Category — Personal
Tools for Healing and Self Actualization
AKA: What I’ve been Reading, Watching, and Listening to Lately.
I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the things I’ve been doing. I’ve just recently adopted a Chihuahua Mix puppy from a local dog rescue and that’s occupied a lot of my time. (Hence the break from blogging for a few weeks!)
Can you say awwwwww!
I’ve also been in an inward mode of self healing and self exploration and I wanted to share to with you a few of the tools I’ve been using.
What I’ve Been Watching:
If you are interested in healing, energy medicine, the mind body connection, or if you are ill and would like some inspiration I highly recommend you watch the movie, The Living Matrix. It can be purchased online or you can see if a screening is coming to a town near you.
Many cutting edge leaders in the energy medicine field are interviewed including researchers, scientists, and healers as well as a few testimonies from people who have healed themselves of ailments using some of the techniques featured in the film. To see the complete list of participants in the film please go here: http://thelivingmatrixmovie.com/participants
Some of the techniques mentioned in the movie were NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), NES , Reconnective Healing , and Visualization. For a full list of resources from the movie please go here: http://thelivingmatrixmovie.com/resources
I was inspired by the movie because my passion in life has always been healing. I am in awe of the bodies ability to heal and of the spirit’s ability to transform. I believe that healing isn’t always just about the body. I believe that it first starts with the mind and emotions and illness is just the manifestation of chronic negative thoughts and stagnate emotions. Healing can occur even if a person has no physical symptoms. Healing can be about forgiveness, letting go of grief, or changing a thought pattern. I say this because, just because you are not physically ill does not mean you can’t benefit from watching this movie or trying some of the healing modalities featured. I was so inspired that I actually have found local practitioners in my area and have tried a few of the modalities in the film including NES, Reconnective Healing, and I’m planning to go to a Dream Healer workshop in the Spring. I’ll keep you posted and write more about my experiences with these new healing modalities in the future.
What I’ve Been Reading
I came across this book at Café Gratitude called You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay. The beautiful illustrations caught my eye and as it turns out it’s a classic and Louise Hay is the founder of Hay House Publishing and Hay House Radio.
In the book Louise explains how we are responsible for our own reality and that limiting beliefs are often the cause of illness, especially feelings of unworthiness and self hatred. She outlines how to change your thinking and improve your life with positive affirmations and mental exercises to foster self love and acceptance. The book has been redesigned with beautiful illustrations and it has been a pleasure to read. If you have a friend or family member into self growth, this might be a lovely a gift.
What I’ve Been Listening To:
Both my husband and I have been listening to this wonderful meditation/visualization CD: Journey Into Meditation by
Lisa Guyman. In this C.D. Lisa offers three meditations. The first is a chakra balancing waterfall meditation which is very relaxing and it is most often the one my husband and I listen to before we go to bed. The second meditation/visualization is about accessing information from your guides and higher self, and the third meditation is about visualizing the things that you want to manifest in your life such as vibrant health and financial abundance.
Since listening to the C.D. both my husband and I noticed that we are sleeping better and more deeply and that we are generally calmer during the day. We also notice that in situations that used to frazzle us, we seem unfazed. My husband has told be things like: This is the calmest I’ve ever seen you putting on Thanksgiving, organizing a potluck . . .(etc.) We are so excited about the benefits we’ve found from meditating that we ordered a bunch of other meditation C.D.’s, but we must say that Lisa Guyman’s C.D. is our absolute favorite! Her voice is soothing, the music is not overwhelming, and the visualizations are pleasant.
Here is my affiliate link to the C.D. on Amazon:
Journey Into Meditation
I hope you enjoyed my update and possibly find some of the tools I mentioned helpful. If you like my recommendations, please check out my recommendations page where I give my top picks for books, C.D.’s, and other useful things especially if you are gift shopping!
Don’t forget to nurture yourself this Holiday Season! We could all learn from these two R&R experts!
December 9, 2009 No Comments
To some it might sound trite, but I’ve come to believe that the thoughts that you feed your body are just as important as the food that you feed it. Just as much as I am passionate about healthy food, I’m passionate about having the knowledge and ability to consciously create your life how you want it. I am an eternal student of the Law of Attraction and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the importance of self love and self worth in our lives, especially as woman.
If you believe in the Law of Attraction then you believe that the universe matches your vibration and your reality directly correlates to the vibrational signal you are sending out. Then imagine what would happen if you really started loving and adoring yourself, imagine the change in your vibration, and imagine what the universe would bring. Imagine how your body would feel if you showered it with love and praise on a daily basis. Imagine how your relationships would change. If you love you, others will mirror you, and treat you based on your feelings of self worth. What I have learned is that the more you love yourself the more open you are to the abundance of the universe because you truly believe that you deserve all the good things that this life has to offer. Also, you’re more apt to make decisions that are the best for you, that honor your body and enrich your life.
I don’t consider myself a master by any means, but I have learned a few techniques about increasing your self love and sense of self worth that I wanted to share with you:
- You don’t need to work for or to keep someone’s love for you. The people that matter in your life will love you, simply for being you.
For example: In my twenties I chose partners that I didn’t feel I was good enough for, so I went out of my way to please them so they would “love me” and I would loose myself along the way. It wasn’t until my thirties that I was comfortable with being myself and being loved for who I am faults and all.
Now that I’ve found truly a special person who loves me unconditionally, a fear I have had is that I might not be good enough to keep his love. One of the things that has really helped me is the realization that my husband loves me for my heart, my energy, and the love I give. I finally realized that he loves my presence and my being and there is no action that I have to take, all I have to do is be myself. This does not mean that I don’t take action in our relationship, but for me it has meant that I don’t have to live in fear and that I can just relax and receive his love. I also realized that everyone in my life who loves me feels the same, they love my presence and I don’t need to work for anyone’s love.
- Notice your thoughts and self talk. Are you being nice to yourself? Be your own friend by being encouraging and forgiving to yourself everyday.
- Make a list everyday of things to praise yourself about. Celebrate small accomplishments.
- Don’t compare yourself others. Do YOUR personal best.
For example: I finally realized how hard I am on myself about my accomplishments or lack there of. I always used to compare myself to others, and berate myself for not being smarter, savier, and more productive. Just recently I realized I was in a negative self talk mode at least 6-8 hrs. a day!
What has helped me is to really notice my thoughts. Every hour I would take an inventory of what I was thinking and feeling. Once I realized that I was putting myself down often, I decided to change. First, I started by making a list of at least 10 things that I was really proud of myself for accomplishing before I went to bed. Even if they were small, like that fact that I stayed positive most of the day. Then I lowered my expectations for myself by not comparing myself to others. Of course I still want to constantly improve, but I had unrealistic expectations by comparing myself to others. What I realized is that the only person I need to compare myself to is me and I need to try to achieve my personal best, not someone else’s.
- Write down or talk about your dreams, there are no dreams too small or too silly. Know that you deserve them all.
When my mother committed suicide it influenced how I felt about myself. I somehow felt less special for not having a mother around like the other kids, and that maybe that I wasn’t good enough for her to stay.
For example; I didn’t want anyone to make a fuss over me getting married, I wanted to elope and get it over with. It wasn’t until I got a reading from a medical intuitive, that she said that my mother wanted me to feel special and like a princess on my wedding day and that I didn’t need to feel less than because of the stigma of her death. This gave me the encouragement to have a really fun and special day.
This is still a tough one for me, but a fun exercise I have been doing lately to break my limitations about my own self worth and I what I deserve is by making fun dream lists. You can write them down, make a vision board, or talk about them with a loved one. Last night I told my husband a list of what I thought were really fun dreams; they got me giggling and they got me dreaming about all the wonderful things in my life that I deserve to have.
Here are some of them:
1. I want a princess ballgown and tiara (for no reason, but just to feel special)I want to visit every island on this earth (for research purposes, of course:)
2. I want to sleep under the stars in a tropical location in one of those fancy mesh cabins ( I think I got that from the T.V. show the bachelor)
3. I want to go dress shopping and dancing in S.F. and eat at a fancy vegan 5 star restaurant and stay at a nice 5 star hotel. ( Millennium here I come! )
4. I want my husband to repropose to me where I always dreamed of being proposed to as a little girl. (He was like, why didn’t you tell me in the first place?)
5. I want to go to the Academy of Sciences Planetarium in Golden Gate Park ( I used to do that as a little girl)
6. I want to go swim in some hot springs (need I say more?)
7. Get in touch with my femininity by taking some sensual dance classes (I’ve said too much!)
Most of the time when I talk about my goals they are so serious: make this much money by this time, bla, bla, bla. This exercise was different because my dream list was fun, maybe even a little silly and focused solely on pleasure.
- Put yourself first, even if it means letting others down. The best thing you could do for anyone is to be happy.
- Learn to feel good about yourself even if other’s around you aren’t pleased with you. Don’t let anyone determine how you should feel about yourself.
For example: I’ve had to quit stressful jobs that were draining my energy and making me sick even though it let down a few people.
Honoring yourself might mean at times that you have to put yourself first and let other people down, so don’t be afraid to be selfish. I’d rather be known as a happy healthy flake than a sick unhappy dependable person. Just be aware, that by putting yourself first there are other’s who will not be happy with you.
My first reaction when someone was not pleased with me was to automatically make it better and do anything to get back into their good graces, even if pleasing them meant demeaning myself. One thing that has helped me is to step back and meditate on the situation, and what I realized is that when someone doesn’t like me, I don’t die. Actually once I meditated and centered myself I forgot about the whole thing and chances are the person who was not pleased with me will get over it pretty quickly. If we let other’s determine our self worth then we are the whim of someone’s ever changing thoughts, like a puppet on a string. Peoples opinions of you will come and go, but your attitude about yourself can be a constant if you choose it to be.
- When you look in the mirror only notice the positive and shower yourself with self love.
- Adorn yourself with clothes and accessories that make you feel beautiful.
- Give yourself some pampering once and awhile; you deserve it.
According to Abraham:
“Since every perspective or thought that you have flows through the lens of your physical body, your attitude on virtually every subject is influenced by the way you feel about your physical body”
For example: For years whenever I looked in the mirror I would point out what I perceived to be all my physical shortcomings.
One of things that has helped me is to look in the mirror and smile at myself and compliment myself for how I look. Looking in the mirror after I use the restroom is now the time in my life where I shower myself with love and gratitude. I think things like: wow you look good for 32, or that my eyes look happy and bright, my hair is shinny, . . (etc.) I try to focus on the positive.
Another thing that has helped me is to find clothes, lingerie, that flatter my figure so that I feel beautiful and sexy. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. It also helps to adorn yourself with beautiful jewelry, flowers in your hair, and any other little accessory that makes you feel like a woman. It is part of our unique feminine energy to adorn ourselves with treasures.
Another way of loving ourselves is to treat ourselves once an awhile. It could be as simple as scheduling a massage, buying a new sweater, making a delicious meal, or something big like scheduling a vacation. Just know that you deserve to be happy.
I hope some of my suggestions have been useful. Increasing my feeling of self worth has definitely been a never ending learning process. Just when I’m feeling really good about myself, an experience in my life will trigger a painful thought and I’ll uncover another layer that is ready for healing. So don’t be discouraged, every little step in the right direction can build a delicious momentum.
I leave you with a poem I wrote a few years ago when I was going through a difficult time and I find it still rings true today.
A Woman Who Knows Her Worth
A woman who knows her worth
knows it is not defined
by what anyone thinks of her or tells her
Not by money, material possessions, external beauty, and least not
by the size of her waist
It runs much much deeper than that
Her worth is in inherent
in every breath that she takes
Every cell in her body
ringing , singing, vibrating in a glorious mantra
I AM WORTHY
A woman who knows her worth
knows she is enough
she was born
A seed planted of divine light
whose only job
IS TO BLOOM
A woman who knows her worth
knows that her beauty
her enthusiasm for life
is glowing from the inside
and that people will flock from miles around
to watch her passion burn
Inflaming the world
WITH HER PRESENCE
A woman who knows her worth
never harms herself or puts herself in harms way
She never lets anyone make her feel less
than she is
All the lies that were told to her
and that she told herself about herself
are a thing of the past
She only sees herself through God’s eyes now
She finally sees the light about who she truly is
MAGNIFICENT BEYOND WONDER
A woman who knows her worth
cultivates that great love in herself
She nurtures herself
by the things she does
the things she says
and the way she looks
in the mirror
She has learned
how not to give it
A woman who knows her worth
sources her strength
She has the will to fight for what she believes in
And this time
what she believes in
happens to be
A woman who knows her worth
knows she deserves
all the love
and all the good things that this world has to offer
She owns them
She receives them with open arms
because she knows
in the very deep core of her being
IS WORTH IT
Links for further reading:
The Lefkoe Method
This is a belief eliminating program that you can use to get rid of self limiting beliefs like, “I’m Not Worthy”
Try it for Free Here:
A free information website designed to help others connect with their power so they can make their life dreams come true.
Question of the Day:
How do you to increase your feelings of self worth and self love?
October 28, 2009 17 Comments
I must admit I feel a little vain writing a blog post about my vegan wedding but I remember that before I was married I would love to peruse wedding blogs and websites and look at what offbeatbride.com affectionately calls wedding porn.
Since this is a mostly raw food related blog, my disclaimer is that my wedding was not a raw wedding, but a vegan wedding. Why? One, since I was having a small wedding I knew that I was going to be the only raw foodist attending, and the venue I picked already had amazing organic cooked vegan food available, so I decided not to complicate things. Also, I eat cooked vegan food occasionally and since it was a special occasion, I considered it a special treat.
Believe me, my friends and family have been plenty exposed to raw food over the years. Countless birthdays and special occasions at Café Gratitude , all raw Thanksgivings and Christmas’s and in April we had a good sized engagement party that was mostly raw.
We were married in Standford Inn by the Sea, in beautiful Mendocino, California. I did a lot of research on our vegan wedding venue and it really represented what we’re about: vegetarian, organic, sustainable, and pet friendly, not to mention the sheer natural beauty of the place.
The coolest thing about the venue I choose was that all the food served there was mostly vegan (which the one exception of being able to order eggs for breakfast, if desired) and mostly organic and they grow a lot of their own food in their organic vegetable garden which was the location of our marriage ceremony. How very appropriate
Even the flowers used for the bouquets were locally grown and organic. I know some people thought I was crazy, but I gave the florist my color scheme and told her to surprise me with flowers in season. What I ended up getting was in season locally grown organic Dahlias which have now become my favorite flower. I loved the surprise factor and my bouquets were delightful.
I know that weddings can often be wasteful and I tried to keep that in mind by buying a dress that I’m going to shorten and then be able to wear again to a nice party. I also wore black shoes that I’ve already worn again on a few occasions. No veil either, just a flower in my hair. I also asked my bridesmaid’s to buy a nice black dress, in their budget, that looked good on them, and that they will be able to wear again as well. I asked the florist for small vases and reused the bouquets as centerpieces, and then gave the vases to my bridesmaids to reuse at home. I skipped the wedding favors; I’ve never been a fan. I also sent out e-mail invitations instead of paper ones. This worked because our wedding was small, but hey if it saved a little paper that’s a good thing. I also asked my florist for loose flower petals that were used to throw on us, decorate the aisle, and the reception table. They looked beautiful and it just happened to be a bonus that they are also biodegradable:)
I did my own make-up with natural make-up that I use on a regular basis. I try to use make-up that avoids or at least minimizes the use of toxic chemicals in their formulations. My favorite makeup choices were a subtle peach lip gloss by PeaceKeeper called Eternal Equity and a light shimmery lavender rose eye shadow by Larenim called Bewitched Sand.
Since I had a small wedding, I asked for cupcakes instead of a cake, and for a little extra the baker made the cupcakes organic and vegan, using coconut milk for the creamy factor. They were decorated with organic edible Cecil Brunner roses. I passed out the leftovers to guests staying at the Inn.
Some other things I did that were not necessarily vegan or environmentally friendly, but they did save me some money. I bought my dress at a dress store off the rack; it was probably 1/10 the price of a normal wedding dress, and so far I can’t believe how many compliments I’ve received about it. I also made all my own jewelry and my bridesmaid’s jewelry. For the price of buying wedding jewelry already made, I was able to make 4 pairs of earrings, 4 necklaces, 1 bracelet, and one brooch!
And I guess the number one thing I did to keep it simple was to keep the wedding intimate. Even though it was tough to not have everyone with us, it was really neat how connected everyone who attended was. We all were able to sit at one long table and this created a special atmosphere. Instead of dancing like at most weddings, the younger crowd went to the indoor heated pool and hot tub and talked and swam late into the evening. That will always be a special memory for me.
We were married by the owner of the Stanford Inn who will preach Veganism to anyone who is willing to listen! The ceremony itself was unique; an Apache poem was recited, Maria Reiner Rilke was quoted, although I don’t remember much as I was too busy starring adoringly into the eyes of my soon to be husband.
It was really our little white rescue Chihuahua, Dancer (A.K.A. Sheepie) that stole the show. She was running around the organic vegetable garden like crazy enjoying all the yummy sights and sounds, sneaking into our pictures here and there.
During the reception I toasted to some heart warming speeches with some sparkling water that I flavored with some vanilla stevia and was so pleased that everyone enjoyed their vegan fare. My dinner consisted of a coconut carrot bell pepper soup and a quinoa pilaf with a yummy cauliflower puree. Because our wedding party was so small, we were able to order whatever we wanted off the menu. One of my bridesmaids ordered the sea palm strudel and I got to try it, it was unique and delicious and I will definitely order it next time I visit. Not once did anyone complain that their dinner was vegan. They did a good job.
My wedding was a reflection of Darrell and I: simple, unpretentious, and natural. I knew that I wanted to marry Darrell from the first moment we met and our wedding really was just a formality. I am so glad that the anticipation, stress, and planning is over and that we can relax into married life. But I can say that I am glad that we didn’t elope. I felt pretty and special on that day and I felt my mom’s presence with me. I’m glad we had a formal ritual to symbolize such an important life passage. I’m so happy to have found Darrell, my best friend, lover and life partner and I’m really glad that I got to share some of the details of our wedding with you. I hope you enjoyed it, and here is a link to view more pictures:
and below are a list of some of the vendors I used for my vegan wedding:
Stanford Inn by The Sea
A Vegetarian Bed and Breakfast on the Mendocino Coast
Stanford Inn By The Sea Vegetarian Dining
Mendocino Floral Design
List of my Favorite Natural Body Care Products:
October 16, 2009 21 Comments
What do my husband (yes, we got married two weeks ago!) and I do when we are short on cash but need a weekend getaway? We go San Francisco; it’s only an hour away from where we live, but it’s definitely a world away as far as sights, sounds, and flavors. Our San Francisco escapes have become a ritual for us and they usually follow a basic pattern. First, we force ourselves to get up early on a Saturday and we catch the ferry from Larkspur to S.F. If you’ve never taken the ferry before it’s a real treat. Not only do you get to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, a view of the ocean, but it’s the only time I know of where you can get a great view of the Bay Bridge, Richmond Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge all at the same time!
The ferry conveniently drops us off at the Ferry Building, which has an amazing farmer’s market on Saturdays from 8-2p.m The farmer’s market it the perfect place to eat breakfast with a great view of the water. A cool tidbit about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market: all the packaging used is biodegradable and compostable. Darrell goes straight for the tamale booth and enjoys a vegetarian tamale plate with beans. I prefer raw fare for breakfast and head to the Alive Restaurant booth where I enjoy one of their agua frescas. (means fresh water in Spanish and is usually a watered down sweet fruit juice) So far I’ve tried the watermelon, kiwi, and berry, all very light and refreshing. The Alive booth also has raw salads, wraps, and desserts if you want something heartier. Then I pick out the most ripe seasonal fruit I can, to snack on while we walk. This last weekend it was red grapes and fresh purple figs. Mmmmmmmm! The neat thing about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market is that it has just about any type of food to please any palette, so it makes it a great place to take family and friends.
After we’ve enjoyed the market we usually walk to China Town, but this last Saturday we explored an Organic Café called The Plant Cafe that just opened up a 2nd location on Pier 3. I wasn’t sure what the menu would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised that it had a few raw options and many vegan options, even though it is not an exclusively vegetarian restaurant. The coolest thing was that it had a raw organic juice bar; we ordered two brightly colored veggie juices and off we walked to China Town.
In China Town Darrell stocks up on the best green tea he can find. It is a ceremonial experience as we sit down at the tea bar and he tastes tea after tea until he chooses the best one. I order an herbal tea to not feel left out:) I always travel with stevia liquid in my purse so that I can sweeten tea or sparkling mineral water when I travel. When my husband and I were first going out, he was avid coffee drinker a he let me know very clearly that he was never going to give it up. Oneday I gifted him some green tea leaves and honestly I haven’t seen him drink coffee much since.
After China Town we discuss dinner options. For an all raw meal Alive and Café Gratitude are our only choices. Don’t get me wrong, they are great restaurants and I’ve been to both, but honestly sometimes Darrell and I get tired of going to the same raw restaurants over and over. Sound familiar? So lately we’ve been going to vegan friendly restaurants where I can eat at least some raw with cooked vegan and he gets to enjoy a change of menu and scenery. Last time we were in the City we dined at Millennium Restaurant and were pleasantly surprised. It’s a high end all vegan restaurant, and you definitely need reservations. They always have one raw salad on the menu and one raw drink (kombucha), and if you ask them a week ahead of time they will specially prepare you a raw meal. I’ve had them prepare a three course raw dinner for two and it was excellent. It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it. This last weekend we decided to go back to The Plant Café on Pier 3 for dinner. The prices are reasonable, the view can’t be beat, the restaurant is solar powered, and almost everything is organic. As far as raw, they have one raw salad, a raw cheesecake, and as I mentioned earlier the raw fresh juices. I had the raw salad and a cooked quinoa vegetable miso plate. Both were lovely.
After dinner we try to do something fun like dancing, a comedy club, walking down pier 14, or just head back to our hotel and relax for the night. The next morning we feel refreshed like we’ve really gotten away, even though we didn’t travel far. Then it’s off to the Plant Cafe for more juice and to catch our Ferry. I hope you are inspired to take a little weekend getaway and if possible come down and explore San Francisco.
Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market
Thursday: 10 am – 2pm
The Plant Cafe
3352 Steiner @ Chestnut
Suite 108, Pier 3, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA
2400 Harrison Street (@20th Street)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm
580 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
September 25, 2009 7 Comments
This is the first official raw glow blog post and I wanted to introduce myself. Some of you might have been following me at my website where I have had a journal for three years. I’m excited to change to this new modern blog platform and I hope that you will follow me. For those of you that don’t know me, here is a brief introduction: My name is Cecilia Benjumea and I’m a 32 year old California girl. A little about me: I’m madly in love with my adorable white Chihuahua, Dancer, and super excited about marrying my amazing finance/best friend in the fall. I spend my time enjoying nature, listening to Abraham-Hicks, creating easy and light raw food masterpieces:), running my raw food e-commerce site, writing raw food articles and e-books, teaching raw food classes, and hosting raw food events in beautiful Sonoma County, California.
I discovered the raw food’s diet about 7 years ago when I was desperate to find a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was able to cure my asthma, depression, and Chronic Fatigue with a mostly raw food diet and positive thinking. My healing transformation has been the motivation for me to share my experience with others. If you want to learn more about me you can read my story.
My vision for this blog is to share my 7 years experience with the raw food’s lifestyle and healing with others such as tips, recipes, roadblocks, inspiration, interviews . . .and I’m sure with your participation, my vision will continually evolve and grow. Please join my vision by offering useful and positive comments. Thank you for your support!
June 17, 2009 6 Comments