Saturday
Mar072015

Byron Katie: What Is Truth?

I don’t think I fully realized the potential of Byron Katie’s work until I spoke to her face to face and really took time for me to actualize the words she was saying.  Although I consider myself a spiritual person…I spend more time being inside my own head judging other people — than I spend contemplating my own nature.

I really did not realize what I violent person I am until Katie and I talked.  I spend more time accusing, threatening, hurting, and judging people in my mind than I do loving them unconditionally.  At the same time, I think that war should be eradicated, poverty should be remedied, and that everyone should be a totally nonviolent being.  What a hilarious thought.  I have this grandiose expectation of the world around me, while inside my mind (which is my world) — I’m instigating wars, I’m robbing people, and I’m abusing people.  As Katie says — it takes immense strength to question our thoughts…but it takes more strength not to.  I’m starting to really understand her words and how powerful The Work actually is.  

I read this quote a couple months ago from one of my favorite artists that really stuck with me… “I once said to a boy, 'You're a really good kisser,' and he said, 'You're only as good as the person you're kissing,'”

This is the nature of our reality.  All the things that are beautiful in our worlds are autogenic — and all the things that are terrible in our worlds are autogenic as well.

One of Byron Katie’s questions is “who would you be without that thought”.  A lot of times, it turns out that the answer is “nothing”.  What a simultaneously delicious and scary answer!  

Byron Katie says “self realization, until lived, has no power”.  Nothing has been truer in my experience.  You can know all the mantras, all the answers to the questions — but unless you actually feel them, they are useless.  I can go around preaching non-violence, wellness, peace — but until I utilize the tools, I really have no authority.

If you'd like to learn more about Byron Katie and the work -- these live dialogues are a good place to start...

I'm Not Living Up To My Full Potential

My Mother Shamed Me

Being Gay Is Unnatural - Is It True?

My Son Is Weird

He Criticizes Me

David: Why are questions so powerful? 

Katie: Well, they’re not actually.  The answers that meet the questions — that’s the power and the excitement.  It’s the unknown known.  It’s so beautiful, because you cannot plan it.  All you can know is nature is good. 

The short version - what meets the question is the power.  

David: What does truth mean?

Katie: What’s true is personal work.  It’s not what the world believes — it’s where we take our own minds back and begin to listen.  The truth is what’s revealed to us.  This is inquiry — it’s like a shortcut.  You ask and listen and blow your mind to smitherines — “mind” meaning what you believe you believe that you don’t believe.   

D: If you could have anything — what would you have for your birthday meal?

K: Oh, my birthday meal!  This beautiful mind that inhabits this apparant me.  It’s like birthday every moment. 

D: What are your rituals?

K: Well, they’re not something I have to do.  For example, in the morning my eyes wake up on their own.  The mind begins to see on its own, and imagine on its own, and witness itself on its own.  

I get up.  What’s more exciting than getting out of bed?  I brush my teeth.  I love brushing my teeth.  I go into the kitchen and some mornings I’ll juice some oranges and just notice my thinking.  When you love what you think you love everything that you see, everything that you do.  It’s an unceasing meditation.  And then, as the world would see it, I go to my email - I go to my office - I go to the Turnaround House - or any event I am doing, then lunch - then back to life.  Life without a plan.  

I would have a plan - but I would cheat myself.  Any plan that I would attach to, would cheat me — it’s limited.  It’s okay to get a plan — and then witness what really happens. 

D: What are you most proud of?  

K: The end of suffering…and I can’t take credit for it…and that brings tears to my eyes. 

D: I’ve noticed that something that comes up in a lot of your dialogues with people and also my own dialogue when I inquire with myself is the idea that “without this thought…I wouldn’t suffer”…but there is this element or grasping onto our suffering.  “Who really would I be without this?”

K: That’s where you notice the surface, the superficial, and then you really ask yourself — and you just witness.  The original question is “what would you be without the thought?”, but people said it frightened them….and so it’s “who” or “what would you be”.  

“Who would I be without the thought”, as far as the ‘dreamworld’, it’s the dreamer awake to the dream.  It’s thrilling.

There is so much to take in.  It’s a state of grace and it’s all here.  It’s all here for you.  

“What is he thinking…what should I say…” - that is a world of suffering, because it’s a world that we can never know.  It’s lost.  It’s confusion.  

D: Why do we grasp onto our suffering?

K: We believe what we’ve been told and we’ve never tested it for ourselves.  For example, maybe your mother or father or siblings said that your name was David — and in that moment — it was a moment that you believed it and you became David — and prior to that moment, you were not.  You believed yourself to identity. 

To question it is where the dreamer begins to perceive the loss of identity, just like a snake shedding its skin.  It’s so lovely. 

D: What inspires you?

K: Kindness.  Maybe “inspire” isn’t the word I’m thinking of…but it moves me…it touches me.  What is so beautiful is that, eventually, there is nothing that is not kind.  It’s so visible that you can’t miss it, but the believers mind overrides that reality. 

D: If you wanted to create an environment where people would thrive, what is the first thing you would do? 

K: Just notice they’re already thriving.  Everyone is thriving other than what they are thinking and belieiving.  You know - I think of those years of depression…for so long being unable to even get out of bed…it’s so dark.  But, I was really helping the planet because a mind like mine should not be out of the bedroom.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose.  In my mind…I would do anything to live like I imagined other people living — and all that time… goodness was going on…as long as I was in that bedroom I was not living in the world as a mean-minded human being.  I was being of major service.  There’s no one or nothing that isn’t of major service to good.  

My children say, “Mom, why weren’t you there for me?”…my mind is saying “because I loved them beyond what I understood” - and that ‘I’ isn’t personal….I just had some help — and we could name it depression.

D: I love this quote that you say, “victims are violent people”.  Can you expound on that?

K: Well, I was depressed.  We’ll go back to the bedroom in which I lived.  My thoughts were not kind — they were violent…”people don’t care about me”….”why aren’t they inviting me” (of course I wouldn’t answer my phone or even go to the door…I couldn’t).  My mind was so unkind.  “There is something wrong with me”.  “I hate me”.  “No one understands me”.  It was just me, me, I, I.  I was so violent because I was simply believing my thoughts. 

If someone slapped me — that’s not violent.  If I slap someone — that’s violent.  It’s not the slap that’s violent…it is what I am thinking and believing that is the cause of that slap.  That is violent, that is the root, and that is where violence needs to be addressed.   

If you slap me, it’s what I’m thinking and believing about you that’s the cause of any violence in my world — not your thoughts, actions, or words.  If you slap me, I say “thank you”, because I needed that and I’m really awake to it.  When I’m authentically telling the immediate truth, it’s always there, then there is no violence in the world.  No violence in my world. 

D: Do you have a favorite book?

K: Yes, the book of the world as I understand it to be….that book is always being written.  

D: What do you like about it?

K: Everything.  The miracle of sitting here with you; the miracle of the man that just walked by and smiled; the miracle of the woman that’s walking by; oh and what is she carrying; and did you see what she was wearing? It sparkled.  

D: If you knew that it was your last day on Earth what would you want the world to know? 

K: Well, it is.  I would want the world to know that suffering is optional.  We can always identify what we are thinking and believing — which is the cause of the suffering.  Identify it and question it. 

No one can set another person free. That freedom lies inside — and no one holds more wisdom than another human being.  It’s just a matter of allowing the authentic to meet the questions.

And I would want everyone to know that there is no one and nothing that isn’t good.  

D: I was watching one of your dialogues last night and you said “what could you say that could bring me to anger?  That is the pearl….that is the diamond.  What do I fight?  What am I at war with?”.  I love that and was wondering if you could expound on that as well.   

K: No matter what a person would say or do…it’s what I’m thinking or believing about that person or situation that is the cause of my anger.  So, it really is just that simple.

There’s no left or right to it, there’s no maybe about it, and I find that the best news that I ever discovered.  No one can hurt me — that’s my job.  

D: Who are your heroes?  

K: Anyone who has the courage to question what they believe.  What we are believing is our identity…and it takes a lot of courage to inquire.  But there is something that takes even more courage…and that is to live without it.  Anyone that is living a life — even a moment of suffering — just know you have the courage.  

Inquiry is the death of the identity that would suffer at all.

D: How do you approach the unknown?

K: With excitement!  It’s a life of unknown, but the nature of everything is pure love — a state of grace.  So, it’s just living a life of what is….loving what is.

D: Did you have to give yourself permission to be a leader — and what was that process like?

K: I’m a follower.  If I’m with a thousand people and we’re all walking — I’m the last one, they just haven’t caught up with me yet.  People think I’m in front of the line and everyone sees me as a leader — when actually, I just haven’t caught up.  It’s like, I have a whole world to go around to just catch up with them.

You’re all that’s left of my thinking.  You’re all that’s left of my identity.  Without you, how can I exist?  I’m not holding an identity here….you hold it for me.  

D: I see that.

K: Good, good honey.

Friday
Mar062015

Digestive Healing Elixir

Today's video is produced by the incredible "In Letters Too Large To See".  Cathryn, the creator, is a brilliant visionary, collaborator, and friend.  We feel so blessed to be able to share her beautiful work!  Enjoy!

Healing Digestive Elixir

Blend (otherwise it will be chunky) on low. Sip!

Tuesday
Jan062015

12 Days of Inspiration: David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Health, Eco, Nutrition, Natural Beauty Expert, and the person we can thank for having raw cacao and coconut oil in this lifetime!  His great passion and commitment to making everyday the best day ever has been the spark for our interest in health and happiness.  Noelle and I had the blessing of chatting with David during the 2014 Longevity Now Conference.  He is nothing short of a visionary and thought-leader.  His delightful kindness is the icing on the raw cake to make this gentleman a total superhero!  

Noelle: This quote struck me in an old interview that you did with Bob Avery. “Life is the actualization of potential. Potential is actualized in the midst of the outer environment. The environment does not determine the inner potential, it can only help or hinder its expression. Also, the inner potential can actually determine and alter the outer environment!” I love that quote, could you expand on it?

David: I’m a believer that the inside becomes the outside. That we are self-generating actualized beings that can change the outer environment by an inner change. And what I’m getting at there is that the inner attitude, the inner potential, the inner behavior, the inner thought-process, the inner mental conversations, and inner emotional conversations eventually are expressed outward in the world, and that becomes our destiny.

N: You hit on that subject today when you said “people are waking up to where they can move into a certain destiny”, I wrote that quote down. I feel like we are not taught that. I love “Alice in Wonderland” and the idea of “six impossible things before breakfast”, so that is my mantra. But so often we’re taught that curiosity and belief in the unimaginable are childlike.  We seem to focus more on fear which you also addressed in the Avery interview when you said “fear always has been and always will be the great enemy of human potential.”  

D: Parameters that are set around us either by karma or by peers is the great enemy of humankind - that is what limits our potential.   As you approach that threshold, you develop fear.  

N:  Did you think that people would have this profound reaction to the message you were sharing with them when you originally started all of this?

D: No, it wasn’t possible for me to perceive that. I’ve never really imagined it, actually. The reason I do what I do is because I’m archetypically, genetically, and karmically a public speaker. I’ve connected public speaking to my great passion which is health, raw food, superfoods, superherbs, and living water. When that connection happened I knew this was going to go all the way. I’ve always loved public speaking, but I was never able to connect it with my real passion due to karmic blockages or something that never fit. All of a sudden one night on August 16th, 1994 it connected. That was it and I knew it was going to happen. It’s been almost twenty years. Part of that download was that twenty years later I would be where I wanted to be if I propelled myself in that direction. Everything else that occurs - the good and the bad and the ugly - you get everything when you are out in the public eye. You get people who love you; you get people who hate you. You get people who are transformed by your message; you get people who don’t want to hear your message. It has developed within me equanimity. What drives me is an inner passion that I have for public speaking and the inner passion that I have for the subject matter. My hope is that the public thinks the message is amazing, but my experience is that yes - that does happen, and other things happen.

I stay in that zone of what makes me happy. I hover in that zone. Whether it’s something I want to do or something I don’t want to do, I am always striving to be happy doing it. So, I get equanimity, and I kind of don’t get it also. There is a side of me that’s like, “I’m going to be happy come hell or high water”.

N: How do you keep your energy with all that you are doing? Obviously your diet plays a big role, but is it the passion and motivation that fuels you?

D: I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing and thoroughly enjoy the people that come to these events, so I’m never actually worn out to a point where I’m disturbed. Generally the source of my energy is coming from a number of places. One is an inner passion, an inner fire. Another one is that I always do everything I can to draw in the manna, the life-force power and energy from the places that I visit and the sacred sites I go to.  For example when I was in Chavin, which is one of the great sites in Peru, and we had this amazing day at the temple there and at the end of the day I’m looking at that river like “I’ve got to get in…that is a sacred holy river right there…that’s the meeting of waters from glacial melts of the fifty tallest peaks in Peru and come down into one river. I’ve got to get in that.” So, I will force myself to do that, to pull in that energy no matter how hard it is. Sometimes it’s cold water, sometimes it’s hot water, sometimes it’s being barefoot on the Earth, sometimes its eating the food from that particular area, sometimes it’s the atmosphere - certain aspects of the rarified atmosphere from certain locations on the planet, that I will breathe that manna in. I make that a discipline in my life.

One of my favorite spots is in Marin County, California - just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and I have been up there in the middle of the night, 2 or 3 in the morning after being in the Sacred Chocolate factory for two or three days straight, not even leaving the building….and I haven’t showered, so I’m like…”I got to go up there and get my spring water”, cause it’s all spring fed, and “I’ve got to bathe”. It’s the middle of winter, the winds sweep right in from the ocean and it is a wet-cold that people dread about San Francisco and Seattle. Sometimes I’ve been at the edge of that pool and it has struck fear into my heart. I know how cold it’s going to be and I know how intense it is. I strip off all my clothes and I get all the way in, then I get out, and then I get all the way in again.  I’ve found out that just one dip is not enough and that I’m not really getting the manna from just one dip, it has to be two.  I force myself to do those things. It’s a source of energy.

N: Do you think by overcoming the mental “I don’t want to do this” that you get extra life and energy?

D: I don’t know how other people think about it, but I know the way that I’ve come to think about it and the way I think about is - it’s my identity. I get in that glacial melt water. We hiked a glacier in Iceland…a majorly intense experience. On the way down I almost had no strength in my knees at all, it was really intense to actually get down. We get down to the bottom and there is a glacial melt phenomenon happening and I was like… “I just sweated for like ten hours straight, hardcore…I’m getting in that glacial melt water” because it’s part of my identity whether I like it or not.

N: Tell us more about the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.  The project sounds amazing!

D: It is really the greatest miracle of my life and the most amazing project I’ve ever been involved with. Thanks to Cem Akin who is that guy. He came over from PETA and came to work with us. He has absolutely been the greatest blessing of my life, ever. He has literally done miracles, miracle after miracle. It is just incredible. The projects that we’ve done- the schools that we’ve visited, the Native American reservations, the hunger relief sites, it is all miraculous. We plant tens of thousands of trees every year and we’re probably overall at one million trees, but our goal is 18 billion trees. It’s going to be that ramp up. We have two and half teams now, eventually it will be three, then it will be six, then it will be ten, then twenty, then two hundred and we are going to grow it like that.  

N: I think sometimes we feel overwhelmed and do not know how to help, because the project seems so big.  But here we can make a huge impact by planting a tree.

D: Years ago I was listening to Terrance McKenna and there is so much information about consciousness — where do you start? His answer was profound, his answer was - get the plants and grow them and try to figure it out yourself. I took that advice. I took that advice ten years ago. I got the plants, started growing them and tried to figure it out myself and it is amazing what has happened. Our interaction with plants, in my opinion, totally connects us spiritually to the overall vision of creation. Second of all, it puts us into the soil and gets us into the magic of growth and understanding growth and nourishment and love.  Third of all, it is creating something that can be given and donated to the future. It’s something that, when we’re gone, it keeps going. What an amazing thing.

N: I think just by taking something and planting it, you feel your value.  I have the same idea as far as gardening not just with children but with women who’ve been sexually or physically abused and give them something that they can nurture and grow. Not only are they getting their hands in the dirt and grounding themselves, but they’re providing for themselves and for future people, because when you put love into something you put love into yourself. People seem to be catching on to this movement.  

D: Yes, it is exciting. I find it interesting at this conference that both Dr. Mercola and Joel were as passionate as I’ve ever seen them about anything about gardening and farming. Especially for Mercola who has been an avatar of great health for many years, but to me in my mind, when I’m with those kinds of people - there is a separation with the connection to the Earth because I’m that person that’s farming it. Any herb I’m talking about up on that stage, I’ve grown it. I know it from the inside out; I’ve grown it from a seed all the way. I’ve grown chocolate trees from seed all the way to producing chocolate trees. To me, it’s like - I’ve always been disturbed by that disconnect - but then all of a sudden I’m sitting down with Mercola and he’s like “I’m so excited about my orchards, etc.,” and I’m like — he connected it! He actually said that - he said “connecting the whole loop”, and Joel said the same thing. I was like…its working — we are getting there. It’s awesome.  

N: For me time in nature is imperative for my overall health and happiness.

D:  We do a Superhero Training Program and a very important part of that program is that every day you take one hour and you spend it in nature. It’s actually mandatory, because nature is a cacophony of high frequency energies. It’s happy, buzzing, fractal interplay of all these energies — and when you get into it, it entrains you to that…but as soon as you get back into the world it’s like low energy vibes, weird emotional upheavals, and all that kind of stuff. Just an hour in nature a day will transform your life because you suddenly realize what is real. That’s my feeling about nature’s secret ambience.

N:  Any final words of wisdom?

D: I’m a big believer in writing things down and that your destiny can be shaped by the way you write your destiny on a piece of paper or type it into your computer. You can write your own story. In fact, our life is not a mathematical equation. We don’t live inside a machine, nothing is mechanistic. We live inside an imaginative story. The story of your life is the greatest story ever told.  

Sunday
Jan042015

12 Days of Inspiration: Sun Potion

Scott & Nitsa are the faces of Sun Potion — a Santa Barbara based Transformational Foods company.  Their herbs have been a part of our pantry since we discovered them.  Like we've said before, full-circle business is a burning passion of ours.  Creating businesses that support the Earth, support its employees, and support its consumers is the new way to do business — where everyone and everything benefits.  This is the new system — and frankly, it's the only way to do business because it's sustainable.  These two are sincere pioneers in business and transformation in this lifetime — and we are so blessed to share some wisdom from them today.  Nitsa is also an incredible photographer — and one of my greatest influences in my artwork and creation.  I highly recommend following her beautiful photos.  All of the photos in today's post are gratiously shared from Nitsa's expansive pool of work.

What was the journey that led you both to herbs?

Scott: Herbs came to me. I have always been fascinated with plants; their beauty and complexity. Swimming in lakes and studying pond algae with a magnifying glass as a child, probably began the memory of this relationship with plants. My adolescence was filled with athleticism, and the endorphin -rich highs of practicing years of endurance sports. I found that I loved feeling great in my body. Moving to California in my early 20's, I learned about Organic Food, lived and worked in community settings, and enjoyed west coast Spirituality. Food, Plants, and Herbs were a part of the fabric of my everyday life throughout each these phases. Ultimately, what I learned is that I wanted more than anything to be of service, to participate in supporting change, and to have a lot of fun while doing it.  Sun Potion became a way to share my favorite tonic herbs and plants with others, being of service, supporting change, and having fun while doing it. This February, I will celebrate my 34th Birthday, and Sun Potion's 4th Anniversary. The herbs have been there through the whole story. :-)

Food and Plants, and Herbs played central roles in all of these stages of life

Nitsa: I feel fortunate to have been raised by two health-conscious parents. My father ~ an Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine ~ who anytime I came down with something as a kid gave me a good dose of Chinese herbs and needles. My Mother ~ a pioneer of the Raw Food movement and absolute ninja on no refined sugar, processed food, etc. (I remember she even took me out of school once to participate in a NON GMO protest). So, an organic, plant-based diet has been there from the beginning. 

However, while I  was always physically very healthy I had an extremely sensitive nervous system (struggled with severe anxiety and depression in adolescence) and this ultimately led me to herbs. I took an extended trip to Thailand and Japan before college and days before my departure had worked myself into a nervous fit about a) the long flight time b) getting sick abroad and c)  a fear of malnutrition from not having access to fresh greens in a foreign country (*sigh* for the neurosis of a privileged California native...) I consulted an incredibly knowledgeable person in the Supplement section of Good Earth - health food store in Northern California - and he sent me off with a Skullcap and Passionflower Tincture for my nerves,  Reishi Mushroom for immunity, and Chlorella for the full spectrum of nutrients and chlorophyll.  I have been an absolute believer in these plants, mushrooms, algae and the power of herbs ever since. 

How did you two meet?

Nitsa: I met Scott when he first moved to Santa Barbara from Ojai to create Sun Potion. I had already developed a serious thing for Chlorella, Spirulina, Goji berries, and Nova Scotia Dulse and  was happy to be able to buy these foods from him. We soon became good friends. I never realized until later that he used to give me insanely good deals on everything... ;)

We fell in love in a series of slightly strange,and mystical alignments. Before we began a romantic relationship the universe kept expressing itself to us in ways that said "pay very close attention" and "this person is important"...  eventually it all fell into place and today the love we share is growing and evolving with every breath. it is pretty wild living, loving, and working with your sweetheart and i feel very grateful for the opportunity. We got engaged on summer solstice 2013 and if we are lucky will get married this summer. 

What are rituals that keep you both in a creative state?  

Both: Morning Tea. Together. 

Nitsa: open format breaks between design / editing / computer work for domestic alchemy and experimentation in the kitchen, spending time with plants, nature, playing music, or spontaneous photography. I'm a big fan of creative recreation/ art therapy.

Scott: Lots of herbs and fun sex.

If you could have anything - what would you have for a birthday meal?

Scott: In Courses ~ First, Stephen McCarty's Psychedelic Raw cheesecake. Then Greg Arnold's (@ofaire) Polenta fries. One run through our local Indian Restaurant's Vegetarian Lunch Buffet. {long pause//intermission } then 40z. glass of locally brewed IPA beer. Ending in a salad dressed with chlorella and my favorite raw local goat cheese. 

Nitsa:  Morning herbal potion followed by several rounds of puerh. green juice for lunch. then, a few hours later ~an elevating glass of jun with homemade herbal tinctures added -  these days i am loving damiana, schisandra, st. john's wort  astragalus -  {pause. notice the effects} then an avocado blackberry chanterelle  treviso and cress salad by our friend Greg followed by his amazing wild mushroom ravioli with stinging nettle sauce, borage, tarragon. another long pause. then a  slice of Stephen McCarty's  Raw White Rainbow cheesecake.  Finally,  polish it off with  a  raw truffle with mucuna pruriens and pine pollen frosting (Aphrodisiac)  and a warm cup of gynostemma and kava-kava tea . all shared with friends. smaller portions so we can take it all in and not get too full !

What inspires you?

Scott: Creating the NEW NORMAL // a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and experience food. 

Nitsa: Beautiful, high-vibe food, tea, herbs, slowness,  literature, cinema, visual arts,  design, generosity, friendship, NATURE. I am constantly reminded of the fact that food, or rather, nourishment, comes to us on so many different levels and that it is important to be aware of what and how we consume in the everyday. For me, a beautiful film or nice pair of woolen socks can be as healing and inspirational as a medicinal mushroom broth or a miraculous life event. 

If you could have chosen to see anything, what would you choose to have seen?

Scott: The childhood of Ra Osiris , the writing of the Tao Te Ching, Tesla's working laboratory, and the embodied ascension of the Human Race, all on Planet Earth. 

Nitsa: Elves.

What are "conversations with plants" -- and why is it important to have them?

Nitsa: Conversations with Plants is ongoing, fluid concept which takes form in living experience and which I most recently have been sharing through photography. It is based on my deep love and appreciation for the flora and fauna and the many streams of dialogue that have opened up for me when I slow down and spend a little time being present with one. ( The  other day someone asked me if this set was a reference to a hallucinogenic trip from mushrooms etc. NO. it is not. While I recognize the  incredible transformational power such plants have for  people,  my nervous system can not handle altering substances of any kind and thus I have never used them in this way.) I come from a lineage of green thumbs and so connecting with plants on a more intimate level is very soothing for my mind and heart and informs a lot of my work as an artist. I recommend it to everyone as a form of meditation. 

I also do this with the Sun Potion herbs when I am creating a special tea or elixir.  (I talk to them). 

What is something you wished everyone knew about you?

Scott: I came from a SAD (Standard American Diet) upbringing. I learned through firsthand experience how consciousness around food and taking the opportunity  to choose can totally transform the world around and within me. This is why Sun Potion exists: to offer others the opportunity to choose and experience these kinds of shifts for themselves.

Nitsa: Honestly I  thought about this one longer than I'd like to admit and the truth is: Not much.  I'm a pretty private person. What I do wish everyone knew in general is how amazing we all are, in our unique ways. I guess I would like to reflect that to people, somehow...

What is your ultimate vision?

Scott: 20% of the world's population on the tonic herb program. for me this represents massive shifts in collective health, consciousness, and empowerment.

Nitsa: Tending to and celebrating our planet and this cosmos for all it does for us.  Simple pleasures, being of service through creativity, and building a legacy of presence, light , and kindness for others to experience and grow with. 

Is there anything you want me to ask you, but haven't?  And what is the answer?  

Scott: Yes. my three favorite herbs. They are he shou wu, astragalus, and mucuna pruriens.

Nitsa: Love.

Sunday
Jan042015

12 Days of Inspiration: Sima Morrison

Sima Morrison is a Los Angeles based holistic nutritionist and one of our greatest friends.  This woman has been nothing but a champion for our success, a vision-holder for our dreams, and a catalyst for action towards our desires.  I’ve never felt so showered with sureness in her conviction of my potential and beauty — and I owe everything to her for that.  Sima is a supreme goddess and one of the most nurturing beings we've have had the pleasure of culminating magic with!  Early in our friendship, she uttered - with an unshakable confidence and honesty - “I believe in you”.  From thereon, those simple words we’re forever imprinted on me.  She has truly authored my definition what a good friend is.


What sparked you to pursue nutrition and wellness?

S: At home, when I was growing up, I was used to having homemade traditional Iranian foods.  So lots of vegetables, rice, and meat.  I was always jealous of what other people ate.  My friends would eat burgers, fries, tacos…all these rich foods.  I was never able to have those foods, because it was only traditional food in my home.

When I turned sixteen, I got my license and I had more control over what I wanted to eat.  I started to eat more fast food, going to the store and buying my own food.  I gained weight, started breaking out, felt really puffy.  Later when I experienced college…I was kind of over it — because I would eat pizza and drink beer and sleep in till 11-12 on the weekends.  Totally unhealthy.  

The big switch for me was asking “why do I feel like this?”.  I started doing research and came across “The China Study”, and the information and statistics we’re so revolutionary for me.  I ended up going on a vegan diet for a while.  That was so easy for me.  I started shedding all this excess weight and stopped bloating.  

I got my bachelor's in Public Health and Education, so I was always involved in the health field and took a lot of nutrition classes.  At 23, I did a master cleanse.  I felt my mind get so clear and this was when I realized that I am solely responsible for my health.  It’s all me that is contributing to my health, it’s my choice for what I want to do for my body and my health.  I started shopping local, I started going to Lassen’s (natural food store) and Whole Foods.  I was doing green juices and smoothies before a lot of people had even heard about them.  It tasted gross at first, but then I started enjoying the flavors of it.  

I started looking better too….my skin started clearing up.  I was so inspired by how good I felt that I went to NHI, Natural Healing Institute, and got my Holistic Nutrition Certification there.

What is something you wish everyone knew about you?

S: I want people to know that I’m trying to work on myself on a daily basis.  I’m always striving to be better, but I am flawed, I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes.  I’m human.  With that, I am constantly educating myself on how to be better — whether that is reading books, being with my family — which keeps me grounded, or taking time to meditate.  I’m just like everyone else — always trying to be better.  

If you could have anything, what would you have for a birthday meal?

S: Location wise — I would be in Santa Barbara surrounded by friends and family.  We’d go to the farmer’s market in the morning — Santa Barbara has the best produce.  I’d go and grab essentials for the best mexican meal.  I’d get these nopal cactus and corn tortillas and fry those in coconut oil - to make homemade tortilla chips.  I’d make guacamole with cilantro, lots of lemon, onions, jalapenos.  I’d get fresh local fish and vegetables for tacos.  That is like the best meal for me!  

What inspires you?

S: People inspire me.  I’m a people person.  I always want to know more about people, I ask a lot of questions.  I feel like I’m inspired on a daily basis by people that I meet, children I meet, my step kids, my husband, my friends.  People that are different inspire me.  I love when people think outside the box…I am drawn to that.  

If the world ended tomorrow, what would you want to do today?

S: I would want to be with my family and friends.  Having that feeling of gratitude and knowing to live life in the present — day by day — is key.  I want to get to that level where, if the world was going to end tomorrow, I would be fine.  I’m striving to get there — where I’d just be okay.  For me, what keeps me so happy are my close family and friends.  They keep me focused and centered.  I’d just want to be surrounded by people I love.  It really comes down to love.  Feeling love — which I feel so much of from my family and friends — I’d be okay with the world ending.   

What’s one of the most important insights you share with your clients?

S: With my clients, the most important thing I like to share with them is to try to keep balance in their lives.  I have people that come to me and ask “how come I can’t lose weight” to people that have extreme dietary restrictions.  Mainly, I always tell them — it’s all about balance.  I don’t believe people should be juicing everyday as a meal.  A juice is fine as a snack with maybe a little handful of almonds — but not as a meal.  You need to have proper balance in your life.  When you tap into this mindset — and are conscious about what you are putting into your mouth — you know what your body is craving.  If I’m craving protein — I’m going to have some grass-fed bison.  If i’m craving sweets — I’m going to have Kippy’s Ice Cream or Addictive Wellness or ZenBunni chocolates.  For me, it’s mainly about finding local foods that are organic.  Listen to your body and what it wants.  Once you get rid of the excess  — you can really tune into what you need.

I’m not strict — it’s all about balance.  That is what I share with my clients — it’s all about alignment…it’s all about balance…it’s all about having a little bit of everything.  It’s not about dwelling on “I can’t have sugar”, or “I can’t have this”, “I can’t have that”.  You have to be realistic.  Do what you can with what you have.  You can do a lot on a budget, as well.

Don’t restrict.  Enjoy life.  

Sima in Maui. Photo by Brett Morrison.

(We interviewed while Sima was in Maui).  Have you had tried yummy foods there?  

S: We stopped at this fresh-pressed lemonade stand.  They make their lemonade with local, fresh-pressed sugarcane juice.  I had an iced basil watermelon lemonade.  It was absolutely amazing!

You travel so much — do you have any rituals for flying? 

S: Yes!  Before the flight — I load up on Lypo-spheric Vitamin C (radiation protection).  I also have loads and loads of water starting days before the flight.  Spring water is my water of choice…I typically go for Castle Rock Spring Water from Mt. Shasta.  My mom has a lemon tree in her backyard, so I’ll stock up on those and add the juice into my water.  I also like to load up on Wellness Formula before a flight…just because there is so much radiation and no air circulating on the plane.  

For me, my skin is everything.  The skin reveals the state of your health — your lymphatic system, your digestive system.  When flying, typically the skin’s health goes downhill.  It’s easy to become dry and puffy.  Prior to the flight I’ll moisturize my face with jojoba oil with essential oils and Living Libations products.  Here are some of the products I’m really keen on traveling with…

Sima's Travel Essentials:

On a flight, I typically crave salty foods — so I bring my own goodies.  It’s so important to be prepared when you fly.  

I also like to chew sugarcane gum when I’m on a flight to help with the pressurization fluctuations throughout the flight.   

You are always so giving to others — what keeps you in such an abundant, giving, happy state?   

S: I feel like I’ve been so blessed…I really do.  Everyone has their own hardships, and I’m not an exception.  But, in the past ten years — I’ve been given so much.  My heart is so full of love from my husband, my mom, my sister, my brothers, my in-laws….I’m so filled with love.  I’m so grateful — and that’s the one thing that keeps me happy.  If you don’t have gratitude, you really don’t have anything.  I know I’m lucky, I know I’m blessed, I know I have so much to be grateful for — but none of those things would be possible without me knowing that and having people around me that keep my so happy, balanced, centered, and focused.  I always look at the glass half full because I have to…I have to.  If you don’t look at it that way, it’s going to affect your life.  It’s so important for me to be a positive role model for my kids, my husband, and family.  I know it’s so essential just to be grateful for every moment because I know it can be taken away.   

You can find Sima at SimaMorrison.com!