granddaughter

 

so apt

for that precious little

bird

who came through the

thighs of the one

who emerged from my

own

 

Alexandria Jai                                                           baby sky

You did not get to fly

or even be a scholar, dreamer, dancer

born and dead at the same instant

the flame cold

little hands frozen

forever

 

Did I not love deep enough

Did I not burn bright enough

to make the flame last                                    Colorized Rendering; Beach

one more round?

 

 

 

©Elizabeth Good

Start the New Year with…Chocolate?!?! Here’s a Super Healthy Way to Indulge

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I

(a) am not much for New Year’s Resolutions

(b) am not much for traditionsbrownies

(c) like to think outside the box and

(d) want to empower my clients and readers towards a healing, joyful lifestyle.

So. This whole idea of giving up all the goodies from the past year (or month), nixing all of the indulgences & getting on the straight and narrow certainly has some good points to it.

However, we all know how the best of intentions can fade, for numerous reasons. This is why I want you to learn about how to make perhaps the World’s Healthiest Brownies. Your go-to-back up when that “I can’t be good any longer” voice rushes in! Why not be prepared? This recipe is gluten & grain-free, sugar-free, low fat, and thus, totally guilt free!

I am NOT a food blogger of course, so there will be changes you might choose to make to improve the recipe below. I’m frankly winging it recipe-perfection-wise. However, I DO know a lot about healthy foods, and I want you to have options as you embark on whatever your goals are for the New Year.

I began with my favorite of the many–yes, you are reading this correctly–black bean brownie recipes (I bet you didn’t even know there was one, never mind several pages on a web search!). I like this one because it is lowest in fat of the many I found: Fudgy Bean Brownies. If you are gluten-free, but indulging in alternative flours much (rice, tapioca, potato, corn, etc), you are doing no favor to your health, blood sugar, and weight. This grain-free recipe is truly healthier in those regards. And surprisingly delicious–I promise, you won’t taste the beans!

However, with your (and my!) health in mind, I made it even healthier with some fabulous upgrades, changing the sugar to a healthy sweetener, using a healthier fat & reducing the fat amount even further, using the healthiest cocoa I know of, swapping out the sugar-loaded chocolate chips for healthy chocolate nibs with a little additional healthy sweetener, and opting for organic all the way.

My recipe is below. My explanations and sources are below that. I apologize that I don’t know how my changes affect the nutrition information from the original recipe, but I assure you it is in a healthier direction. Do let me know if you try it, any additions or changes you make and how they work out. Here is to a healthy and yet also delicious 2015!

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, oil, erythritol, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract if desired, baking powder, and salt, and process until smooth.  Add ¼ cup of the chocolate nibs and pulse a few times until the nibs are incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate nibs.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Thanks again to Meal Make Over Moms for the basic recipe!

For those interested, my changes, why I made them, and the best sources to get them (and affordably!):

First, let’s just get it out of the way that I use iHerb for most of my supplements, body care, and many foods, so I have included links above and also below. Much of what they sell is half the prices in stores (supplements & body care even more so than most foods), are speedy in delivery, fast to navigate, and have over 40,00 products. It’s easy to set up an account, and if you order, use my code at check out, LIZ 264, to get $5-$10 off (depending on size of your order). Feel free to share that code with friends or on your own blog. I will get a few pennies on your order in credit if you do, which I appreciate, and please do forgive me if this seems promo-ie, but honestly, I was shouting the praises of this company long before I had that code. This shopping cart that has all the linked ingredients above in one simple place. 

Secondly, if this recipe looks expensive, you are welcome to cut corners where you choose, or order smaller sizes than some of the links show (on some I give you options, or of course you might be buying them locally). I’m just going for top-grade ingredients, because what we are doing here is promoting healthy indulgence!

For those that are still with me, reasonings, sources, & more info on the changes:

BPA-free cans: Best explained by this article. BPA in cans.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Even if your canola oil is non-GMO, I’ve read enough to be convinced that canola is not the healthiest choice. I have found only good information on olive oil. The brand I feature, BioNaturae, is considered by many health bloggers (and gourmets as well!), to be one of the purest and best. It’s made in traditional ways, on small farms. I also found that reducing the oil by 1/3 didn’t seem to affect flavor or texture.

Sweetener. Ah, here is the rub. What is really a good one, safe for blood sugar, weight, candida, and other concerns? I have found this to be my go-to for years. It’s corn derived, so of course don’t use if allergic, and stick to non-GMO brands. Here is a great article about it.

Cocoa and chocolate nibs: Chocolate is notoriously full of detrimental health aspects–and I don’t just mean fats and sugars. Pure cocoa often has molds and other impurities! Molds can be very health harming. I trust the Sunfood brand, as they test for these impurities, and are a cleaner product than most.

Vanilla, Peppermint extracts: Frontier is a long-trusted brand with many organics. I even trust their non-organics to be pure.

 Salt: Real Salt has tons of good minerals in it. My Guides have been saying for over a decade that this is the best salt, and I am noticing more health blogs recommending it as well these days.

To your health in the New Year!

A Different Approach To Avoiding Over-Eating, Over-Spending, Over-Indulging and Over-Extending During the Holidays!

Here we are on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. of A. The “official” start of the Winter Holiday Season…Chanukah, Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, and Winter Solstice. Thanksgiving is ostensibly about being thankful, of course, for one’s bounty…a roof over one’s head, family or friends, Cornucopia_of_fruit_and_vegetables_wedding_banquet-1024x770health, music, art, nature, life in all the many forms that feed you.

Yet, it does wind up being for many–perhaps the majority of people–about overindulging in food, being the main food focused holiday of the year. And so it begins…a period of four to five weeks where the collective energy, at least in many developed Western countries, is about consuming in every form…buying gifts, eating holiday foods…and also about HolidayStress-SSoverextending, doing too much, being too busy, getting run down and stressed in a time that should be more about self-nourishment.

My take on all of this is different from the usual advice you will see such as: make a budget, make a food plan, exercise more, commit your plan to someone else, rest more, and so on. These are all excellent ideas!!

However, I have been struck for decades by something I’ve never noticed anyone else talk about. Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT an astrologer; I am a psychic. Astrologers are far more scientific than I am, using calendars, mathematics, and other specifically detailed information. I only have a smattering of knowledge about astrology. My psychic information comes “from the ethers,” so to speak.

Nonetheless, I have noticed that Thanksgiving Day is always during Sagittarius; in fact, the very earliest Thanksgiving ever comes is November 22–the first day of Sagittarius! Since it is always on the third Thursday, the date of course varies, but Sagittarius rules the skies right through Winter Solstice, so the main period of buying gifts, pre-holiday office parties & other food saturated events, and feeling the overall building of holiday pressure, is during this time.

Sagittarius is a sign of expansion, ruled by Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. sagittariusSagittarius energy, which has some wonderful, bountiful, and optimistic energies, also includes the qualities of extravagance and impatience—not so useful when feeling holiday pressures of social and consumer demands.

While some people can really hold their own in regards to the collective affecting them, others are more sensitive to it. This influence, along with the obvious family and/or general expectations, can really put a dent into the best-laid plans!images-5

My advice then, is to actively court the aspects of Sagittarian/Jupiter energy that you want right now. You are more than likely to “expand” in some ways during this phase, so choose where you prefer to have that occur. Rather than trying to avoid it all, roll with it, use it. Sagittarius IS great for socializing…just know when to pull in and pull back. That expansive, bright, optimistic energy can be utilized to greatly enhance your own inner connection with your Source at this time, and in potentially amazing ways, so divide it up between being social and going within. It’s a fantastic time to be crafty or small-gift-bag-and-tag-how-to-make-neededcreative–making your own gifts & cards, or creative playtime just for you, is a wonderful use of the jubilant, buoyant energy of Sag. Because it is also a highly generous energy, this is a great time for helping those in need. And instead of letting the potential impatience of Sag get the best of you (tempers with family events, impulsively buying or eating too much, frustration in traffic), let that sizzly energy go into exercise or lively fun and games (a great time for Charades at holiday parties!). Alternately, slow your pace down consciously and feel into that fiery potential…using your energy in helping a friend with a big project, doing some breath work, singing at the top of your lungs.

Try to notice and be aware of how this energy is playing into your next four to five weeks—that alone will help. In spite of the hullabaloo out there on the consumer level, the energy itself actually calms down by December 21. Pay attention to the quiet that comes with that, no matter your busyness level just before Christmas or in the midst of other celebrations such as Chanukah. Meanwhile, I wish you lots of JOY (a big Sagittarius trait), laughter, gratefulness, spiritual expansion, generosity, creativity, and love—all things this time is astrologically suited for you to feel in big ways!201110-orig-joy-600x411