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Iyanla Vanzant: Truth is Light

Iyanla Vanzant is an author and expert on personal empowerment whose work includes five New York Times bestsellers and many appearances onstage, over the radio, and on television as the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life. With Sounds True, Iyanla has created several audio programs, including Giving Thanks and Living from Your Center. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Iyanla speak about cultivating intimacy with God and holding onto faith during trying times. They mull on values that are seemingly fading from modern society—including integrity, accountability, and even trust itself. Finally, Iyanla and Tami discuss the unique calling that every person has, and how that calling gives birth to one’s true and most authentic self.
(58 minutes)

Goldie Hawn: Moving in a Direction That Matters

Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist best known for her roles in films such as Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin, and Death Becomes Her. She created The Hawn Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind MindUP™, an educational program that is bringing mindfulness practices to millions of children across the world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Goldie about her longtime interest in meditation and why it’s so important to teach brain basics to kids. They discuss the neuroscience that demonstrates the clear benefits of teaching emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and the basics of brain science to children from an early age—as well as why Goldie is teaching these aspects to her own grandchildren. Finally, Tami and Goldie talk about what it means to differentiate one’s true self from the projections of others, as well as why love and family remain Goldie’s first priorities in life. (67 minutes)

RITUAL: Tracking Memory

Ritual: Tracking Memory Header Image

Consider your own experience of the acts and beings involved in memory and imagination—before science enters the picture. Consider what memory and imagination are like from your inner experience—not from the perspective or the studies of cognitive neuroscience or psychology. Science seeks truth and finds it, but the search here is for what supports that truth from within.

Say, for example, that a person weighs 170 pounds, measurable by a standard scale. She may find it difficult or even impossible to pick up 170 pounds of deadweight, if she is not a weightlifter. But how does it actually feel to be 170 pounds? It doesn’t feel at all like lifting deadweight. From the inside of her own experience of that 170 pounds, moving about in full health, she feels relatively light—maybe even light as a feather. This is the inner perspective of memory and imagination that we’re looking for. Our inner perspective does not cancel out the scientific perspective; they are complementary.

Memory is fascinating. I encourage you to get interested in the ways of your own memory. It has a unity, like our physical bodies or a landscape have a unity, and this unity can be touched or awakened at almost every part of point.

RITUAL—TRACKING MEMORY

This small, simple, but very potent daily mental cultivation ritual has its roots in the practices of ancient Greek philosophers and mystics, as well as in the mindfulness practices of Buddhist lineages. Variations of it are used in therapeutic contexts to support survivors of abuse, war, and trauma of all kinds.

This ritual serves two purposes. First, it heightens your awareness of your relationship to memory and to your experience of the present moments that are distinguishable from and underlie memory. Second, it attunes you to your everyday experiences.

TIME: About 15 minutes

MATERIALS:

PROCESS:

Breathe in a blessing on your physical body. Exhale in gratitude.

Set your timer for fifteen minutes and record the events of the previous day, without comment or judgment. Start anywhere—with what happened in the morning, afternoon, or evening. There is no need to try to pick an interesting experience or “problem area” to focus on. Making breakfast, walking down the street, working in the office—all the little, seemingly unremarkable things that happened during the previous day are what you’re recording here.

Simply describe what happened or what you were doing in as much detail as possible, including the sights, sounds, and any other details that seem relevant. Don’t get into the mental or emotional details of these happenings, such as whether you were worried while you were walking down the street, or whether you were thinking or feeling something profound. Resist the temptation to comment on what happened.

Take your time. When the timer rings, put your writing implement down, even if you are not finished.

Breathe in a blessing on your physical body once more and on your willingness to show up for this work.

Exhale in gratitude.

Move forward with your day.

This is an excerpt from Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary by Briana Henderson Saussy.

Download a free Making Magic Journal here.

Briana Saussy HeadshotMaking Magic BookBriana Saussy is a teacher, spiritual counselor, and founder of the Sacred Arts Academy, where she teaches tarot, ceremony, alchemy, and other sacred arts for everyday life. She lives in San Antonio, Texas. For more, visit brianasaussy.com.

Buy your copy of Making Magic at your favorite bookseller!

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Ritual: Tracking Memory Pinterest

The Wake Up badger

Not long ago I engaged in a shamanic journey with the intention of meeting my power animal. I was and still consider myself completely new to the practice of journeying. Although I may have a theoretical understanding through my exposure to the teachings of many Sounds True authors, my direct experience in this area is pretty limited. Since direct experience is what it’s purportedly all about in shamanic journeying, I decided to see for myself what it was like.

I was not disappointed. In the journey I voyaged back in time to a tree house my childhood friends and I had built—an impressive if not altogether hazardous tri-level construction of scrap plywood, crates, and anything we could find to nail together. I traveled to a tunnel beneath the tree house and met a squirrel, who beckoned me to follow him down a long path. At the end of the path a large badger awaited me, nodded, and then I simply followed the squirrel back above ground. End of journey.

Fast forward to Sounds True’s first Wake Up Festival, where I took great advantage of the challenging yet beautiful 18-hole disc golf course. During one round, a particularly good drive fell near a dark hole in the middle of the fairway. As we approached to take the next shot, what should block our way but a large and agitated badger—the first I’d seen in the wild despite years of camping throughout the country. The badger was not going to let us retrieve my disc, which sat just six feet away from it (and only 25 feet from the basket—it was a birdie opportunity!). After some coaxing, the badger finally returned to its lair, allowing us to finish play.

I didn’t see the Wake Up Badger as I called him during later frolf rounds throughout the Festival, but I think someone’s trying to tell me something…

Badger

 

Accompanying each other

Recently, someone who works at Sounds True asked me if I would be her “buddy” in an experiment. She is getting married in June,and she has historically been a nail-biter. She wants her finger nails  to look beautiful and elegant when she reaches out her hand and her husband-to-be places the ring on her wedding finger (perhaps you can see the photograph of this moment in your mind?). Her question to me: Would I stop biting my finger nails (I have been an engaged nail-biter since childhood….it’s all coming out here on the ST blog site) as a way to support her in this goal?

At first I thought, forget it. I have never been successful at stopping biting my nails for very long and why should I bother with this. And then I thought, I love this person. And she almost never asks of anything of me. And she is getting MARRIED after all. I have to say “Yes” without giving this another thought. So I quickly took the leap and agreed.

Now here is the interesting thing: It has been almost a month since we made this agreement,  and so far, I have been supremely vigilant in upholding my word (one small nail was ripped off, but otherwise I am ready to scratch anything with 9 long nails). Why is this approach working? Obviously, it’s not because I care about having good looking nails (since I haven’t for decades). It’s because I care about this person. I feel inspired by my love of her and my desire to support her in any way that I can. And beyond that, her goal matched a goal that I have that has been lingering under the surface.

And this has made me think about all of the support groups that exist for all kinds of things (from Weight Watchers to AA), and the tremendous power of creating a resolve not on our own but in relationship with another person. This is such an OBVIOUS point, but I have never seen this so clearly before. And as the Publisher of a company dedicated to transformation, I am asking some new questions: How can we help the Sounds True community link up (“buddy up”) with people who share similar transformational goals? Perhaps we could create “practice partnerships” where people check in with each other on a daily basis for a period of time in order to follow through on a commitment to a specific spiritual discipline? What type of vulnerability does it take to reach out and ask for support and how can we encourage people to do this? What other areas of my life do I want to “buddy up” with someone (whether that be a friend or coach) to achieve certain outcomes?

And at another level, I am reflecting on how much we simply need each other to grow and change. How another person’s love and presence can inspire us to stretch and do something differently, perhaps something we have always wanted to do but just didn’t have enough forward-motion on our own. And how this is the power of being accompanied and is something readily available we can offer and receive from each other.

And to take this even further, there are certain Sounds True authors who I feel are “accompanying” me on the spiritual path. Some of them might suspect they are playing that type of role in my life, others probably have no idea. These people are inner “touchstones” — their life and work inspires me to continue with my own life and work.  Occasionally, during a difficult moment, I invoke their name or their face, and I feel heartened.  And since this is all happening in the inner chambers of the heart, it is very possible that we don’t know who is feeling “accompanied” by our life, who is deriving strength and perseverance and follow-through from invoking our name and presence. I feel so grateful for all of the writers and teachers, past and present, who I draw on as “buddies”. It sounds trite to say “we need each other” and it is not strong enough language. My sense is that we actually exist for each other and because of each other. And the more wildly and passionately and freely we can acknowledge our companionship, the more daring we can be. We become supportive and supported risk-takers. We become fellow travelers on a journey where our love for each other calls us ever-deeper.

walkingpath7

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

From the book, Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky

Yield: 8 servings

 

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1 ½ cups roasted pecan pieces 
  • 2 Tbsp monk fruit maple-flavored syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

FILLING

  • 2 cups raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked overnight in 4 cups of water, then rinsed
  • 1 cup freeze-dried or fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup coconut cream, from the top of a chilled 13 1/2-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp monk fruit maple-flavored syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted 
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

CRUST

  1. Line the bottom of a 6-inch springform cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a high-speed blender, blend together the crust ingredients just until it forms a dough-like consistency. It might help to use your blender’s tamper, if you have one. Do not overblend or it will turn into pecan butter!
  3. Press the pecan crust evenly into the bottom of the cake pan and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

 

FILLING

  • Without washing your blender, combine the filling ingredients (except for 1 cup of fresh blueberries) and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour the filling onto the frozen crust and top with 1 cup fresh blueberries. Place in the freezer for approximately 5 hours, or until it’s frozen through.
  • Using a butter knife, gently swipe around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the cake from the springform pan. Slice and serve. Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw for 15 minutes before serving.

blueberry cheesecake

 

This recipe is featured in the young adult book, Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

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