My life has been changing for quite sometime now.
Where once I was the woman who handled everything centered around the home and my family, I am now embarking in a direction that gives me the freedom to delve deep into my soul’s desires and create my life anew.
Wow! Many would say this is so cool! Many might also think to themselves quietly,
‘I don’t know if I could summon the courage to change my life this way.’
Well, believe me, this is the conversation that I have with myself every single day!
I adore Lara Fabian.
She is an amazing singer from a Belgian and Sicilian background. If you have never heard her gifted voice, I hope you will take a moment to find her on YouTube.
“Growing Wings” by Lara Fabian is music that truly touches my heart.
It asks of me that I reach out a little farther and love deeper.
The words and feelings in this piece have inspired me on my journey. It is because of the notion of taking a Leap of Faith, whether literally or figuratively, that I have been able to dig deep into my heart-space, imagine it expanding and create MORE!
I have always believed that if I could just open up my heart a little more each day, somehow everything else would fall into place.
This is a crazy notion, certainly!
It is INTANGIBLE and almost IMPERCEPTIBLE in all things logical and real.
Yet, somehow this is exactly what is happening everyday in every area of my LIFE!
I’ve never been very good at small talk.
I want to know what matters to people.
I want to hear and to see people’s stories come to life through heart felt conversations. I think this era of Internet conversation and Social Media interaction is AMAZING. Yet, it is also a shield from having to expose the most human and vulnerable parts of ourselves.
This platform has also allowed me to HEAL.
When I think back to just a few short years ago, I realize quite honestly, that I was very unhealthy. For me, it was a triad of emotional, physical and spiritual disease that had stolen away my vibrancy for LIFE.
It has been a journey of many, many little steps to rediscover and get to know myself again, from the inside out.
You might be asking why it is that I’m sharing this?
I believe there comes a crossroad in everyone’s life.
We decide to stay the course or we don’t. We seek the shelter of the familiar paths or we choose the Road Less Travelled.
Regardless of the choice we make, I knew for me, I was going to learn to listen to that small, quiet voice within me and hear the call of my heart!
I allowed my Life to get shaken up.
I started seeking the things that only Nature and something far Greater than me could impart into my life.
I chose Solitude.
I chose to learn how to heal myself.
I began with changing my exercise routine and nutritional habits. Where once I could be found regularly at the gym and yoga studio, the outdoors soon became my favorite workout spot. Living in Southern California gives me amazing options for being with Nature.
From Mountains to Sea all in a day’s journey!
Simultaneously, I tackled my nutritional diet. I always thought I was a fairly healthy cook and eater. What I really didn’t take into account was how over time Life just changes. What I could get away with in my 20’s wasn’t working the same way for me as I hit stride in my 50’s. I adopted a more Farm to Table approach on how food ended up in my home and on my weekly menus.
Spicy Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens
- 1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and sliced into thin strips (any bunch of greens of choice will work)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for drizzling when served
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, crushed a little with the back of a large knife to release juices
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes or 1 fresh serrano chili broken
- sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large heavy bottomed stock pot, heat olive oil on medium. Sauté onion, carrots and celery for approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
- Add collard greens and sweet potatoes to the pot and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. To the pot, add turmeric, fresh ginger, chili flakes, rosemary, sage and thyme. Adjust seasonings with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add lentils and sauté for a few more minutes until everything becomes fragrant.
- Pour chicken stock over vegetables and lentils, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot.
- Slowly simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the lentils become soft.
- Serve with crusty whole grain bread
The majority of ingredients in this preparation are naturally detoxifying while being incredibly delicious. By slowly layering the vegetables, it builds depth of flavor and a delightful aroma while cooking. My main focus when I’m cooking simply like this is to extract as much flavor as I can from the ingredients on hand, without the use of excess salt.
A few of my closest friends have witnessed my transformation and have given me such amazing support along the way. As they have inspired me, I too, have returned the inspiration in kind.
Taking a Leap of Faith, growing wings on the way down, gently to touch the ground.
And continue on the Journey.