2 BellaMia August 2015
Feel Good in Your Own Skin
... Love Who You Are! e" r A u o Yo ly at h W ove xclusive om L " r ou te .c Get y igner Shir evolution OW! Des veYouR 0% off N .Lo -1 w w w
4 BellaMia August 2015
GLAD RAG BAGS Good for the Earth. Good for Women. GOOD FOR YOU! Sophisticated, elegant, unique upcycled designs with a great ethos for women and the world. www.gladragbags.com
6 BellaMia August 2015
The mission is to change the lives of every person open to discovering their soul’s purpose and living a life they didn’t know was possible for them on an individual level. At BellaMia, we believe every woman is beautiful. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mia Saenz ASSISTANT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Amanda Rhymers ART DIRECTOR Charlene Maguire EDITOR Laurence Yhuello ME DIRECTOR Dr. Mary Pritchard LIFESTYLE DIRECTOR Sharon Otness FASHION EDITOR Linnea Duvall BUSINESS DIRECTOR Umoh Luna, Angela Gower-Johnson
This publication is published bi-monthly For advertising, please contact BellaMia Magazine at BellaMiaMagazine@gmail BellaMia is a publication of BellaMia Inc. BellaMiaMag.com
8 BellaMia August 2015
The best relationship book in a decade!
Every woman wants a man who is willing to cross the world to come to her. This one did!
www.getlove.com Itâ€™s Your Turn! 9
10 BellaMia August 2015
Editor in Chief Letter
Dear BellaMia Reader, There is something magical about bringing forward information and topics that many people don’t think about, or even realize the possibilities to change our life. We love to share another way of thinking. Once again we are excited to bring you yet another exciting issue. This issue is called Eve. Yes that’s right, Eve from the Garden of Eden. What would happen for you if you looked at this differently? What if you weren’t made of dirt and a man’s rib to be a servant of man? What if you were placed here by the Divine to create magic? That is exactly who you are, and what your true purpose on Earth is to do. We are magnificent creatures. We create and carry another human form. We nurture, embrace, feed, love and care for others. We are sisters, lovers, wives, mothers, and creators on this planet. It’s time to claim your rightful place. Every early culture has the same basic stories, including what we know as Adam and Eve. I am not implying that they didn’t exist, or to anger anyone. This is all done and brought in love. What I am proposing is this; what if instead of being a sinner, we are magnificent, free, and creative? As the founder of this magazine, where we celebrate women for all our natural gifts and glory, I’d like to invite you to open your heart - to you... to your magnificence, your beauty, your love and your life. Stay true to what your heart is saying to you. When you are in a place of knowing what feels right to you, whether you believe what we share or not, stay true to you. Much love, Mia
Mia Saenz Editor in Chief
Table of Contents
23 12 BellaMia August 2015
On the Cover
Feminine energy and magic
Yoga and success
112 New Paradigm Hugs, hospice, and home
126 No Briefcases
Business from a different perspective
136 Music Vanderocker
Delicious fall recipes
Food for Thought
Your voice, your health
Cycles, pleasure, inner beauty
Your guide to the stars
150 SOS Relationships, health, and more
Bringers of life
Editorial Art, photography, and more
Sacred Space Eve and sanctuary in the kitchen
All Bella Spotlight, celebration and fun
Enhance your Personality for Success with Yoga Postures Andrea Allen Do you believe your personality traits came with you at birth along with the color of your eyes? Maybe, but everyone has the power and the ability to enhance certain personality traits with awareness and practice. Using yoga postures for personality development is actually a subject that is gaining a lot of attention these days. Personality usually includes your behavior, attitude, emotional response and characteristics, all of which play a large role in everyday living and your personal success. Here are Five Success Personality Traits you can Enhance with Yoga Postures.
Confidence: One of the most attractive and magnetic
Humility: In a recent article in Forbes Magazine titled,
success traits is confidence. Let’s face it, it is when
“Do you have what it takes to be a successful millennial?”
someone believes in their product or service with such
by Chris Myers , he lists humility as one of the essential
unwavering confidence then we can’t help but say YES!
traits for success. Humility is the yin of confidences yang.
Confidence helps us make the call, stand on stage, make an
As success or even failures comes each day we must keep
offer and reach the goals we want in life.
Posture to Enhance Your Confidence:
Posture to Enhance Your Humility:
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I
Baddha Virabhadrasana or Humble Warrior I
with Hands Clasped Behind your Back. *Start from Warrior I with your hands clasped behind your * Stand up straight *Step the left foot back to create a
back *Bow forward as your arms reach up and over your
long and strong stance. Feet are hip-width apart. *Bend
body and your head reaches for the floor. *Try to keep your
the right knee the back foot at a 45 degree angle. Your
front knee deep, the hips squared to the front, and avoid
hips face forward.*Keep your feet grounded and your legs
resting your weight on the front knee.
activated.*Draw the shoulder blades together and reach your hand behind your back, clasping your hands . 14 BellaMia August 2015
Playfulness: Who doesn’t enjoy being around someone
Flexibility: Too often we get stuck in what we want
who has a playful personality? “People who exhibit
and how we do things. Most successful people became
high levels of playfulness—those who are predisposed
successful doing something different from what they
to being spontaneous, outgoing, creative, fun-loving,
initially intended to do. For example Steve Jobs started
and lighthearted—appear to be better at coping with
with computers, went into the animation and really made
stress, more likely to report leading active lifestyles, and
his comeback with the iPod. Not only is the world and how
more likely to succeed academically.” René Proyer, a
we communicate always changing, but day to day events
psychologist at the University of Zurich. Part of being
change constantly and successful people need to have a
playful is being willing to try new things, letting go of
personality that can twist and turn easily to adjust to these
perfection and laughing when you fall down and getting
back up again. Posture to Enhance Your Playfulness:
Posture to Enhance Your Flexibility: Parivrtta Utkatasana or Revolved Chair pose
Bakasana or Crane Posture *Stand with your feet together, bend your knees with the *Spread your feet wide and squat down separating your
weight on your heels. *Tuck your pelvis. *Lift both arms
knees *Lean your torso forward and bring your hand
up. *Keep one arm up in the arm bring the other arm
towards the floor. *Squeeze your inner thighs against your
down on the outside of the opposite knee so your body is
sides and your shins to your armpits *Lift up on the balls
now twisted. *Lift your ribcage so the heart is open and
of your feet bringing your weight onto the back of your
gaze towards the sky. *Repeat other side.
arms and eventually try taking your feet off the floor.
Bravery: Success usually doesn’t come from playing it safe, it comes from being brave. From taking risks and leaping when you don’t know where you will land, to doing things outside your comfort zone. You have to be brave to discover what you are capable of. Posture to Enhance Your Bravery: Warrior III/Virabhadrasana III *From a standing position, one leg is rooted and perpendicular to the ground. *slowly extend your other leg up, parallel to the earth as your body tilts forward, making a “T” with your body. *Gaze down to the floor *Flex your back foot, toes down toward the floor * Extend through the crown of your head & your heal keeping your
core strong. *Extend your arms out in front of you.
How To Tummy Tuck Naturally Michelle Alva Do you love your tummy? Are these muscles tone in your body or are they weak?
soles of your feet together. Bring awareness to the lower abdominal area, from the
Did you know that toning them actually gives you the
navel to the pubic bone area around your waist. Inhale
feeling of feeling more centered and connected not just to
deeply and notice the feeling of expansion and elongation
your physical core, and also your spiritual core?
in your tummy.
When we tone and “tuck in” these muscles, we gather
Exhale, activate your abdominal corset which causes
ourselves from the inside out, and this movement gives us
your navel to move towards your spine. It’s as though you
the feeling that we are grounded and centered in our body.
wanted to zip up a very tight pair of jeans and so you pull
It not only looks more appealing, and it also feels more
in your belly button. Notice how this movement of the
abdomen literally shrinks the circumference of your waist
When we make time to strengthen and tone this part,
and causes you to feel.
we get a feeling of giving back to ourselves, support and
Walk around with your chest lifted and your tummy
stability, for these muscles wrap around our waist and
gathered with minimum effort so that you maintain your
protect our low back and pelvis so we may move with ease,
breathing relaxed. Notice how the gathering of your
safety and lightness.
abdomen causes you to feel more connected to your
The abdominal area also represents our power center or
an area of concentrated energy, called the solar plexus
“Breathe To Move” From Modified Dolphin Pose To
chakra. This area is associated with our ability to manifest
in our lives, take action to achieve our goals and has to do with our confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.
Start this exercise with your hands clasped together, elbows placed shoulder width apart. Start with your knees
Here are some tips on how to naturally tone your tummy
hip width apart. Inhale expand your belly. Exhale here
and also give yourself a natural sense of support that will
with awareness of drawing the navel inwards towards your
leave you feeling more centered, grounded and gathered in
your body-mind. Note: If you sit more than 3-4 hours per day, this exercise is especially beneficial as our core muscles tend to weaken and fall asleep from prolonged periods of sleep. Transversus Awareness and Activation Exercise Lay on your back with your outer thighs supported and the 16 BellaMia August 2015
Inhale To Raise Your Body Upwards into Dolphin Pose. Exhale To Glide Your Body Forward from Dolphin Pose. Do this slowly and with control, while keeping your navel inwards towards your spine. Close your eyes to “Feel Your Corset Awake and Centered” during the exercise.
Inhale To Raise Your Body Back Starting Position. Repeat
Voila! You’ve elevated yourself. Notice how that
this vinyasa flow of movement at least for 10 cycles of
accomplishment feels! Thank you powerful center! Thank
inhalation/exhalation. Notice when your body signals it
you Breath, Mind, and Body!
needs a break. Rest when you feel it’s time to rest. Don’t overdo it and make sure to keep your shoulder blades down and backwards to prevent your upper traps from overdoing the work of the corset! “Breathe To Move” From Plank to Side Plank To Plank Rhythmical Flow Variation. The Transversus Abdominus is more active and interested when you engage it through movement. Instead of
Exhale to return down to Plank Pose. Lower down as slowly as possible to really engage your corset. Try these simple exercises daily and notice how you not only look firmer and toner at your tummy, you can feel centered and enhanced. Michelle Alva www.sexysacredsensualyou.com
remaining static in plank pose, explore moving your body in space with slowly transitioning up to side plank. Inhale to move your body up to make sure you are integrating your whole-being into your tummy toning practice! With full awareness of your core, inhale to rise up to side plank. Repeat these for at least 5-10 cycles at a time.
Fashion is a Feminist Issue Linnea Duvall specially if it is used as a reason women
dignity, and honoring of each other. And some were tall,
pit themselves against each other rather than
some were short, some were thin, some were very curvy.
uplifting each other. Fashion: style, size,
Also, they were each quite different in their fashion and
and shape are all part of that over arching term. And it is a Feminist Issue.
their style, some more casual, some more dressy. But you could literally feel it in the room…they supported each other, they honored each other, and they made clear they were honored to be working with each other. What they
I went to a screening a few nights ago of the movie
clearly were NOT was any kind of judgmental or competing
“Suffragette”. Two things struck me so forcefully it made
or envious over another’s style, or look, or shape, or size,
me absolutely want to write about it!! One: the women
or FASHION. It was clear as brilliant daylight that their
in the suffragette movement didn’t CARE about what the
differing appearances, their differing fashion, had no
other women were wearing, or CARE about what size or
impact on the level of respect they had for each other, the
shape, (or AGE for that matter) the other women in the
level of dignity they afforded each other, or the level of
movement were. They CARED about the rights and the
talent and intelligence they assigned to each other.
dignity of women, all women, short, tall, rich, poor, thin, fat, ALL women. They CARED about working together for the rights of all women, and for making such a difference that the world would have to pay attention. What they specifically didn’t care about was the size, or the clothing of another woman. They needed each other’s support so deeply there was not time, nor could I see, desire to be judging and comparing and competing with each
Brava!! How aligned with the message of the movie they had all just created together! How vastly different from the behavior and attitude I unfortunately observe far too often in women, many of them self professed feminists, who swear they are all about supporting and uplifting all women. (Well, maybe only the women who look and dress enough like them they don’t feel threatened.) Yes, Ouch.
other. They worked side by side in shockingly dangerous
I have observed women, self proclaimed evolved feminist
situations to ensure that women would have the right to
women, be snarky and nasty about another woman, and
vote, and be heard, not just barely seen. What a thought;
literally ice her out based on her fashion and her looks.
no comparison, no competing, and no ensuing jealousy
I have seen women make snap judgments about a fellow
and envy. Just straightforward valuing each other for the
sister, another woman, simply based on her size and
effort and hard work they were each committed to and
her clothes, and that goes both ways, from the thin to
the curvy, from the classic style to the bohemian style.
Two: The film was directed by a woman, written by a woman, produced by two women, and they were interviewed by a woman for questions and discussion after the film. What struck me was their complete camaraderie, 18 BellaMia August 2015
Please…will you think about this for a moment? Women ostracizing or disenfranchising another woman, based on how she looks or dresses!! Not like we don’t get enough of that from a large portion of the male population…some
women are continuing to subject each other to this kind
power in the room, said to me, loudly, “OMG, you look
of diminishment, and their daughters are observing this
like a model”, in a tone that made it clear it was not a
behavior and continuing it in their own younger circles.
compliment, and it was not OK. It was basically “how dare
In my experience, there is a veiled “how dare you” to it. How dare you dress that way…how dare you look that good, or that frumpy, or that frazzled, or that much younger, or that old?
you”. How do you respond to that? Do you cautiously ask if it is a compliment? Do you simply say thank you and risk annoying them further for receiving it as a compliment? Do you try to minimize it by diminishing what you have on, or how you look? And all of this while every other
And it is, across the board, as unsupportive as you can
woman in the room is now staring at you, because you
get. Imagine this, I was staying at a house that was filled
are the target of such a call out. That kind of call out is
with women all attending a conference. It was our first
non-feminist, and non-supportive. It leaves the recipient
morning there, and when I walked into the kitchen
blindsided, and thrown off balance, for nothing more than
where we were all gathering for breakfast, another of
how she looks! And it continued the next morning. I came
the attendees, one of the women with more gravitas and
out to breakfast and was accosted by the same woman
with, “OMG. Do you put your jewelry on before you come
Lastly, I work as a psychotherapist, and a good deal of my
to breakfast”? In that same “how dare you” tone. Again,
work is with teenagers as well as young women in their
the room stopped, and all eyes were on me. Why? To what
twenties. The level to which I (still) need to address with
purpose is that kind of “how dare you” delivered? And
these young female clients the woman to woman jealousy
from one woman to another. The most ridiculous fact of
and nasty behavior based on looks and fashion choices is
all is that I had simply slept with my necklaces on, because
shocking and deeply saddening. The devastating effect
I had packed color coordinated clothes that would all be
it has on these young women’s self confidence and ease
complimented by exactly the same necklaces all week. I
in the world is enormous. What will it take for all of us
didn’t want the bother of taking them on and off, or the
to view each other as beautiful and powerful allies rather
risk of losing them or leaving one behind. I didn’t think
than threats to our own standing in the world? What will
I would be accosted for it. Especially not by an adult
it take for us to stand in solidarity with our sisters with
woman in a room full of feminists. But here we are. And
no thought to their looks or ours, as the women in the
there is nothing more powerful than women working
suffragette movement did? I have a dear friend who is very
together to make change and progress! Just go see the
curvy. She joyously dresses to accentuate those curves,
movie “Suffragette” to appreciate that. But it is working
and is absolutely certain of her beauty, curves and all. She
TOGETHER like those women did, not letting something
does not think twice about her shape vs mine or any other
like fashion be a dividing factor!
woman’s, and it is a freedom and a delight to be the equally
Recently a friend of mine who is tall, thin, and always
supportive allies and friends we have been for many years.
dressed impeccably, (picture Jane Fonda in Grace and
In the Greek tragedy, “Medea”, Euripides writes: “Of all
Frankie!), asked me a question I found fascinating. Bear
creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst
in mind that this is a woman whom I have spoken with
treated things alive”. (Translation by Paul Roche). This
about how it feels when she walks in a room and can sense
is what the suffragettes fought side by side to rectify. The
the women who automatically dislike her for no other
true tragedy is if, after all the centuries since Euripides
reason than how she looks. She asked me why I thought
wrote that, women still continue to mistreat each other
Hillary Clinton was, what seemed to her, so uncaring
over nothing more than fashion.
about how she looked as she began her campaign. My friend thought Hillary should have taken more care to look rested and refreshed after her time off from Secretary of State. She thought it was hubris on Hillary’s part that she was choosing to look a bit “tired” and frazzled rather than stepping into her campaign more polished and “done”, as they say. My answer was I felt Hillary is much more
Fashion is a Feminist Issue! Dress as you choose. Present the style you want. And laud and appreciate how vastly different and wonderful we can all look and be, yet still be fiercely supportive of each other. It is the legacy of the women of the suffragette movement! I invite all of us to honor that legacy!
interested in appealing to every woman, and was working
Linnea Duvall, MFT
to avoid the “how dare she look so good” syndrome that
both this friend and I, and many other women have experienced.
20 BellaMia August 2015
IMPACT! with your graphics... A r t D ire ci o n , B ra n din g , A d d e s i g n , B ro ch ure s S o ci a l M e di a D e s i g n , Pro d u ct Pa c k a gin g D e s i g n Ill u s t ra t i o n , a n d m o re . . .
Charlene Maguire Art Direction/Design
Body Art Linnea Duvall Body Art runs the gamut; from fun, fun, fun, in its most recent iterations, gold and silver lacy temporary tattoos to circle an arm or a wrist or an ankle, (recently spotted on the French Riviera, and in particular, at the famed restaurant, La Columbe D’Or!), to a statement of art, often of tribal nature, or a statement of what tribe you belong to, or what tribe you claim, or what message you want to permanently emblazon on your body, for just you and a few to read, or for the whole world to see!. In any case, the “taboo” of tattoo is a thing of the past, and one can see women of all ages and all cultural backgrounds displaying body art, or “sporting ink”, or creating absolute feminine beauty with a henna design that can be temporary or permanent. The choices are yours, as well as the fun to have, or the statement to make. Linnea Duvall, MFT LMDuvall@yahoo.com
22 BellaMia August 2015
Fashion For You The Best Kind of Temptation Tina Ketchie Stearns hat girl isn’t tempted by fashion? When someone wins the lottery, one of the first things a man would probably do is buy a new car. One of the first things almost every woman would do is
and fabrics. Be brave, be very brave! Floor length coats: Nearly touching the ground and closely following along the lines of the body, I love the pockets, collars and sleeves reinvented in fun new ways.
go shopping for new clothes in the latest greatest fashion
Frosty pastels: In a season that’s all about cold, snow and
trends. (Then she would buy a new car!) Poor Eve, all
slippery ice, the palest of pinks, blues and lavender hues
she had was a fig leaf! I’d love to know what Eve’s fashion
are dainty and sweet, adding contrast to your favorite
temptations would be today. What I adore about fashion
today is that you can keep up with the latest trends and be very fashion forward, or you can wear exactly what YOU decide your look is, be damned what is seen on the runways. BellaMia - Beautiful Me – is all about being true to yourself above all else. A look that - speaks to YOU –
High Waist Pants: Annie Hall is back with the waists rising higher and higher. The cinched pant silhouettes elongate your legs and highlight your midriff. Tucked in billowy blouses and cropped jackets add to their appeal this
feels right to YOU – tells the world this is YOU – represents
your beauty, confidence, individuality and empowerment
Fire Engine Red: In a season as stark as winter, red makes
to be your true, authentic self. What could be more beautiful than that? I personally try to incorporate some of the fashion forward trends into the look I feel is MY look. Here are some of my favorite fashion trends I am having fun with this fall/ winter season. Carwash pleats: Show off a little leg in carwash pleated skirts and dresses. Over bare skin or layered against
for a breathtaking contrast. Pant Suits: Tiny polka-dots, whispers of scarlet red and cinched waists are some of the ways the pant suit has grown more feminine this season. Winter Brocades: Coming in all shapes, forms and sizes, the winter brocades are giving a fresh new look for winter in flirty, feminine dresses.
blocks of sheer or solid tights, these fun flapping pleats are
New Plaid: There’s something about plaid and the fall/
a kick to wear.
winter season that just goes together, and this year it’s
Fur Sleeves: Fall/winter is all about warmth and comfort. From shoes to bags and collars, fur has extended its influence all the way to the sleeves, where aside from beautiful, the furry details look pretty practical too. Chic Patchwork: More is more with clashing prints, colors 24 BellaMia August 2015
being reinvented and reimaged in countless new ways. Again, be brave, be very brave! A few other trends to finish your look include – Makeup: Red lips, Twiggy doe eyes, graphic liner or smoky haze.
Hair: From tousled flowing waves to messy buns, slick low
of your outfit to fall quietly into the background while your
ponytails to effortless knots
statement earring takes the spotlight.
Shoes: Leather to velvet, embellishments to fringing, thigh
Whether you dye your hair blue, paint each fingernail a
high boots to sculptural heels
different color, or follow the fashion trends of the season
Accessories: Chic berets, bold brooches and fancy belts
to the letter, please always HAVE FUN WITH FASHION!
One Statement Earring: Not two, just one earring. This is
Tina Ketchie Stearns owner of Go Free速 Pants
probably one of my favorite trends. Oversized statement
pieces that are unique, eccentric, out of the ordinary, ones giving you the chance to really stand-out in the crowd. This styling trick works best with dazzling, costume-like chandeliers, with bulky floral-designs and vintage-like jewel pieces that are anything but subtle. Expect the rest
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Sharon Otness www.sharonotness.com 2 cups brown sugar (I use 1 cup each brown and turbinado for texture) Â˝ cup white sugar 1/3 cup almond oil 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 2-3 drops cinnamon essential oil Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl with your hands or a wooden spoon. Add essential oils to almond oil. Add oils to dry ingredients and mix well. Place in pretty jars. Give as gifts, but keep one for yourself.
26 BellaMia August 2015
Tooth Whitener Amanda Rhymers
Ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice Directions: In a small custard cup, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops to half a teaspoon of lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the paste to your teeth with your fingers and let it sit for a minute or two. Then brush your teeth with your toothbrush normally. Use twice a day.
Would you like to feel
Nourished ? Download your free BodyLovin Goddess Guide to essential oils
28 BellaMia August 2015
Healthifying Your Favorite Recipies Kat Maeda, CHHC Do you like to bake, but feel like you can’t have your favorite cake, cookies or sweet breads because of sugar, gluten and too much fat? With some simple conversion tips, nearly all your favorite recipes can be adapted so you can have your cake and eat it too! Substituting the no-no ingredients for healthier options can also help with the
substitute either Cup 4 Cup Flour or Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend. You can measure cup for cup according to the recipe. Almond flour can also be substituted for white flour but will require additional eggs, just as coconut flour will (an additional egg for each ¼ cup of coconut flour).
calories but, of course, we would still never want to sit
When making brownies, skip the flour altogether by
down and eat the whole cake at all at once!
substituting it for mashed black beans, cup for cup! You
Last January when my father passed away, I was lucky enough to inherit some very old recipe boxes from the 40s and 50s that belonged to my grandmother, you know the kind that hold 3x5 index and recipe cards? The boxes by themselves are little treasures and I was excited to get recipes from three generations before me. Some of the recipes go back to the 30s: old fashion cookie, bread, pie and cake recipes, in addition to every other recipe you can
now have grain-free brownies with protein as a bonus. Substitute refined sugar Many people realize – and studies have proven – that refined sugar is related to a number of health issues including obesity, high blood triglyceride levels, and low HDL levels (the good cholesterol), a strong risk for heart disease, just to name a few. Swapping out refined sugar for
natural sugars may not be as difficult as you think. Brown
As I thumbed through the recipes, I remembered many a
Liquid substitutes are not equivalents to sugar, so you’ll
cookie, brownie and slice of cake with a large glass of cold
need to decrease the amount called for in the recipe. Use
milk as a child at my Grandma’s kitchen table. But, oh the
a kitchen scale and measure the equivalent in grams or
ingredients: lot of granulated sugar, white flour and gluten,
milk, butter and oil. I pulled out several recipes and began my quest to make them healthier. So what are healthier options and how do you set about converting a not-so-
sugar refined – it’s white sugar mixed with molasses.
Honey should not be cooked or heated to high temperature, as it becomes a toxin; when substituting in
healthy recipe to one that is healthier? Here are my tips
non-cooked recipes, use about half the amount.
for modifying baked goodies:
Maple syrup is roughly half of what the recipe calls for –
Replace all-purpose flour
maple syrup is one of my favorite recipes.
Many recipes do not lend themselves to replacing white
Brown rice syrup: 1 tablespoon + ¼ teaspoon = 1/8 cup
flour with wheat, as whole wheat is heavier and the flavor
will be completely different. Plus, if you’re allergic or
Stevia can work in some recipes and 1 teaspoon liquid or 2
sensitive to gluten, wheat won’t work anyway. To keep things simple and to bake a delicious gluten free cake, bread, cookie or brownie, you’ll want the texture as closest to the original regular flour recipe. I like to 30 BellaMia August 2015
tablespoons powder = 1 cup sugar Applesauce is another of my favorite sugar substitutes (especially in muffins) and is 1:1, but you’ll need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.
Cut back on oil, and replace hydrogenated shortening
least 15 minutes in 1 cup of water. Makes a 1:1 substitute.
1 cup oil = ½ cup oil + 1/2 applesauce
What’s important to know about conversions is how some recipes may need 2 or 3 tries before you get it. First
1 cup banana = 1 cup oil
attempts may be a total flop. Most of the time, however,
Add extra spice when decreasing oils Use non-hydrogenated shortening - you can find at health food stores
you’ll nail it and the recipe will turn out great the first time. The delicious Old Fashion Date Nut Loaf Cake on the next page is a “healthified” version of a recipe that came from my great Aunt Annie. If you’re baking one, go ahead and bake two! It’s a great treat to have on hand for
Exchange eggs for chia seeds
unexpected guests or give as a gift!
If you’re looking to cut back on cholesterol, eliminate egg by replacing it with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked at
Kat Maeda www.KatMaeda.com
Old Fashion Date Nut Loaf Cake Kat Maeda Serves 8 Preheat Oven to 350° F Lightly grease 8 x 5 loaf pan with coconut oil; line bottom with parchment paper Ingredients: 3 eggs, separated 2/3 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A or B 1 cup Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Blend Flour 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. Celtic salt 2 cups Deglet Noor pitted dates, chopped into small pieces ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or almonds or pecans) Directions: 1. Combine dry ingredients in small bowl; set aside. 2. In large bowl cream egg yolks with maple syrup. 3. Add dry ingredients increments to egg mixture, blending until smooth; stir in dates and nuts. 4. In small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy; gently fold into batter. 5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. 6. Bake at 350°, 50-55 minutes or until tests done. Cool on rack 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely. Slice into 8 1” slices. Store in plastic wrap or foil. Freezes well. 31
The Ultimate Pumpkin Smoothie Sharon Otness 1/2 can pumpkin puree 1-1/2 cups almond milk 1 scoop protein powder 1/4 avocado big handful spinach 4 dates 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp. vanilla **optional hemp seeds to sprinkle on top Blend greens with milk. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again. I like to use frozen spinach on this one so it is cold.
32 BellaMia August 2015
Thai Butternut Squash Soup Sharon Otness 1 acorn squash
Wash squash; bake halved squash at 350
1 butternut squash
for 45-50 minutes. In a large pot, sauté
onions, carrot, and garlic in coconut oil. Add
vegetable broth and coconut milk. Mix in
2 cloves garlic
red curry paste. Then add cooked, peeled
2 T. coconut oil
and cubed squash, cilantro and blend well.
7 cups organic vegetable broth
Simmer with lime leaves and lemon grass for
1 ½ cup coconut milk
20 minutes or more. **If you can’t find lime
½ -1 teaspoon red curry paste
leaves, add 2-3 drops of certified pure lime
1/3 cup cilantro
essential oil. Remove lemongrass and lime
3 lime leaves
leaves. I like to blend this into a creamy soup,
2 stalks lemon grass
so I blend one Nutribullet full and add back to
**optional 2-3 drops lime essential oil
the chunky soup. Best of both worlds!
Farro & White Bean Salad Kat Maeda Adapted from a recipe from Giada De Laurentils
Makes 8 servings
2 cups spring greens per serving
¼ cup micro sprouts per serving
4 cups water 1 ½ cups farro
2 teaspoons salt
1 Combine water and farro in a medium saucepan with 2
1 pound Roma tomatoes chopped and drained
teaspoons salt. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender about 30
¼ English hot house cucumber, diced
minutes. Drain and cool farro in colander.
½ white onion
2 Add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, parsley, and beans to
¼ cup snipped fresh chives ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
farro. Gently toss. 3 In medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over farro-bean mixture and toss gently
1 15oz PBA-free can Great Northern Beans, drained
to evenly coat. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.
4 Place spring greens on each plate. Add 1-cup farro and
bean mixture to the top of the greens. Top with diced avocado chunks and finally with micro green sprouts.
Dressing: 1 large garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Farro and white bean mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator in covered glass container. Let come to room temperature before assembling salad. Left over salad keeps well 2-3 days refrigerated in tightly
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ diced avocado per serving
Kat Maeda wwwkatmaeda.com
34 BellaMia August 2015
Become as Smooth as Your Smoothie Patricia Rust, PhD.
magine your body as an extension of the sun –
I adore coconut water. Some like milk or low fat milk,
filled with vitality – like a rocket ready to fire –
hemp milk, almond milk, flavored almond milk, rice milk,
ready to burst forth into new horizons! That’s
or any of a number of juices: apple, grape, cranberry,
how you can feel when you feed your body live vital foods that can give it the energy it needs
grapefruit –- whose purpose is to liquefy the smoothie you are making. You can alter the amount depending on
to deal with the stresses and strains of daily living. Forget
how much ice you add if any. We keep it room temp in
those stresses and strains and love your body, accept your
the colder months and only use a little ice in the summer
body, and thank it in gratitude for all that it does for you!
Isn’t it amazing? And don’t you want to co-partner it to be all that it can be?
Scotty Smoothie: Banana (fresh or frozen)
Let’s begin in the morning, when you awaken…hmmm…
how about some delicious nutritious rocket fuel? Yes,
there is that white flour basically void of nutrition bagel.
1 Tbsp.Protein Powder
But when compared with a rich frothy creamy smoothie
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
that satisfies and can carry you through a gym workout or
½ cup ice
a meeting or three, I vote smoothie every time! And you
Blend and serve. Enjoy!
will you when you see what it can do you for in your life once you start having them every morning!
You can add that which you have in the refrigerator with some protein powder made from rice, peas, or even
The first thing to know about smoothies was taught to
some peanut or almond butter. These days, I don’t even
me by my mother when, as a child, in Hawaii, smoothies
use protein powder, just some nice Greek yoghurt which
were as much a part of the landscape as surfing and shave
adds to the creaminess but has a distinct bitter flavor that
ice. “It doesn’t matter about the size of the fruit,” she
not everyone enjoys. You can balance this with honey,
said, “Because this is what varies the flavor so that each
however, which is a nature anti-biotic but since the bees
smoothie is slightly different and special!” And she was
are having a tough time surviving…well, let’s just say I have
right. You can vary the size and your ingredients making
a soft spot for bees. Just use honey once in a while. And, if
each one different. I like to start each smoothie with a
you have a space to keep bees, please give it some thought!
banana that is affordable and insures a creamy result. I
Alternatively, a couple of dates work like a charm!
also like to add a tablespoon of coconut oil for your skin and hair.
If you want to do a straight chocolate, banana, milk, peanut butter smoothie, you can do that with cocoa powder, a
There are ways to change your banana as well. Peel and
few dates, and a little coconut oil, and it becomes a super
freeze it, cut it in half, add ice to it, then add some liquid.
delicious smoothie! You can also use any of the nut butters:
36 BellaMia August 2015
and don’t hesitate to sneak in your vegetables because
chances are that you won’t really taste them and you can
1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
get your kale or spinach in without detection!
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil 1 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk (Unsweetened) ½ Cup Ice
In fact, Dr. Oz is famous for his daily green drink that he posts on his web site and has recently updated:
1 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
2 cups Spinach
Blend and serve. Enjoy!
1/2 cucumber 1/4 head of celery
Or, take a half can 100% pure pumpkin puree straight
1/2 bunch parsley
from the can and add some pumpkin spice seasoning, a
1 bunch of mint
teaspoon of vanilla extract, a cup of coconut milk, a small
banana, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a yummy good
smoothie results which is great for your skin as pumpkin
is one of the best things for your complexion! Blend and
serve and enjoy!
I write this from Hawaii where it is easy enough to throw
in fresh pineapple or papaya both of which are both filled
with natural life extending enzymes but you can put in
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Feel free to add
dried versions or a reasonable facsimile for taste or even
water to get desired consistency. Serve and enjoy! (Makes
a can of pineapple or papaya juice. Remember all the
delicious fruits out there such as watermelon and kiwis
If you have access to summer fruits such as papaya
Blend all ingredients together. Add more milk for a thinner
and nectarine, one of “The Scott Specials” is made with
nectarine, papaya, and banana, and comes out the most beautiful shade of pale papaya! Apricots can even go into a smoothie with banana and any greenery.
At Rancho La Puerta (see.rancholapuerta.com for more), they supply fitness enthusiasts with mid-afternoon smoothies. The thinking is to get them over the mid-
If you have access to fresh fruit and ginger, another
afternoon slump which can occur after lunch and before
delicious smoothie is made with fresh pear, peach, and
dinner. They make wonderful smoothies with a selection
ginger. Just blend and serve.
of either soy, coconut, or almond milk. The Kiwi Green is a
Scotty Smoothie (2): Fresh Blueberries ½ to 1 Cup Coconut Milk One Cup or Ginger Juice Banana
favorite and when you try it, you will see why, plus you will have a mini-spa moment in your own home! Picture fresh air and sunshine and give yourself a “me” moment! You deserve it for all that you do in our world, right?
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
For the budget-minded, you can also use frozen peaches,
½ Cup Ice
frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, frozen mixed
1 Tbsp. Protein Powder
berries, and frozen spinach. You can also peel and freeze
Blend and serve. Enjoy!
bananas when they are on sale. Home made juices price
Another “Scotty Smoothie” based on my friend who is the world’s best smoothie maker bar none is based on your combining: Blueberries and/or strawberries, Coconut Milk, and if you can get or make ginger juice, or whole sliced ginger, or in a worse case scenario powdered ginger.
out at well under half of what they would be when you buy them at the retail level. Plus, they are fresh and you made them! They are packed with all the power that you need to rev up your motor and fire on every cylinder. You can make more and take them with you, too!
The ginger gives it a super zing and helps your immune
It’s hard to grasp the notion that we are made of that which
system and lungs especially during cold and allergy
goes into us. So try to think of it more along the lines
of that which fuels us determines how we feel. That ole
And, from Rancho La Puerta, the lifestyle and fitness spa in Tecate, Mexico, and for which I turn to my every cooking question, comes this amazing recipe: Kiwi Green Smoothie: 5 Kiwis 1 green apple chopped 1 small banana (or another chopped green apple) 3 tablespoons golden raisins 1 cup washed baby spinach or other greens 1 1/2 cup milk or dairy-free milk alternative
38 BellaMia August 2015
white bagel is going to make us feel dull and lifeless but an enzyme-packed, colorful vitamin-filled frothy smoothie is going to give us energy to spare, so let’s hop to it, shall we? Patricia Rust www.PatriciaRust.com
Pumpkin Seed Pate Carol Egan umpkin Seed Pate is one of my new all-time favorites! It is a very versatile and nutrient-dense recipe you can use in so many ways. I love to add dollops on top of a large green leaf, like collards or romaine, with other veggies as a really delicious ‘wrap!’ I also recommend using it as a dip, or even filling a stalk of celery and topping with finely minced fresh herbs. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium, zinc, protein and heart healthy plantbased Omega 3s, with anti-inflammatory benefits! I promise you this, once you make this recipe, you will be hooked too! Buono Appetito!! - www.carol-egan.com Ingredients: 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for 8 hours 2 stalks celery 1 clove of garlic 1 scallion 1 large lemon, juiced 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or water) 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano – choose your favorites! Sea salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste Crushed Red Pepper to taste, if you like spicy! Instructions: Suggested toppings: sliced avocado, sliced red pepper, sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, jalapeno peppers if you like spicy (and I do!), shredded carrots and sprouts of choice! Optional — I LOVE to add a scoop of raw fermented sauerkraut to my lettuce wraps and maybe a little organic mustard too! Prepare the Pate: Add the pumpkin seeds, scallion, celery, garlic, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, lemon zest and juice, and extra virgin olive oil into a food processor. Blend until well incorporated. Assemble a Wrap: Add 2 teaspoons of pate to a green leaf. Top with toppings of choice. Roll and serve immediately. 39
Food for Thought
Voices in the Silence Cori Rosenthal hen you can be comfortable
benefits others had. I distracted myself making up stories
being uncomfortable that’s self-
of the future as opposed to remaining in the present. My
mastery,” Rhonda Britten, mentor and author of Fearless Living said that in one of the first Fearless Living workshops I attended. The quote stuck with me because so many of my problems stemmed from avoiding being uncomfortable at all costs. Rhonda planted a seed that took root as a personal and professional aspiration. In June, I attended a 7-day Vipassana retreat to practice meditation. My goal was to unplug from technology and my daily routine for a week of personal growth.
journey into the silence had begun. Day two my body began adjusting to hours of seated meditation, but I began hearing a few extra voices in the silence. They came in small waves, gently lapping against the shore of my breathing and walking meditations. The extra voices courted sadness with whispers of selfcriticism for forgetting something in my room or having an extra roll with dinner. I hardly slept the previous night, so day three I was exhausted but committed not to miss out. Exhaustion
According to Insight Meditation Society, Vipassana
amplified the voices in my head, which always ran in the
practitioners use non-judgmental awareness to accept
background of my mind. Never having been without
themselves more fully by accepting not only the pleasure
distraction this long, I heard them more clearly than ever
but also the pain of life. This acceptance provides a sense
of peace, equanimity, compassion and wisdom (dharma. or/about-us/faq, (What is Insight Meditation”). These are aspirations I could get behind.
At times, the waves of sadness seemed endless. I wondered how I would get through feeling this miserable alone without distracting myself in some way. A quote
Noble silence is observed for the length of the retreat.
junkie, I remembered Rhonda’s quote as well as Carl
Not only is speaking prohibited expect to teachers when
Jung’s, “whatever we resist not only persists but will grow
necessary, but nonverbal communication, reading and
writing as well. An extremely talkative person, my friends and family were stunned I signed up for this willingly. I attended ½-day silent retreats perviously, and I appreciated the silence perhaps because I am so talking. A longer journey into the silence was intimidating, but I took the plunge anyway. I heard about emotional upheavals that lead to insights and breakthroughs for others but that first day the silence seemed easy for me. I worried I would not reap the 40 BellaMia August 2015
I was officially uncomfortable and attempting to grasp what it means to be comfortable with it. If I were not going to resist or distract, the only option remaining was to acknowledge my feelings and let them be. I focused my attention on where I felt sadness in my body, what the voices spurring on sadness said, and noticed how the sadness gradually dissipated on its own. As the sadness dissipated, it made room for other feelings. Every participant is assigned a job, and mine was to put
away food after lunch. Working in the kitchen, the voices
of extreme discomfort, but they were not permanent.
of impatience and judgment created stories about my
There were moments of utter joy and peace, and those
co-workers. The voices of judgment, impatience and
were not permanent either. The problem with the
frustration were subtle, perhaps because initially they felt
distractions the noise of life provides is that when we
more distracting than uncomfortable. At times the voices
dampen the discomfort we are also dampening the joy. It
were so alluring, I felt like a moth powerlessly drawn to
is only by walking through that discomfort that we can
the flame. The experience highlighted opportunities for
truly open up to the level of joy and peace I experienced. It
is only by becoming comfortable with waves of discomfort
On the days that followed, I took long walks outside. I focused on the ground beneath my feet, the smells of the flowers and sounds of the birds overhead. The voices faded into the background during these walks, and I experienced incredible peace, connection, and joy. The point of the retreat was to unplug and experience life in the present without distraction. There were moments
that we can enjoy freedom from self-destructive behaviors and gain self-mastery. In everyday life, gifting oneself with silence is challenging but can reap tremendous rewards. Back home immersed in the noise of life I try to remember, the only way out is through. Cori Rosenthal Cori@CoriRosenthal.com
Food for Thought
Is Your Health Affected by Eve? Kellie Valenti Whether or not you believe the
right hair type, didn’t have big enough boobs, or your butt
creation story of Adam and Eve, the
was too big, etc. These subconscious images and self-talks
book of Genesis has largely served as a primary source in Western culture for definitions of gender and morality. It is perceived as containing fundamental and negative truths about the nature of women. For more than two thousand years, Eve has presented the fundamental character and identity of women. Eve represents everything about a woman a man should guard against. In both forms and symbol, Eve is woman and because of her, the prevalent belief in the West has been that all women are by nature disobedient, disloyal, deceitful, untrustworthy, seductive, prone to temptation
go on all the time, whether you are aware of them or not. Fast forward to today. You’ve had years of constant attack, from the media, men in your life (both professionally and intimately) who have also played into the negative self-talk. You’ve been under constant attack and may not have even been fully aware. What does this have to do with your health? EVERYTHING Psychological warfare is wreaking havoc in your physical, spiritual and mental health. Still think you aren’t
and evil, and motivated in their thoughts and behavior
constantly under attack?
purely by self-interest.
How’s your stress level? Would you say that it’s pretty high
This perception of Eve has surprisingly endured even
today as a major block for women to correct gender-
Stress influences unhealthy behaviors. When you are able
based inequalities between the sexes. Consciously or unconsciously, it continues to serve as the ultimate weapon against women who wish to challenge male hierarchy. This brings me to a point that I’d like to touch further on. The words “consciously” or “unconsciously” dictate much of what we do, feel and think in our lives. Imagine having this burden our whole lives even if you don’t believe it to be true? Our subconscious mind is
to see a connection between your physical and behavioral reactions to stressful situations and how the memories (and associated toxic emotions) of past stressful events you will see how they can impact your health. When Adam and Eve chose to sin in the Garden of Eden, spiritual death and illness began to be passed along to all of mankind. Man’s and woman’s bodies began to have medical disorders, their minds began to have psychiatric disorders and their spirits also began to have spiritual
ALWAYS at play. What were the stories and lies you were
told as a young girl? What did the TV and magazine ads say
This is very real for us today.
to you? My guess….you weren’t thin enough, tall enough, not the 42 BellaMia August 2015
When we have toxic emotions running rampant in our bodies, physical conditions such as colds and infections,
hypertension and heart disease, chronic headaches or even
Next you are going to write down at least 5 things under
migraines and aches and pains, start controlling our health
each limiting belief that nullifies these beliefs. Whether it’s
landscape. This list goes on and on.
big or small, list them.
What to do?
Next for each of the limiting beliefs, write out the new
Purge your mind of junk it doesn’t own. Practice the following simple steps to purge those limiting beliefs: Start believing you really are a beautiful creation, and one you are made in the image of.
empowered belief. For example: When I lose weight I will feel confident, sexy, empowered and not allow others to steel my power and make me feel less than I am created to be. Repeat these exercises as often as possible. The more
Learn to love you for you and no one else. God doesn’t
you can reprogram your thinking the better chance of
changing your limiting beliefs to beliefs of empowerment
Take back your health and your life. This is your power. You own it. Get the help you desire and deserve…you are worthy! Write out the demons that haunt you. As an example: I’m
and making lasting change, in all areas of your life. One last reminder: rely upon God or your higher power to receive his truth and love in our mind and spirit so that you can become truly healthy. When you are at peace with yourself and enjoy happiness in all areas, this landscape is
afraid that….if I lose weight my friends won’t like me. Write
conducive to GREAT health and beauty (inside and out)!
out 10 of these statements in different areas of your life.
For example: health, career, social, family, etc.
Then under each of these limiting beliefs, write down why you are afraid of these.
Food for Thought
Losing Weight Is Not About The Food You Eat Carol Egan o many women struggle with losing weight. And unfortunately, so many of us start off with a great intention to ‘stick to the weigh-loss plan,’ but falter shortly after beginning. The problem with most of the weight loss programs, books, and quick-fix solutions you’ve tried is that they don’t
is a stand-alone game-changer. Together, they are your winning formula. Morning Rituals Commit to starting every day with a morning ritual. This commitment will reconnect you with what matters most. The magic of ‘anything is possible’ happens only when you take consistent and committed action every single day.
change the thoughts you have behind why you can’t stick
Be grateful. Gratefulness is a game changer. As you wake,
with the healthy eating plan, and the ginormous force they
count three blessings you are grateful for.
have on your results.
Wash your face and brush your teeth. Doing these two
Even if you follow every diet plan to the T, participate in
seemingly benign acts first thing will instantly wash away
every seasonal detox, and successfully lose a few pounds
any lingering fatigue, to bring alertness and clarity to your
for a minute, you eventually become caught in the auto-
pilot “I will never achieve my ‘big-daddy’ results” thoughts that predictably take over and thwart every effort you try to
Morning Pages. Free write three pages every single
morning. Pick up your pen even if you don’t know what
What could be possible in your life if you were able to
do! This practice will liberate your personal power by
direct your thoughts toward what you most want, and
releasing thoughts that block your higher-level thinking!
totally bypass triggers, like a food craving?
to write. Write, “I don’t know what to write,” until you
Read your Vision and Purpose Statements. Write out a
If you want to lose weight, direct your thoughts to lose
vision and purpose statement – statements of what you
weight. It’s all about the force of what you think and focus
most want and why – and read them every single morning.
Your grander life goals and objectives will override the
As Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” To help you develop healthy habits that stick, I’ve created a series of practices adapted from the psychology and personal development arenas to help you direct your
small daily triggers that pull you out of your game. Breathe. Practice breath work for at least 5 minutes each morning. Breath work connects you to the Force that literally breathes you and give you access to the world of everything is possible.
thoughts toward the result you’d most like to achieve, and
Learn one new thing. Read a personal development book,
away from the disempowering ones. Each exercise below
Success Magazine, or listen to an audio series everyday to
44 BellaMia August 2015
guide and inspire you forward. Green juice. Green juice is my top recommendation to renew your health. Because green juice requires no digestive fire, which is ideal since so many suffer from digestive problems, it literally acts like an IV infusion of pure nutrition. Make a juice with spinach (or kale, romaine
Identify all the negative thoughts that undermine your goal and turn them around … and then … enter each one into your smartphone clock to remind you at random times during your day. Voila! You’ve just created a playful and powerful tool to transform your thoughts, one bell at a time to serve as your greatest ally!
or another green), cucumber, celery, lemon and 1/2 a
When you are in your zone, when you are deeply connected
green apple and watch your health improve and energy
with who you are and what really matters to you, there are
no limits to the success you can create in all areas of your
Stay on Track When you’ve set out to create healthy lifestyle habits before, you likely became discouraged and quit, because though you start out strong, old auto-pilot thoughts took over and sabotaged your efforts. Hello Mind Hacks! I created mind hacks as a fusion of mindfulness bells with empowering affirmations to help my clients direct their thoughts throughout the day. Start by identifying the disempowering thoughts that are
life! Food cravings? Ha! You not only scoff at the triviality of such a diversion, you embrace the challenge the steadfastness offers you! Create a daily ritual with these seemingly benign exercises and implement them consistently every single day and … Hello! Who’s the hot babe in the skinny jeans? Carol Egan www.carol-egan.com
running in the back of your mind, such as “I am not good enough”, and then turn them in to an empowering thought like, “I am the very best choice for the job!”
Featured on Our Cover photo credit: Lucinda Rae Kinch
46 BellaMia August 2015
Renee Jeffus with Mia Saenz BellaMia: How were you discovered as a teen CoverGirl? Renee: Like many young girls in America, I grew up dreaming of stardom and even wrote an autobiography in 5th grade where I boldly proclaimed I would someday be a famous model. When I was 12, my older sister asked my parents if she could attend a one year modeling school program in Omaha and I, the chubby, young tomboy begged to tag along. Within that one year I grew several inches, slimmed down and learned the tricks and trades of the biz. At our graduation I was invited by one of the top agencies in NYC to come for a two week visit that summer. My mom and I traveled to NYC and I fell completely in love with both that wild and wonderful city and the possibility of stardom. I had my first big job that trip with a two page
descent into self hatred, eating disorders and addictions. The shadow side of the modeling world combined with severe health issues due to heavy metal toxicity from bad dentistry nearly destroyed me over the next few years, but my spirit was strong and I began to question our culture’s obsession with beauty, thinness, sexiness and the use and objectification of women. A huge turning point for me was when I read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, a book which deeply challenges our cultures obsession with “beauty” and reveals clearly how it has been used as a way to keep women disempowered. I slowly peeled myself away from the business and started on a path of holistic healing, spirituality and the deeper seeking of what it truly means to be a woman.
editorial beauty spread in Young Miss magazine and that
BellaMia: What was your journey like from Cover Girl into
is what caught the eye of the Cover Girl folks. Within just a
your current life?
few months I was booked for a photo shoot with Cover Girl Cosmetics and was offered a 5 year contract which became the foundation of my career. BellaMia: Why did you leave the industry? Renee: Despite all of the glamour and glitz, the modeling world and the entire beauty industry has an incredibly dark shadow side to it. In my young years of 14-17 with my mother traveling with me and even living in NYC with me during our summers in NYC, I was sheltered from much of that shadow. And yet there were its effects on my health, self image and life. At 5’8”, I was considered short for the business and was endlessly harassed about needing to be as slim as possible. Between extreme dieting, obsessive exercise and never feeling perfect enough for an industry with impossible standards, I entered a long and painful
Renee: The journey was actually quite long and drawn out as the modeling business has so many appealing qualities to it along with its darker aspects. After having made big money in a business that affords great freedom, world travel and ego alluring stardom, it was not easy to find my way to another life path. My health had suffered greatly and my first step was moving to Boulder, CO to attend a one year herbalism program which I loved and led to a lifelong interest and passion around women’s health and wellbeing. I deeply immersed myself in studying sacred dance, energetic and shamanic healing, Goddess traditions, natural healing and different spiritual paths including ancient Tantra. This journey along with becoming a mother at the age of 24 deeply nourished in me the need for a greater foundation of self love, self care and greater purpose. 47
BellaMia: What are you doing currently for work, life and
to the possibility of finding a life partner that is a woman.
It did not take long once that opening and permission
Renee: For many years now I have been working with women all over the world to inspire and support them in their discovery of their deepest and truest selves. It is my mission to help empower women to truly embrace their authentic beauty, sensuality, spirituality and service in the world. I believe women truly can save this world when we cast aside the dark shadow of obsessive behaviors and self hatred rooted in the striving for perfection which the
was present for Spirit to bring me the love of my life Lori, whom I recently married. My heart, body and soul continue to dance in this exquisite journey of life and I am so grateful to be on this path with my beloved partner. We are blessed to be living in Southern California with the dolphins swimming in our back yard and our 3 children endlessly stretching us into a greater expression of patience, compassion, playfulness and love.
beauty industry and media endlessly promotes. It is time
BellaMia: How was this shoot different from your other
for the power of woman to be channeled into creating a
world based in compassion, love, equality, true freedom, respect for our mother earth and all her inhabitants, health and wellbeing for all and the other foundations of a thriving and peaceful society.
Renee: I absolutely loved my photo shoot with Lucinda! I had always loved being in front of the camera. But on photo shoots in the modeling business it was always about conveying what the company, photographer and
You can learn more about my work at www.ReneeJeffus.
our society deemed as beautiful, not necessarily what was
truly me. Lucinda has an incredible ability to gently and
As to my love life, that has too been an incredible journey! For many years I had immense pain and struggle in my many relationships with men including the fathers of my
playfully invite the most authentic expression of True Self. I had so much fun allowing my sensuality, playfulness and true beauty out!
3 children. Since I was young I questioned if I may actually
Lucinda has a real talent of seeing oneâ€™s authentic self
be at least bisexual if not fully lesbian, yet the conditioning
and then creating a safe and loving environment for that
to be straight was so strong in my upbringing in both
authentic self to fully express itself for her to capture
my family and culture. So although I have absolutely
on film. In all my years of being in front of the camera,
loved women and am devoted to the liberation and full
my time with Lucinda was by far the most liberating and
expression of the feminine, I had never given myself
empowering experience and the images we captured
full permission to explore the freedom of my sexual
including the one on this cover really convey that
orientation. In the last few years I had been questioning
empowerment, self love and true freedom of Self.
on a much deeper level my sexuality and opening myself
48 BellaMia August 2015
13 Moons: The Relationship Between the Moon and Your Menstrual Cycle Dr. Mary Pritchard itting at dinner at a wedding, I
up red tents – sacred places where they could celebrate
made a comment about how
their Feminine Divinity at each New Moon. The moon day
beautiful and full the moon
was a day of rest and meditation.
looked that night. One woman said to me, “I’ve never really noticed the moon.”
Waxing Moon (the light of the moon is growing in size) – this is what we now call the follicular phase. This is the time when your body prepares to release another egg.
I was shocked. How could a woman not be in touch with
Estrogen rises and your energy is sky high. Women in
the moon? Didn’t she know that before fluorescent lights
ancient times would work the fields and do tasks that
were invented, back in agricultural societies when we
required manual labor or extra energy, as they had energy
lived outside, women would bleed on the New Moon and
to spare during this phase of their cycle.
ovulate on the Full? That’s where the word menstruation comes from (mens=moon), for crying out loud! To me, not knowing what phase the moon was in was like being a surfer and not knowing when the tides were coming in. It made no sense.
Full moon (moon is completely lit and forms a bright, white, round ball in the sky) – in ancient times, women ovulated on the full moon. Estrogen continues to rise during this phase, as does testosterone (and your libido!). Mother Nature intended this time for baby making. You
Then it hit me. Most women today are so out of touch
may notice a clear, slippery vaginal discharge during
with their bodies, with their cycles, that they don’t know
ovulation – it disappears once the egg is released. The
the phase of the moon, much less where they are in their
full moon is a time of connecting with your community –
menstrual cycle (unless they are actually having their
especially your loved ones and romantic partner. Women
tend to report more interest in sex during their ovulatory
It’s time to remedy that. There are 13 Full Moons each year;
as such, most women bleed 13 times a year. In ancient
Waning moon (light begins to decrease as the moon moves
times, women lived their lives in flow with the moon (that’s
from full to new once again) – this is what we call the
one of the reasons the ancient Chinese referred to the
luteal phase of the menstrual cycle in modern times. Your
menstrual cycle as “heavenly waters” – love that!).
energy is directed inward and you may be more tired than
Beginning on the New Moon (full dark – the moon is not visible), most women would bleed for 1-3 days (in modern times, it’s common for women to bleed for 3-7 days, but that is not in harmony with nature and can be changed). In some cultures, women celebrated their monthly cycles and, as all women were on the same cycle, they would set 50 BellaMia August 2015
usual as your body prepares to either make a baby or shed its uterine lining. If you are not pregnant, progesterone levels will fall dramatically making you moody and you’ll crave foods that will increase your serotonin (our “feel good” neurotransmitter) levels. If there is a time of the month when self-care is of utmost importance, this is it. Many women find themselves more contemplative as their
periods approach. This is a great time to get a massage
Honor your Divine Feminine by honoring your body. Take
or get out your journal and do some much-needed self-
the first day of your period off work (if you can) and relax.
If thatâ€™s not feasible, then at least try to take a hot bath that
This sounds like a beautiful way to live your life, doesnâ€™t
evening when you get home from work or journal.
it? What can you do to start getting in touch with and
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Know that you
honoring your moon cycle once again? I have three
are the essence of the Divine Feminine. Honor her and
honor yourself! Let your inner goddess shine!
Become aware of the phase of the moon.
Dr. Mary Pritchard
Try to sync your cycles back with Mother Nature.
exposure to the moon can sync your cycle back up with Mother Nature.
The Power of the Cycle Dr. Sabrina Caliendo y wish for anyone reading this
worked through. We are not in a false depression or raving
article is for them to realize the
lunatics!!! We are emoting and feeling the range of our
gifts that are inherently stored within
emotions… having a human experience in a world where
their wombs. These gifts are there and
thinking is valued over feeling. We live in a society where
readily available to those who want to claim them. In our modern day culture we very often overlook or are completely unaware of the gifts of the womb/uterus. The uterus is seen as just another organ, taken for granted and to some, is even considered an annoyance. Having a period
we are overwhelmed by information and underwhelmed by truth and wisdom. Luckily as women, we are reminded every month to take stock of what is important. If we can open up to experiencing these emotions and this process we will replace the superficial with great depth and innate gifts.
is messy, uncomfortable and just inconvenient for our
Ovulation is a time of creation. Not only the opportunity to
lifestyles. We are not embracing our cycles or the parts of
conceive and create new life in the form of a baby but the
us that make us women.
conception and creation of new projects, ideas and new
The womb is an extremely Sacred place for us as it houses our Feminine Power and Essence. The potential to Create, Manifest and to Cleanse our own body, minds and souls and those around us. Women absorb what is happening around them and bleed and send that energy back into the earth. The womb stores memories of our lives, our ancestry and experiences- the good, bad and the ugly! The menstrual cycle itself is a beautiful and wondrous process unparalleled by anything in existence.
skillsets. The exploration of increasing capacities. When we are able to access the energy of the uterus we are able to accomplish many projects simultaneously multi-tasking with ease. Dreaming up new dreams and finding ways to make them real, contributing to humanity and aligning more and more with our souls purposes. It is such a shame that we, ourselves choose not to recognize the beautiful, amazing and magical gifts that we possess as women. We are the mistresses of our own fate and there is so much more available to us than we know or have been willing to explore. Rejecting our bodies and
Our menses provide us with many advantages giving us an
painting a picture or a story that negatively reinforces our
opportunity to dig down deep, to slow down and to cleanse
abilities and possibilities is degrading.
When we pay attention to our womb space and allow
“Pre-Menstrual Syndrome” (PMS) has been labeled as
ourselves to surrender and bathe in the glory of our gifts,
though it were a condition/illness or sign that something
life changes dramatically. We begin to nurture ourselves
is wrong. It isn’t a “curse” as many would think it- this
and those around us. Please allow for your Feminine
is a phase in our cycles that gives us an opportunity to
Essence to shine through. Be your Divine, Beautiful,
truly highlight areas that need to be looked at, resolved or
Perfect, Adaptable, Magnificent Self. Start noticing changes
52 BellaMia August 2015
you make as you go through your cycle. Journal or discuss
Essence, bathe in her blissful glory and enjoy the emerging
experiences with friends and heighten your awareness’s,
acknowledge and accept and be present with yourselves and finally… revel in her… the Divine Sacred Feminine
Dr. Sabrina Caliendo www.nurturewellbeing.com
ďż˝ scovv Sexy, Sacred, Sensual YY
30 Day Online Course www.MichelleAlva.com 54 BellaMia August 2015
Are you ready to
the skin youâ€™re in?
What if you fell deeply wildly in love with your body?
, itâ€™s possible
5 Ways To Indulge in Guiltless Shameless Pleasure In Our Lives Michelle Alva housands of years ago, according to the Bible, God breathed life into Adam and made
beliefs that have suppressed and shamed women, the story of Eve has contributed to that. What if enjoying the
him in the form of God. The story goes on that
simple pleasures of an apple, a swim, a delicious meal and
God then created Eve from Adam’s rib. Adam
sensual, soulful love making were to be embraced by all?
represents our male energy and Eve represents our female aspects. God placed them to live in the Garden of Eden and warned them both not to eat from a certain tree. Eve falls to the temptation of the snake and her disobedience causes both her and Adam to be removed from the Garden of Eden into the “real” world that we call Earth. There have been many interpretations to this story for thousands of years, most of which have described Eve as the temptress and associated woman with evil. It is time for us to adopt a new paradigm shift where we support the belief that men and women are equal and release the guilt and shame that we have held for thousands of years. Modern science, the field of epigenetics and the work of
Too often we feel ashamed or guilty if we indulge in the simple pleasures of life, that may also include sacred, self-pleasuring and masturbation, due to old religious programs and beliefs that teach us to shame our bodies and ourselves. Our Creator knew what he/she was doing when he/she invented a woman’s clitoris with over 9,000 nerve endings. Humans are designed to receive and experience pleasure. We are sacred and miraculous, created by God and perfectly designed to pro-create. When we give ourselves permission to shamelessly and guiltlessly experience our God created bodies, we actually are brought to a closer experience of our Creator and all of life.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The “Biology Of Belief”, has
We are naturally sensual and sexual beings that are
taught us that our beliefs create our reality and influence
constantly healing. Pleasure is natural for us. It brings us
our physiology and we express certain genes in our bodies.
a heightened sense of self-awareness and brings us to a
We literally can make our cells healthy by believing that we
fuller experience of the present moment. Isn’t that why we
are healthy. Our thoughts effect our reality. When we live
meditate and engage in spiritual practices such as yoga
driven by love, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance
as a priority in our lives, we get to experience our lives as living “heaven on earth.”
Pleasure was not a priority in my life and especially self-
Today we know that it is our perceptions that causes our
ever gave myself an orgasm, which was after my divorce
human experience. Do you perceive women and men as
(at the age of 38) was the first time I realized how heavily
equal? Do you prioritize the experience of “heaven on
weighed down by judgment I had been my whole life
earth” and feeling worthy of experiencing pleasure in your
,surrounding my sexuality. I was programmed to believe
sex was something you only did with your spouse and to
There has been thousands and thousands of years of 56 BellaMia August 2015
pleasure practices such as masturbation. The first time I
pleasure yourself was shameful.
These are the unspoken truths I adopted as a child and carried with me most of my life. To also pleasure myself as a mom, and make time for my own self-care was not something I was programmed to do. What I became was a resentful and nagging woman by the time my daughter was 6 years old, I was overwhelmed, stressed out and this all
as I did. There are many benefits to prioritizing sensual and sexual pleasure in our lives. When we experience sensual pleasure we stimulate the neuro-hormone of love, connection, focus and healing called Oxytocin.
led me to realize I had to do something radically different
Women of all ages, sizes and shapes can benefit greatly
in my life and with my own self-relationship.
from Indulging in the following 5 Self-Pleasure Activities.
Our Creator has a divine plan for us all. My past has taught me how heavy it feels to carry shame and guilt in
Try at least one per day and let me know how they benefit you and everyone around you!
our bodies. It has motivated me to heal and free myself
The happier and more connected you feel, the more easier
of unhealthy programs. It has inspired me to serve as an
it is for others to feel joyful and connected within. We are
empowering guide for women to heal and free themselves
all so interconnected, we all effect one another.
from the weight of our judgments and past programs, just
Massage your chest and abdomen daily. Create circles of love over your chest, breasts and abdomen. As you move your hands with medium pressure over your body, feel loving and sacred. Remember that you are a divine creation and on purpose. You were thought into form. Simply because you exist, you matter. Feel so grateful for who you are, exactly as you are.
Look in the mirror and choose to see beauty. Look at every part of your body. Say “Thank you eyes, thank you cheeks, thank you breasts, thank you hips… “ mention the parts that have been the most difficult to love and allow yourself to feel the re-connection with gratitude of yourself to your own body. Eventually this exercise will feel more and more pleasurable for you as you heal and reconnect to all the parts of your body. Touch the parts you thank in a loving and nurturing way.
Touch your pleasure zones, the nipples, the groin area, around the neck, our lips, our genitals and inner thigh areas, our buttocks and anal areas. Stroke slowly and lovingly these areas. Notice if any feelings of shame, guilt or embarrassment arise. If you feel uncomfortable touching yourself this way, take a deep breath in and exhale the sound “ahh”. Allow yourself to simply feel what emotions arise. Maybe our parents taught us to shame ourselves when we touch ourselves. Notice if anything arises, or do you feel completely at peace with pleasuring yourself?
Dance naked to your favorite music. Feel free moving your body and expressing your soul’s joy to the beats of the song. Allow your eyes to close to feel even more deeply your body and the temperature of the room, the temperature of the floor, and how your skin feels as it moves through space. Allow your creativity to soar and dance! Notice if it feels comfortable or if you are judging the experience. And maybe you wish to begin with dancing simply in your undies! Invite into your dance experience what feels safe for you and then take off more clothes. The key to releasing shame and guilt is to be there with your feelings and still show up there for you. Breathe deeply and slowly, exhale “ahhh” through the uncomfortable feelings. Eventually only love will remain and feel even a stronger self-love connection. The judgment or criticism is simply our old mental programs… the snake’s temptation, the shame, is not ours, it is what our mind has adopted from someone else, from what we saw others’ do in our past. When a baby is born, that baby loves to be naked, that baby loves to taste and touch, and smell and put everything in his/her mouth. We are naturally sensual beings.
Take a bath with rose petals, aromatherapy salts and candle lit! Indulge in water… if you can go skinny dipping! Experience the freedom of being naked in the water. Feel what you are, so dynamic and alive!
Enjoy every moment of your life. Indulge in pleasurable activities and introduce more pleasure into your everyday activities by simply letting go of shame, guilt and criticism towards yourself. Thank you for trying these practices! The more we all experience a deep sense of freedom within, the more we literally open up new possibilities for women all around the world, and men to do and be free! Michelle Alva, PT www.michellealva.com
58 BellaMia August 2015
AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON! 40 Inspirational images to color and customize. Express yourself!
Embodying the New Eve Claire Sierra, MA he story we’re told is that Eve offered Adam fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam took the offered apple,
as we know it was set in motion. They were “cast out” of paradise because they chose to incarnate, into the world of form and duality, understanding the difference between
which was forbidden by God. This apparent act
good and evil. How can that be a sin? That is your task
of defiance caused “the Fall of Man,” as they
as spiritual beings incarnate on Earth—to discover and
were cast out of the Garden of Eden—presumable in shame and regret. Most traditions agree that this act of disobedience is our Original (and inherited) Sin. Mainstream Christian dogma maintains it was Adam’s sin in eating the apple.
choose the good, light and truth. She followed the path of knowing good (right) and evil (wrong). It is only the politicking of the church fathers that turned it into evil/sin. The word sin means “missing the mark”. Did she miss the mark? It depends on what she
Yet for some reason the widely held cultural assumption is
was aiming for. Perhaps her choice was conscious and
that Eve, the temptress, was responsible. Thus all women,
as daughters of Eve, are tainted and not to be trusted. While deep and unconscious, this belief impacts the psyche of all women. We are still unraveling the centuries of domination and negativity towards our gender that is seeded in early mistruths. And what if we got it all wrong? Is there was another way to view this story? I went to meditation and asked Spirit for insight. (I wrote about this practice in The Magdalene Path, ©Balboa/Hay House 2014). And this is what I received,
Perhaps where humanity “fell” was seeing your life here on Earth as a punishment, equated with Sin and wrong-doing. That your desires lead you astray, when in fact they show you what you love and are called to. When desire is tended to appropriately, in balance (not denied or repressed), it guides you.” The church patriarchs who developed the Bible as we know it were dearly afraid of desire, sexuality, and being in the body. Looking historically at the Judeo-Christian
“Eve was not a puppet, nor a victim. She was a divine being
perspective on women, it’s obvious that there is deep,
playing a role. Certainly some of her message became
long-standing fear or loathing of the feminine. This led to
distorted as she was subjugated, but her essence was Light:
domination and control through policy and practices that
purity and innocence. Did she defy the order or wisdom
debased or excluded women which we are just working out
of God by imbibing the knowledge of Good and Evil? No,
she was making a choice, to participate and incarnate into the world of form from the angelic realm—the Garden of Eden--where she and Adam lived.
According to Judeo-Christian traditions, Eve is the mother of us all and we are descended from her with the legacy of Original Sin. I see it differently: she chose
God warned her (paraphrasing), “Don’t do that or things
to come here. It’s a blessing not a curse. Looking at the
are going to change dramatically.” But she did, and life
story with new eyes, she ate and offered her partner the
60 BellaMia August 2015
fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Understanding and
But what if that’s all wrong? Who would we be then? As a
discernment of good and bad, right and wrong seems like
Divine Being she knew what she was doing and we should
a good skill. In fact it seems like the human journey of
honor not impugn her. Then our legacy as daughters of Eve
self-discovery. But religious dogma was created to develop
is that we are blessed to be here as women who make our
followers that obey, not make choices for themselves.
own empowered, embodied, soul-centered choices. We do
Eve defied the punitive, Old Testament Father God and made a choice to know Truth, good from bad, on her own.
what feels right, morally and ethically, and then deal with the outcome. That’s the new Eve. That’s who we are.
She was choosing to be conscious. Of course the church
Claire Sierra, MA
dogma was not going to abide that. So they judged her,
expelled her and then applied her immorality onto all women.
Intuition, Cycles, and Wisdom of the Body Charlene Maguire hat would it take for you to listen
Nature works in cycles. Your body works in cycles. It is
to the wisdom of your body? Could
a creating and manifesting change agent. Think about
you, without judgment, connect to your body and hear what it has to tell you about your health, finances, unique purpose,
it... the ultimate act of creation is when two people come together to make a little human. In order to use our amazing physical machines, we need to know something
or relationships? Your body is like a giant antenna...
about cycles, and specifically our body’s cycles. You can
picking up signals all around you, but most people don’t
actually use your own hormonal cycles to your benefit if
pay attention. We need to connect again - to both our
you listen to your body’s signals. I started to notice a while
cellular and energetic physical selves. Both men’s and
ago how certain times of the month were better for certain
women’s bodies have cycles, which move in harmony
activities. This may be true for men too, but in a different
with nature’s cycles, but we’ve disconnected from the
way. For women, there are four distinct cycles every month
partnership of our natural bodies and the natural world.
that our bodies go through. Pre-Ovulation is when you
I learned to get into partnership with my body in my early 30s. I have always had an instinct that I actually listen to (e.g., a very strong message saying “don’t drink soda”). However, it wasn’t until I got into yoga that I really started listening to my body. Yoga made me pay attention, both with food choices and movement. I learned that my body was a lot stronger than I had given it credit for. There were
have access to an abundant amount of creative energy – great time for new ideas and creative projects. Ovulation week is when you have the best communication skills – time to ask for a raise! Pre-menstruation is best for detailoriented organizing mode. Menstruation is when a woman really needs to listen to her “gut” messages – you are more intuitive and psychic during menstruation.
also potent messages from my hormonal cycle. Once I
So how do you tune in to your body’s cycles? There are a
started listening to my body’s signals about how it wanted
number of different ways. Our bodies are made to move,
to move, what it wanted to eat, who it wanted to interact
so find out what kind of activity yours enjoys, and do it.
with, and who was toxic to me, my body helped me clear
It could be yoga, hiking, walking, or simple stretching.
up health concerns like my acne.
Some people need a lot of physical activity, some don’t. If
In the movie “Misrepresentation,” Gloria Steinham said that girls are taught to view their bodies as unending projects to work on, whereas boys are taught to view their bodies as tools to master their environment. What if women were taught to view and use their bodies as the magical tools that they are? We have been given these wonderful treasure maps with all the instructions on how to take care of them and use them, but we don’t listen. 62 BellaMia August 2015
you end up with an injury, that’s a message right there! Choose something else. Before, during, and after you eat, pay attention to your body’s signals. Your responses to certain smells, tastes, and textures are ways the body lets you know what it wants and needs. Eat slowly, so you know exactly how much to eat... you may be done before you think. Pay attention to any reactions you experience after eating, as those will tell whether your body likes that particular food. For those of you who might need an
obvious example consider this: when you have to go to the
be attached to the outcome. You might experience some
bathroom, your body says, “You’re full! It’s now time to let
amazing insights. The painting with this article is one I
this out from inside of you and then move on.” If you don’t
did which came about through needing to explore what
pay attention your body will certainly let you know.
my “gut” was telling me. A great deal of creative energy
Creative processes can really be fun to explore for body communication. Try doing something like writing a letter to your body. Maybe even write a love letter to your body! Keep a journal on your body and its likes, dislikes, and needs. Draw, collage or trace a part of your body that you’re having difficulty with or that you love. Write words
stirring there, and a reminder to tap into it! I received much more insight than just that, but it would be a longer article. I’ll let you interpret the painting as you like. Charlene Maguire Artist/Designer/Teacher www.shapeshifterstudios.com
on it. Add some collage elements or paint it and don’t
Original Painting: Charlene Maguire
Vagina Rejection It Started With Eve Bonnie Gayle hen your vagina isn’t happy, neither are you. According to the World
In desperation, I brought it up to my mother and she had no recollection of anything like what I was experiencing
Health Organization, 15-30 million
happening to her. My mother was mostly raised by her
women are walking around with vaginal
grandmother who came from Austria and a traditional
pain. You could be walking around with this
Jewish background and hadn’t spoken to me about
pain or it could come during sexual activity for a variety
anything related to my vagina since we had “the period
of reasons including; non sexually transmitted diseases,
talk” when I was 9.
sexually transmitted infections and hormonal imbalance. This pain can cause you to feel frustrated and miserable when there is no relief. Sitting, standing, or laying down all feel painful. It becomes consuming because all you want is to be pain-free. You can imagine that this could have a huge impact on everyone around you.
Finally, I broke down and went to the gynecologist, something I absolutely hated doing. I had to lie down in the chair with stirrups for that oh-so-famous pelvic exam, which made me feel even worse as the clamps were inserted. Oh my god. It couldn’t have felt any worse. I was tearing in pain and wanted to scream so loud it would be
Ten years ago, I had the painful vagina challenge. I felt
heard outside of the building. I didn’t. As usual, I held in
like my vagina was on fire. The pain was burning, searing,
my pain. When he was done, which couldn’t have happened
stinging and I was always raw down there. Only 41 at the
a moment too soon, the doctor informed me I had Vaginal
time, I could not imagine feeling like this for the rest of my
Atrophy. I had no idea what that was or how I got it. All I
life. I wasn’t able to focus on anything else let alone sleep. I
knew was, one day I was fine and the next I wasn’t. Was my
was consumed and at the time there was no relief in sight.
vagina dying? How did this happen? I kept my vagina clean,
Whether I was standing, sitting, or lying down – it was all
well groomed, lubricated, and self-pleasured often. I had
painful. Can you imagine?
taken care of my vagina, so I thought.
“I felt so much shame, anger, frustration, and I was always
I had vagina issues from the time I was little. It had to
upset and unhappy. I couldn’t control my feelings and
be stretched when I was two months old from what my
I resented being a woman going through all these body
mother told me when I was older. When I was a fifteen,
changes. I felt broken and I wasn’t able to see it getting
I was brutally raped and my vagina hurt for a long time
better.” Bonnie Gayle
afterwards. I felt like my vagina closed up.
At the time, nobody I knew or spoke to could relate to
I felt very disconnected from my body during sex. I don’t
what had happened to me. It was so hard to talk about
know whether I rejected my vagina or my vagina rejected
and there was not a lot of empathy, support or answers.
me. I didn’t learn to feel pleasure until my mid 30s
It was my huge white elephant that women didn’t really
however at least I wasn’t in pain… until that horrifying day
want to know about and just the thought of was painful. I
when everything changed. I felt like my body betrayed me
felt so alone and ashamed. I resented my feminine parts.
and again, I rejected my vagina.
64 BellaMia August 2015
What I learned that I didn’t have to suffer in silence. I could
and doing Kegel exercises. Everything changed for me and
let go of shame, find my voice, and love my vagina through
it can for you too. Love your body and take care of it and it
it all. We are told in the story of Eve that women are the
will be healthy and happy for a long time.
sinners and we carry the guilt and shame of the world on our shoulders. It’s not a wonder that it could manifest in our vagina especially if our family history is that of strict
“Sexual Health & Wellness Isn’t Just About Sex. It’s About Feeling GOOD In Your Body.”
religious belief. It’s time for us to reclaim our bodies and
release the stain of Eve that was never ours to begin with.
I started using healthy organic products for bathing, detergents, tampons, douching, sexual lubricants, sex toys,
6 Ways I Learned To Love Myself After An Abusive Relationship Victoria Wynn hough still somewhat fresh for me,
we don’t underestimate the value of good men and the
there are so many woman suffering from
example they bring into our lives. We need to see that.
confidence and self worth challenges resulting
We need to see that there are respectful, thoughtful and
from their past abuse, that I am feeling a strong
genuine men out there who we can lean on. So though
need to address the anguish and show you a 6
I primarily found women to share with, there were 3
step path to healing. My incident went from a long term relationship that was verbally abusive to one very scary night where it finally got physical. I had never felt so violated. I had never felt so protective of my kids. And I had never felt so confused. These are all common feelings. You will have a large range
men who I will be forever grateful for. Begin this step
immediately. You will get instant results! Acceptance: It’s vital for our healing process that we accept the fact that our partner’s abusive behavior wasn’t and never will be our fault. I
remember thinking after a big blowout, “If I were just more
of them. Before we dig into the steps, please cease from
kind when he yelled at me.” When we accept this truth,
shaming yourself for having these emotions. Allowing
we automatically find more love for ourselves. Could we
yourself to feel is a form of self love.
improve? Sure. Is what someone else does ever our fault?
Now lets begin walking the path back to confidence and
Be Single For A While: After my abusive relationship finally ended for good, I knew it was time for a “dating time out”. Something to the
Movement: I still don’t have a clear understanding of why this has worked, and not just worked, but changed my outlook on life profoundly. Perhaps
the endorphins being released when I run, swim or play
effect of when our children misbehave and they have to sit
tennis. Some say that shaking up the “stuck” energy can
in one spot for a while and think about the lesson we want
release emotional blocks. I found my time jogging and
them to learn. Well I needed to stay in one spot and really
walking to be my personal meditation time where new
take in the lessons of the relationship. I realized early on
lessons and epiphanies could flow into me. Start with baby
in my healing journey that I hadn’t had a moment of being
steps this week if you’re new to exercise. I’ve been using an
single for the past 5 years. I didn’t even take a short break
app called “Couch to 5K.”
in between relationships. My current “breather” has been
profound. Humility: Sometimes we need to reach out
Support Groups: I had never been to a support group in my life. I realized that though I was a life design coach, I had a lot of tools and processes
and stop hiding, particularly in a situation that
to work through challenges with, that handling my own
has been traumatizing. In my situation, I most
trauma wasn’t a reality for me. It was time to seek out love
commonly reached out to women, but it’s so vital that 66 BellaMia August 2015
from others who understood me. I gained more than I
could have ever imagined from my first meeting. My head
As a reminder, expecting our self to recover quickly will
was spinning as I heard stories from so many others going
cause you more trouble than good. You get to heal in
through my same pain. I highly recommend attending one
your own time. In the meantime, find the blessings. I can
in your area. My confidence began to climb after just a few
honestly say now that I wouldnâ€™t wish away that abusive
meetings. Do a search online or talk to a leader at your
relationship from my life even if I could, because the
church or synagogue about groups in your area.
lessons were too valuable. I needed them to get to the next
Setting & Keeping Boundaries. I learned what my accountability was in the abuse, which was the fact that I enabled it. I had soft boundaries and
therefore taught him how to treat me. I learned that the most loving thing I could do for both he and I was stop
step in life. And itâ€™s beautiful over here! Victoria Wynn Mother of 5, Founder of The Lies I Tell Myself Project, published author and speaker www.TheLiesITellMyself.com
going back to him. I have felt peacefully empowered as I shared my boundaries with men with clarity and poise. Write down your boundaries this week and read them often.
What is inner-beauty? Tess Cacciatore “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
follows us and becomes the blueprint
my vision and they were sweetly on
they say... but what about the inner
that is then encoded into our soul
board from the beginning. I sat down
eye of our own beauty, empowerment,
DNA. “You’re ugly.” You are fat.” “You
and thought about all these amazing
and self-love. Is that not the “end-all”
are stupid.” All negative comments
women in my life that had such great
of being self-reliant in our lives?
get buried deep and we can’ not
stories. We all have a story...yes?
If you stop and ask anyone on the street, What is inner beauty? there will most likely be a few core answers that
seem to shake them until there is a catastrophe in our lives that shakes us awake.
I have always been a big fan of producing interactive programming and finding ways for people to share
repeat. The obvious ones: confidence,
While preparing to speak at the Los
their feelings and stories, as through
truth, soul, reflection from others.
Angeles City Hall, on Valentine’s
revealing I believe that we begin to
However, when you dig down deeper,
Day, for the “One Billion Rising”
heal. We learn that we are not alone
what comes to the surface is the most
global event, i was stirred with
and that others have sometimes
magnificent transformation that I
emotion when I heard a song being
suffered more than we have, so we
performed by the group “Magnolia
can have compassion for ourselves
Memoir” called, “No One Like You!”
and others and learn the process of
Even though i was sure the song was
Being on the path of selfempowerment for decades now, while also being the Founder of Global Women’s Empowerment Network, I often have discussions about the cycles of abuse. How do we keep getting back into that cycle? Even if we have had the courage to leave the one
written about a relationship, I became frozen with images of women from all walks of life, who were singing these words as an anthem, as they looked at themselves in a mirror. And, I mean, truly looked at themselves in a mirror.
abuser, we seem to stumble right back
When was the last time that you stared
into the arms of another... whether it
at yourself in a mirror, truly deep into
be on a personal, or professional level.
your own soul ,and told yourself that
I truly believe that why we continue cycles of abuse, is because we do not know the difference of what it is like to be in a healthy relationship.
you are special, that you are a gem in this world, or even tougher yet... that you love yourself. It is not that easy of an exercise.
Pathologies follow pathologies. How
After that event I contacted the lead
we are raised and the programming
singer, Mela Lee and her partner
that we hear as we are growing up
Alexander Burke. I shared with them
68 BellaMia August 2015
I was quick to put together 17 females, from age 12 on up - from all walks of life. We all came together in a sound stage in Glendale California, to talk about issues of self-esteem and the power of inner beauty and loving ourselves. The transformations that occurred that day were so powerful, that we all got to be there for each other - and most importantly for ourselves. I was proud to facilitate these sessions and to see this vision from Valentine’s Day come to life. It was interesting to receive phone
calls from most of the cast, leading up
of the mirror, their nervousness
would come to the surface ended up
to the day of filming. They all seemed
cracked open to a rare experience
being something more meaningful
apprehensive, nervous, unsure. As
for them all. Tears of transformation
than they could ever imagine.
each woman got up in front of the
and joy streamed down their blushed
camera, and most important in front
cheeks. Words that they thought
Tess Cacciatore “Finding GWEN” video
In this digital age of mobile apps and new technologies, there are apps for this and apps for that. Apps to make our lives easier and new technology to improve our wellbeing, but how many apps can help you plan a family? What technologies can work to track your fertility cycles all while keeping you connecting with your trusted physicians?
70 BellaMia August 2015
Fertility diagnostics testing is on the rise and Helen Denise
share this preference – 96% of people that have a HHI
is leading the pack as a trusted name in fertility and family
(house hold income) of $75K plus prefer free apps to paid
planning. Helen is the innovator behind the KNOWHEN®
Saliva Fertility Monitor and the new – about to be developed MOMent™ home monitoring system. What makes this monitor special is the mobile app that is synced with the device that can store your fertility information and your cycles over a twelve-month period! This line of products will let women know the best time to conceive,
People are starting families later, careers are in fast motion, travelling is taking center stage and knowing our bodies can help plan and achieve your goals at your pace. Thanks to Hilin Life Products the technology to do all of this is now at YOUR FINGERTIPS.
help those looking for natural family planning, and even
Hilin Life Products launched It’s Your MOMent™
women who just want to enjoy intimacy and track sexual
crowdfunding campaign on rockethub.com so the public
activity. Her company believes that infertility is not an
can take part in their growth and contribute to their
epidemic but a lack of knowledge and that planning for a
development. As KNOWHEN®, Hilin Life’s first generation
family should be as easy as checking a text message.
personal fertility product gives birth to the 2nd generation,
MOMent™ will pinpoint the time of ovulation in seconds and because this device connects to your smart phone or computer, communicating with your doctor is just a click
we need community support. To join their mission and see their goals, click HERE. There are many perks, which will make your contribution all the sweeter.
away. No co-pays or taking time off work to sit in doctor’s
To get your KNOWHEN® Saliva Fertility Monitor w/FREE
offices, it truly will make your life easier and improve your
APP, find it in most CVS stores national wide, Amazon, or
on their website, www.knowhen.com. In the world of “I
Our App is designed to meet the needs and wants of consumers. According to a 2010 study by Harris Interactive, 95% of the U.S. adult population who owns a
want it now” Hilin Life Products is proud to give you the technology to connect with your doctor, track your fertility, and plan for your family…NOW.
smartphone prefer free apps. Even affluent consumers
Women are the Bringers of Life, Men are the Protectors of Life, Both bring Honor to Humankind.
Bringers of Life Kimberley Heart
t is women who will birth a new world for all of humankind. It is the feminine that will raise from the ashes of the old world a new world of collaboration, compassion, unprecedented creation and love.
cause of our separation from the Divine, the source of all love. Whether we are religious or not, the message has been passed down from mother to daughter, father to son for countless generations. We, as modern women, rebel at this
To create these words to be true, we must first understand
notion as not just ridiculous but unconscionable. Yes, it is
where we stand as women. What if most of what we know
unconscionable, but it is in the collective unconsciousness
about being a woman is a lie? What if the rage we secretly
of our civilization. Look around you, it is in the lack of
feel as women is not unfounded? What if much of our
women in places of power, the continuous emphasis on
shame, pain, need to sacrifice, self-abandonment, and
our external beauty and youth, it is in our school systems
loneliness are based in the original lie that women are the
that still stereotype professions, it is in the child and
root of all the pain on the planet?
women’s abuse rates, and the list goes on and on. Look,
If not for ourselves, then for our daughters and sons, we need to think about the bottom-line impact of what our Judeo-Christian society has laid out as the underpinnings
really see—because it is only if we see that we can rage against the storm, that we can then create a new reality for the world.
of how we perceive ourselves as women. All of us, yes every
We as women are more then half the population of the
single one of us, regardless of how wonderful or hurtful
human race, and yet in 2015 we still allow this level of
our childhoods have been, we were raised in a society that
decimation, abuse and betrayal. The question we must ask
believes—down to its DNA—that women are the cause of
ourselves is why? Men simply do not have the power to do
the pain in the world. After all, the myth goes that Eve,
this to us unless we say “yes” to this treatment on some
in her search for knowledge and understanding, was the
72 BellaMia August 2015
We s women must, if we are going to be the bringers of life,
We will never know the answers to these questions if we
of new creation, of new levels of imagination, of expressed
don’t do a better job of healing our wounds around being a
feelings and sacred living, face what we still allow. There
women, of allowing—not causing, no never causing—all the
can be no change without first facing the truth. We are
levels of abuse listed above. What if it is our boundless love
infinity powerful and we can stand together, in fact we
that has been the answer all along?
must, to change the world.
You are the answer. I am the answer. Our sisterhood, our
It is our own lack of self-love; it is our innate secret
communities are the answer. This is not a problem of men;
shame at actually being a woman that we must heal. We
this is a problem of women. We are the answer to the new
must do the work it takes to fall in love with ourselves.
world. Each of us, who hear the call, must now—today—
This can only be done if we look at our own level of self-
take responsibility for our piece of the world and love it
abandonment and self-sacrifice. We believe, some of us
into a new existence. We are the bringer of life; we are the
to the core of our beings, that we must sacrifice to get
creator of the new world. We are the ones who say “I Love
love, raise our children and win at our careers. We argue
You” first, and it must start with the one you see in the
for this, and in so doing sentence ourselves to unfulfilled,
mirror every morning.
martyred lives. And so, I repeat what I said at the beginning of this article, what if we have it all wrong? What if our role as women is to make sacred, not to sacrifice? What if the lie of Eve ends
I wish you love. Kimberley Heart www.getlove.com
with us? What if our search for knowledge and wisdom is the answer to the lack of love in the world, not the cause?
Photo Credit: Bidwell Park,CA - Sarah Campbell, Flickr
74 BellaMia August 2015
Can the Modern Day Eve Find Sanctuary in the Kitchen? Sharon Otness The kitchen is the heart of the home. Try having any
As a Holistic Health Coach it is part of my mission to get
kind of gathering or party and keep everyone out of the
people back in the kitchen and prepare their own food
kitchen and away from the cook. Not going to happen.
again. Back to eating whole fresh food safe from chemical
Food is a basic need for survival. It is also how so many
and engineered alterations. I am realistic. We are still busy
of us were nurtured and shown love. The smell of a good
and cooking a large meal every day is not going to happen.
chocolate cookie can reduce a grown man to tears. I know
I am certainly not talking about the need to become a Julia
of vegetarians whose nose will still perk up at the wafting
Child or gourmet chef. I am not saying this is only good for
odors of roasting meats. Elemental.
women; it is time for all of us to relearn how to care for our
But something happened with women’s lib, feminism and women joining the work force in droves. We got busy. Our lives no longer revolved around staying home and cooking, gardening, canning and making sure we had enough food to last thru the winter. Food manufacturers got savvy in
beautiful bodies. Eating fresh, unprocessed whole food is still a basic need for us to be at our ultimate best. Creating a kitchen that evokes the sense of nurturing and love of health is not hard. Having simple tools on hand to chop and prepare fresh foods should be simple.
their marketing efforts and created foods that were easier
herbs in pots
to make and the word convenience was all the buzz. The
colorful napkins and placemats
easier it was to feed ourselves and family, the less we were
baskets for serving and storage
needed at home. Men could just as easily pop a dinner in
fresh fruits in a bowl or tiered basket for snacking
the microwave as we could so the gender lines of who did
a place for our 4-legged friends to eat or nap
the cooking became blurred.
stools to pull up and watch and talk to the cook
And yet, a phenomenon occurred. The busier we were, the more we went out to dinner and the less we cooked at home, our desire for all of the accoutrements of a professional kitchen rose. A two person income meant we could build or remodel and create a restaurant
ample lighting overhead and for tasks zones for cutting and prepping the food a coffee bar set up fresh flowers good knives and a few stainless steel cooking pots & pans
style kitchen even if we were only actually using the
Most importantly, the kitchen is a place to commune; a
microwave. Stainless steel, granite, large ranges, walk-
sanctuary to share, break bread, celebrate and nurture. It’s
in refrigerators and pantries became the norm. Large
time to get back to the kitchen and regain wellness.
spaces filled with bags and boxes full of “food”. I think we were trying to create a restaurant as they had become the familiar places we were eating and the sense of home was
Sharon Otness www.sharonotness.com
The Reach For The Stars Workbook 2016 If you keep living the same kind of year every year and want to create a life that is more vibrant, more adventurous & more abundant than ever before, then this workbook is for you.
Are you ready?
w w w. l i v i n g f r e e . e u 76 BellaMia August 2015
At BellaMia Magazine, we love our men.
“I’m fascinated by women, especially wise, powerful and centered women who know who they are and don’t try to be someone they are not.”
Dario Barbuto Actor/Model/Personal Trainer
Reclaiming Your Feminine Energy Through Ancient Healing Traditions Michelle S. Fondin Never before have women had greater opportunities
nostril. Begin breathing through the left nostril only for
and reach in careers, politics and sports. In recent
one to three minutes. Breathe slowly and evenly. You
news, I’m reminded of American Mixed Martial Arts’
can even count your inhalations and exhalations starting
(MMA) champion, Rhonda Rousey, number one female
at four and gradually increasing the count. Left nostril
MMA fighter in the world in what was previously a male
breathing will increase your feminine energy effortlessly
dominated sport. As women, we have gained by leaps and
bounds in less than fifty years; but our advancement came with a price. As a result of rising up and asking for what’s
Yin Yoga Poses
fair and just, we’ve had to embrace our more masculine
Yin yoga helps open the feminine energy while most yoga
nature. Not only are we expected to be nurturers and
is yang or masculine energy. In our busy lives, we typically
caregivers but also, we need to be strong, competitive,
do everything fast, including yoga. A cooling, deep and
aggressive, goal-oriented and head of households, which,
meditative practice, yin can open you to a delicious part of
traditionally were more masculine requirements. As
yourself. Hold the following poses for three to five minutes
a result, many of us have forgotten what it’s like to be
feminine and enjoy the greater qualities of our gender. Embracing your femininity can be healing. Allowing space to be more in the natural state of who you are innately can
Butterfly pose: Place the soles of the feet together and open the knees wide apart. Holding on to your feet, sit tall,
bring you even greater strength. For, there is strength in
then bow forward.
being who you are, even if you’ve forgotten.
Swan and sleeping swan: Similar to pigeon in other yoga
Ayurveda, the traditional holistic medical system from
practices, start with down dog pose and bring the right leg
India, teaches about balance between male and female energies. Go too far in one direction and you’re bound to bring your body and life severely out of balance. Below, you will learn ways to gain access to your feminine nature
straight back behind you and bring the bent knee forward and place it on the floor. Your left leg will be elongated back. With your right knee in front of you, ease yourself down to the floor, either on your elbows in a sphinx or
through yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic medicine.
lying down over your right leg. If your hips are tight, place
Breathing to Open the Lunar Channels
minutes then switch sides.
Feminine energy is cooling, lunar and passive. The lunar
Legs up on the wall: Similar to a beginner’s shoulder stand,
channel in the body called the ida nadi, can be opened by
bring a bolster to a wall space. Bring your bottom close to
practicing left nostril breathing, a common practice in
the wall and lie down while you raise your legs up to rest
Kundalini yoga. Sitting in a comfortable seated position
on the wall. Take your bolster and place it under your hips
with the back straight, close your eyes. Gently take your
to raise you up at an inverted angle.
right hand and with the first two fingers, close your right 78 BellaMia August 2015
a bolster or towel under the right hip. Stay for three to five
Ayurvedic Foods That Bring Calm and Serenity
Take Time for Silence
Living in a masculine world brings about a more fiery
Get quiet for at least ten minutes every day and observe
nature. Ayurvedic eating is about balancing the elements
your breath. It’s in taking this time to yourself that you will
that surround us and are within us. When you find your
begin to see your true nature versus others’ expectations
personality becoming more aggressive, austere and less
of who you should be. Grounded in yourself, you will
playful, it’s time to bring a cool sweetness back into your
expand to a greater awareness of own femininity.
life. Cooling foods include melon, cucumber, cilantro, mint,
Michelle S. Fondin www.michellefondin.com
mango, sweet cherries, and fresh green juices. Minimize stimulants such as excess caffeine and hot, spicy foods, which will increase the fire element.
Embracing the Magic of the Unknown in the 3 Stages of the Healing Journey Kirsten Korot It has been over 10 yrs that I was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 3 Hepatitis C and was faced with suddenly being thrown into the “Unknown.” Here I was faced with a disease that had no real cure at the time and given a life expectancy of 8 yrs if the medicine didn’t work. So I was hit with the reality of my own mortality and immediately thrown into survival mode. It wasn’t until later in my healing journey that I would come to understand the power of what I now refer to in my healing practice as “embracing the magic of the unknown” where all is possible. What is the “Unknown” and how does it affect our health and healing? Over the course of our lives there are times when we are faced, as I was, with moments in health, career, relationships, family, finances, etc. when we don’t have all the answers. It is in these moments we often feel a loss of
“DISCOVERY” The first stage to healing is when we become aware of an issue that is causing us distress. We may know what’s causing it or we may not yet know. It may be something obvious such as an illness, relationship, financial or career concerns On the other hand, it may require us to go below the surface into the subconscious and at a cellular level to uncover unresolved issues or emotions and begin to connect the dots to allow moving into the next stage of healing. “ACCEPTANCE” This stage of healing is where we come to terms with all of the emotions that are revealed in the discovery process denial, anger, helplessness, pain, shame, fear, anxiety, loss of control, uncertainty and all the stress of being in the “unknown.”
control, fear, stress and a feeling of being out of balance on
Part of acceptance is looking at the ways in which the
all levels physically, emotionally and spiritually.
stress of those emotions can sit in the body at a cellular
As a wellness practitioner I see how unreleased and unresolved emotions over time can manifest on a physical level. The concept I refer to as “Embracing the Magic of the Unknown” is when you allow yourself to surrender to the lack of control knowing that you may not have all the answers at hand. When, in this moment you can let go and stay open to all possibilities and potential outcomes, it often alleviates some of the fear and stress that can sit in
level and create physical stress, pain, dis-ease or simply put “Your Issues Lie in Your Tissues.” “TRANSCENDENCE” When I talk about this final phase of healing I get excited because for me it was one of Empowerment. After the first month of treatment I was thrown into the “Unknown” when I received an email from the liver doctor that
your body and affect your health.
was running my treatment plan. I was not showing the
What are the 3 Stages of the Healing Journey that help us
past results with patients at my stage of the disease. He
deal with the “Unknown?”
wanted to pull me off treatments and put me on a waiting
improvement he wanted to see in my blood work based on
list for a liver transplant which at that time was 8 yrs so 80 BellaMia August 2015
it was like handing me a death sentence. Instead I chose
In this final stage I implemented on myself all the
to embrace the unknown and see it as THE place of all
techniques I now use in my integrated healing and
possibilities, and began my transcending stage of the
wellness practice. I love to help move people through their
healing journey to prove him wrong and empower myself
own stages of healing and empower them with tools they
in my own healing.
can use when they are faced with the many unknowns that
I approached my other doctor who agreed to keep me on the treatments. I then created my own regime combining the western medicine along with using the Tibetan Bowls on my body and Guided Imagery. I put an image to my illness which was the “Dragon” and I was the “Goddess”
come up in career, relationships, health, family or the day to day stresses of life. Kirsten Korot An Integrated Healing and Wellness Practice www.kirstenkorot.com
on horseback sword in hand determined to rid him from my forest. 2 months after I got that email I cleared the “Dragon” from my body and that was almost 10 yrs ago.
On Becoming an Art-full Mother SarahKate Butterworth with Rebecka Eggers
I did not get what I thought I wanted!
reaction feels like a harbinger of
my Hawaiian adventure. But I didn’t
things to come.
much care. That day had already
If we could take a magic carpet ride
No matter! I fell instantly in love with
through time and peek through
the deliciousness of body art. My love
the windows of my childhood
was complicated though. I didn’t dare
home, we would find my young self
to even imagine I could make this
proudly making art and innocently
medium my own. When my friend
Maybe it was the lava and its powerful
daydreaming about the babies I would
suggested I try, I immediately pushed
fiery energy. Then again, maybe it was
someday have. For as long as I can
the idea away. I lacked the confidence
remember, I have been an artist.
to even toy with the idea. With the
In my heart, I was also a mother in
words, “I could never” hanging in the
air behind me, I walked away.
If you define motherhood by physical
I also walked into the adventure of a
my hometown, Boulder, Colorado. I
birth, my wait never actually came to
lifetime, and much to my surprise,
sensed new opportunities would open
an end. For a long, long time, this was
straight into the waiting arms of my
up for me there. I could not have been
my anguish. My body didn’t work the
henna. During a three year stint in
more right. I also never could have
way it was supposed to, and there was
Hawaii, I found a group of women
anticipated what was waiting for me
nothing I could do about it. After a
with whom to share singing, dancing,
when I arrived.
while, I began to feel bitterness laying
swimming with the dolphins and a
down brazen roots. It was henna that
thousand moments of joy. Suddenly I
saved me from this unwelcome visitor.
felt safe enough to explore what once
Henna and, ironically, other people’s babies! I was introduced to henna on my 27th birthday. As a gift, my friend covered my body with intricate designs laid down in henna’s trademark auburn hue. It was a visceral first meeting. I was attracted and repulsed at the same time. Looking back, this complicated 82 BellaMia August 2015
had felt so daunting. For a fun day out, I suggested a henna party at the beach. We chose a stretch of shoreline littered with lava rocks, remnants of earth’s many Hawaiian uprisings.
worked it’s magic. It re-ignited my love for henna and it set in motion a passion that I am still living to this day.
Soon my Hawaiian adventure came to an end and a new dream was born. I carried my passion for Henna back to
Of course, I continued to hone my skills with henna. I practiced whenever I could and I read everything about this amazing art form. It was my dream to earn my living as a henna artist. Though my shyness and insecurity about my designs continued, my love for the
We meticulously applied the henna to
medium sustained my growth. Still, I
one another and then we all jumped
wasn’t ready to pay the bills with my
in the water. Naturally the stain
art. I was still learning.
didn’t take (as henna requires an extended drying period). All our work washed away in the salt and surf of
In practical terms, that meant I needed a job. I had worked as a nanny
(among other things) in Hawaii. One
I threw myself headlong into
day I spotted two amazing little girls at
nurturing my still aching husband and
the natural food coop. I immediately
his delightful, grieving girls. In the
felt a connection and wondered if they
heat of all my new responsibilities, I
might need a nanny. As luck would
set my henna dreams aside. Until…
birth to my dream of truly becoming a
With time and nurturing, my children
of my longing to become a biological
and their father healed. I had a loving
have it, a friend knew the family. Before I knew what had happened, a future I didn’t know I was even hungering for came roaring into my life. While I was having my Hawaiian adventure, these precious girls and their dad had been saying goodbye to their mother. She died of breast cancer and the family had just moved to Boulder for a fresh start. Romance was the last thing on my mind, and his too, for that matter. We had things to do and places to be. Or so we thought. Fate and my henna had other ideas. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with the girls and their father.
husband by my side and a blossoming family. I just assumed that one day soon, I would add my own biological
artist any more than giving birth makes the mother.
I may never be ready. Suffice it to say, my next, “I could never,” closed in on me. As it turns out, having children of
my henna again. I had already been painting the bellies of all the pregnant women that surrounded me and my children. As I grappled with my
time, this work became my solace and
voices and the laughter of these two
it brought me an inexplicable kind of
little sweethearts. They presented me
is nothing I wanted more in this world than my own little girls, to homeschool and raise. Oh, and to be needed as Momma too!
84 BellaMia August 2015
strong desire to create, to make things
In my sorrow, I heard the call of
bed, I suddenly heard the soft, sweet
my passion for my henna. There
Being an artist is about having a beautiful and to share them with
honest, a little bit repulsed. But over
new family temporarily overtook
painting or dancing that makes the
my own wasn’t in the cards.
and sheets that covered our family
Little by little, my passion for my
came alive in the wake of all my “could
things I am not ready to share. In fact,
these mommies in waiting, and if I am
noooowww pleeeezzzzeee? “
Finally, in the midst of the life that
We tried and we struggled through
soundly slept in the tangle of blankets
They said “can we call you Momma
henna body artist and I (mostly) let go
nevers,” I realized, it isn’t the drawing,
sorrow, I was deeply attracted to
out and they asked me to marry them.
In those bittersweet moments, I gave
child to the mix.
About a year into our relationship, as I
with the ring their father had picked
My henna wouldn’t let me go!
others. I suppose being a mother isn’t
So, I didn’t get what I thought I wanted. But I want all that I have. It is more than enough. SarahKate Butterworth currently lives in Boulder, CO where she still home schools her youngest daughter. She has one daughter at Boulder High, her alma mater. Her oldest (age 30)
Like I said, it was henna that saved me. Henna and other people’s babies!
just made her a grandmother twice
The women I painted during that
Download a free copy at www.
challenging time in my life were
infectiously happy. Even though I was grieving every day over my still barren womb, I couldn’t help celebrating with them. If I went too long between sessions, my grief became unbearable.
over with twins. Check out her latest project Artfull Mother magazine about henna, mommas and babies.
86 BellaMia August 2015
You Outta Be In Pictures: Lucinda Rae Kinch Mary E. Pritchard, PhD, INHC Lucinda Rae Kinch’s love of
she was both “quiet and pretty”.
was onto something. “Photography
photography began when she was still
In high school she was the beauty
captures a moment in time and yet
in pigtails. Her mother, a professional
queen, with oft made comparisons to
is animated. It brings forth that
photographer, taught her how to
Cindy Crawford and Brooke Shields.
moment in a woman’s eyes and can
develop film in their bathtub. She was
But as she emerged into young
capture those glimmers of her soul’s
mommy’s little model and all around
adulthood she grew tired of being
expression – there’s something really
helper. She remembers the bathroom
judged solely on looks. She refers to
magical about it.”
dark room with the black plastic on
college as her “hippie days,” a time
the windows and chemicals in the
when she purposefully tried to hide
bathtub. She posed for her mother on
her beauty with messy hair, avoiding
almost a daily basis. I guess you can
makeup, and wearing neutral-toned
say photography is in her blood.
baggy clothes, so she would finally
So it might not surprise you that when she inherited her first Minolta film vintage camera in high school, she followed in her mother’s footsteps – she began photographing family and friends. Her love soon turned into an art form, as she experimented with color and mood. Her favorite subject? Taking black and white pictures of her best friends laughing and playing. Her hobby took off when she was in
be recognized who she was rather than what she looked like. As she started healing issues around being feminine, she desired an authentic way to express it. What better way than her favorite hobby? In her first official photoshoot as model, rather than photographer, she had to face her fears – fear of being visible, fear of been seen, fear of being a fraud, fear of not being enough.
With a degree in graphic design and 17 years of business branding experience for companies like Fresh Choice and Natural Food stores, she decided it was time to align her professional skills with her love for having women express themselves in a beautiful and authentic way. In her career, she now runs a personal branding business, Prosperity Branding, for spiritualcentered female entrepreneurs where she helps women bring their spiritual nature into their personal brand. “Most spiritually-centered women spend so much time on the inside that to share that with the word is a
“Photography is the root expression of
big deal and it’s hard for them to do
a woman’s essence and love bringing
sometimes. It’s very empowering for a
her beauty into a form of expression
woman to see herself in a new light. A
– it’s the expression of the Light
lot of women haven’t had a photoshoot
and the qualities of her compassion,
and it’s an amazing way of stepping
her grace, all the divine feminine
into seeing herself as a goddess or
At the same time, Lucinda was
qualities that come through,” Kinch
daughter of the divine where she sees
going within. In middle school, girls
says. As she realized firsthand the
herself as worthy of stepping up to
assumed she was a snob because
power behind this tool, this new
her expertise, achieving the goal of
later Kinch found out they thought
way of seeing yourself, she knew she
her best-selling book, or becoming
college, as she dedicated herself to capturing women’s beauty, essence, and the light within them in several different realms – art, painting, and photography.
88 BellaMia August 2015
the internationally-acclaimed coach.
first time – the core values are already
powerful; Princess to Queen. In other
Photography is an empowering
within her, she may just not be
words, I got myself back.
transformational tool, a catalyst for
expressing them,” Kinch explains. “So
the change she wants to be.”
many women try to model someone
As part of her work, she decided not only to empower women by helping them see their own beauty through her photography; she wanted to help them get to know themselves better. “I’ve always been fascinated with different strengths of a women and how every woman is so unique in her expressions and beauty – fierce, powerful, alive, or innocent. Different brands have different energies or expressions around them. I allow women to express their core values – that’s what attracts you to work with a woman and with a particular brand,” Kinch says.
else – someone they look up to – because they don’t know how to put their core values into their expression or they try the cookie-cutter business approach or personal branding because they’ve heard that so-and-so is a successful brand. So they mimic another rather than their inner truth.” Unfortunately, this leaves women feeling inauthentic. Kinch’s work with archetypes solves this problem and helps women find and express their authentic selves. “It’s so empowering when she figures out who she is because she can be herself and be
growth and transformations over time, she now loves being able to empower women to experience these same times of transformations. “Women who are empowered in all aspects of their life – in their relationships, their health, their business - exude more radiance. They show up and allow themselves to be seen. When women stop hiding behind their logos and show up in photo it helps them own their selfworth, value and beauty and what it means to be a woman in this world today.”
consistent in her brand and message,”
Lucinda Rae Kinch
Kinch says. I know this to be true from
She accomplishes this through her
experience. I just had Kinch redo my
work with archetypes. “It’s like a
website and I love it. My website went
woman gets to meet herself for the
from blah to bold; wishy washy to
90 BellaMia August 2015
As Kinch has experienced her own
92 BellaMia August 2015
Heather Shelton, Artist Mia Saenz BellaMia: Your artwork is very
my favorites and I couldn’t wait to
diverse. When and why did you
get to work on them. I do remember
choose to take the body and paint on
being younger and thinking that I
wanted to be an artist, but I couldn’t
Heather: I started doing makeup professionally four and a half years ago. I came to a point in my life realizing that I had tried a lot of different things in life and none of
ever figure out what type of art I was most passionate about , nor did I know how I could make a living doing it. So it sat on the backburner for a really long time.
subjects? Heather: I have several ways of choosing what type of makeup I do. Sometimes I am presented with a model to do makeup on and I then get inspired for the style and look of the makeup based upon the unique look of the model. At times I am presented with a really amazing
them were really very exciting to me
BellaMia: What are all the forms of
studio set and then I try to create
or weren”t things I could see myself
art mediums you use?
the makeup and style to flow with
doing for a long time. So I spent a few weeks deciding what I think would be something I would really enjoy doing for work, without any thought about the financial aspect of it. I decided that I really might like doing makeup as it combines my love of making people feel beautiful and special as well as my love of art. So i started with a makeup class and instantly fell in love. I quickly realized after that, that I didn’t just have to do beauty makeup but that I could use a face as my personal canvas and create whatever I want.
Heather: I have a plethora of things I like to use, and I’m not tied to any one in particular. I like to play with all different kinds, I don’t do just beauty makeup or just FX makeup. I use what I feel will work best at the moment and what the job calls for. When doing my own projects, I mix it all up. All makeup can be interchanged and used for other things if needed and even mixed together. I use your typical beauty makeup, sometimes Specialty FX makeup, the occasional airbrush makeup, I love water activated makeup and paint brushes,
the set. Then there are times, when I see a movie, a picture, scenery, a painting or even a random object that sparks inspiration. However, my absolute favorite way of choosing subjects though is with my friends. I have some amazingly talented friends who are models, photographers, set designers and fellow artists. I feel that the most beautiful work is done when we all sit down together as a team and brainstorm ideas and come up with a plan , and then we all set to work bringing our individual talents together to create something that means something special to all of us
BellaMia: Will you share with us
and I’ve even made my own makeup
how old you were when you knew you
when I needed to. I like being able to
bounce from one style to another, it
BellaMia: Is your work more than
keeps things from getting repetitive
work for you, and how does it make
you feel to see a finished project?
BellaMia: How do you choose your
Heather: I’m not going to lie, some
Heather: I’m not sure of an exact age, but I remember always loving it. In school, my art projects were always 94 BellaMia August 2015
that we are all proud of.
days, work is definitely just work and
game plan together, then I go down
feels as beautiful on the inside as they
I’m more excited to get home to my
into my makeup studio and just start
look on the outside. Makeup cannot
family. However, most of the time,
creating. It’s almost like an obsession
make someone beautiful. It can only
I take great pride in what I do. It’s
or a drug, I can’t stop thinking about it
enhance the beauty that they already
very important to me that I feel good
until I do and get it out of my system.
possess. So I really try to make each
about putting my name behind what
I honestly get a lot of satisfaction from
person that sits in my chair, feel good
I do and that I always give my best. I
seeing it come to fruition.
on the inside as well, and I hope that
get a lot of satisfaction from seeing a client of mine look in the mirror and feel that she is absolutely the most beautiful version of herself that she has ever been. I do have times
BellaMia: Is there a spiritual transformation for you when you are finished with each person or art project?
when they get out of my chair, they feel as beautiful on the inside as good as they look on the outside so that they can go about to their wedding, or their photoshoot, or whatever
when I get really inspired and excited
Heather: I do use my projects and
and exude that inner beauty and
about an idea, and suddenly the gears
work to try it to uplift other people,
start turning in my brain, and I start
inspire them and bring out the
thinking non-stop about how I can
best in them as much as possible.
turn it into a makeup project and do
When I do work for a client, it is so
it on an actual person. When I get my
important to me that each person
96 BellaMia August 2015
98 BellaMia August 2015
Jodi Fuchs Artist Mia Saenz BellaMia: Your work is deeply soulful,
BellaMia: What first caught your
was the canvas. Then after 20 years of
what is your inspiration?
attention about art?
physically challenging work, climbing
Jodi: Thank you! My inspiration
Jodi: I never consciously chose to
for creating comes from a place of
be an artist until later in life. I was
curiosity and then synthesis. I am
actually thinking my big career would
constantly taking in visual moments
be in journalism or law! I remember
…the luminosity of the sky at sunset,
taking an art history class in college
BellaMia: Your art is used on movie
the color combinations of the tropical
where I was just amazed at how I
and television sets as well as sold in
fish I snorkel with here in Hawaii,
could rock politics and philosophies
stores, how did this transpire?
the nuanced shades of green I’m
through the art of the times. It was an
surrounded by on the island. I am also
8am class and I never missed it!
incredibly inspired by my Kundalini
ladders and painting ceilings, I decided to focus more fully on making my own paintings and I’ve been doing so for the last 10 years.
Jodi: During an open studio in Santa Monica about 7 years ago, a woman
Post UCLA, my informal art
came through who rented paintings
education was a never ending series
to tv and film sets. She liked my work
of strange creative jobs– working
and asked if I’d be interested. It’s been
I think inspiration is everywhere
for photographer’s hand-tinting
fun to see my paintings on shows like
and as an abstract artist, I attempt
photographs, as a production
Scandal, Newsroom, Big Bang Theory,
to pull these energetic impressions
assistant on several tv shows, assisting
Parenthood. Sometimes the shows
together in a unique and beautiful
graphic designers on rock star’s
buy the work for a more permanent
way. I’m fascinated with the pure
tour books, etc. I took some evening
set like Two and a Half Men. Whenever
creative force: understanding it,
classes at Otis Parsons for graphic
I watch movies or shows I always look
harnessing it and expressing it. It’s
design but felt like the surface areas
at the art because I recognize not only
my intention to create pieces that
were too small for me. I then moved
my work but my artist friend’s pieces
uplift and inspire both the people
onto classes for faux finishing after
who see it and the spaces where the
working as a set painter on movies
work hangs. I refer to my paintings
and got some great painting gigs.
as “Spiritual Graffiti”. The work flows
The first was working with a team
between pure abstraction and lyrically
of artists that marbleized an entire
narrative pieces that incorporate my
shopping mall in Vegas. That skill
personal iconography of meaning:
set led to working on high end
lotus flowers, the word yes, temples,
homes where I learned all about
phoenix birds, etc.
the decorative arts and enjoyed
yoga and meditation practice and swimming with wild dolphins.
creating environments. The house 100 BellaMia August 2015
As for getting my work into home décor stores, I knew I would need a publisher for this. One day I was in Target and I looked at a few pieces in their wall art section. I found a few pieces that were similar in vibe to my work and I contacted the artists. One of them was very gracious and gave me the name of her publisher. I sent
them my work and they contacted
does each location change your work
BellaMia: What would you like to
me immediately! My work has been
and still inspire your work?
share with us that BellaMia has not as
in Target, World Market, Z Gallerie, Home Goods. I now have three
Jodi: I am living full time in Hawaii
right now after 30 years in LA. My
Jodi: I would encourage your readers
work in LA was much more urban in
to consider art a part of your spiritual
feel and the work here in Hawaii has
practice! Whether you are making
a softness and a fluidity, probably
it or appreciating it or purchasing
BellaMia: What are all the mediums
because I’m swimming several times
it, art is not an extra in life, it is
you use, and what is your favorite?
a week. Because energy and emotions
essential to the human spirit. I’ve
play such a big part in my work, each
studied many healing modalities:
location has a different effect on what
massage, yoga, space clearing, feng
is created. I’ve been in South Kona on
shui. Art has an energy that uplifts
the Big Island for a year now but the
your spirit. Surrounding yourself with
city is calling me again. I like living in
beauty feeds the soul. I make work to
both rural and urban environments
enhance environments and to inspire
because they bring out different parts
people to feel joy and connection. I
of who I am and truthfully I’m a little
believe the frequency of beauty via
bit country and I’m a little bit rock
art is essential to have in our homes,
n roll, lol. I’ve lived in NY, northern
offices and healing spaces!
publishers and the work is really out there, not just in the USA but internationally too.
Jodi: I work mostly in water based materials such as acrylic or ink, sometimes water colors and spray paint. Acrylic paint dries fast and I like to work fast. Plus acrylic is not as toxic as oil paint. In our current technology culture, it’s nice to do something with my hands and get them dirty with color. I paint on paper, canvas and panel. My motto is if it ain’t moving, I’ll paint it! BellaMia: You live both in Santa Monica, California and in Hawaii. How
102 BellaMia August 2015
and southern California, New Mexico, Hawaii and I’m feeling called to a new place next…
Jodi Fuchs www.jodifuchs.com
104 BellaMia August 2015
Layers of Soul: Goddess Art Claire Sierra, MA I’ve been a creative my whole life.
of how important the creative process
to have yummy food handy. Right
I became an art therapist in 1989,
is for women. We really have a longing
now it’s Jasmine Green Tea, dark
instead of pursuing a typical art
to express, create and contribute and
chocolate, fruit and nuts; wine and
degree, because I was interested in
when that is squelched in wreaks
popcorn if it’s evening. Then I get my
artistic expression from the level
havoc on our minds and bodies. I
space ready, clear away any clutter,
of soul and spirit. Rather than just
received a new term for making art as
debris left over from recent projects,
painting technique, I wanted to create
a sacred and holy act: consecration,
art that had meaning. My master’s
which is creation and consecration
thesis explored Art Therapy as a
(the act of making holy) combined.
form of shamanism. Then in 2009 I started writing The Magdalene Path (2014, Balboa Press) which is all about accessing our Feminine Soul and was given a technique for creating art as a prayer and divination tool, so I started to explore it.
create an altar and intention with the
the art-making process to guide the
painting I’m about to make. I often
creator. I set an intention or theme
paint in the quiet, without music.
for the painting. Sometimes there
I love hearing the birdsong and
is a particular issue or challenge
wind outside. Sometimes I listen to
that I want to work out. Or there’s a
podcasts or classes I’m taking on-line.
message I want to express visually. Or something (or someone) I’m inspired
be expressed in my artwork, but for a
by. So rather than having a strict idea
long time I wasn’t sure how. But these
of what I want to paint (like a tree at
symbols and forms kept emerging. My
sunset), I let the imagery emerge from
interest and devotion to Guadalupe
the thoughts, feelings and painting
and Mary Magdalene and others
process itself. Then I see what comes
made me want to paint them. It’s only
through. It’s a crazy cool process,
recently that I’ve had a breakthrough
because I never know what will
where I feel my own style is coming
emerge. Soul is moving me. Of course
through - and the feminine form
as the creatrix, I always have choice of
keeps coming through very strongly.
what to paint and what to paint over!
Path—which is all about awakening
As I do this, it prepares me. Then I get into a creative, meditative, sacred space. While I was studying Art Therapy in graduate school it became obvious to me that when we allow it, art making is a sacred process. There is an opportunity to let creating inform us about ourselves or our lives. I love the numinous mystery that can come through when I get out of my own way in the painting process.
So it’s deeply nourishing, and it’s an
Honestly, I get myself there however
I can. Often its weeks between
women to the power of their Feminine
As a creatrix, I have certain rituals
Soul in order to create balance in our
I follow to being my vision to paper.
lives and the world—I became aware
Creating takes energy, so it’s good
106 BellaMia August 2015
helps facilitate that mood. I love to
Consecreation is a practice that allows
I wanted the Divine Feminine spirit to
While I was writing The Magdalene
I light candles and playing soft music
paintings. I’m creative in my work, so I’ve gotten over thinking I need to paint everyday or I’m not a real artist. Phewy! Some days I just stumble in
between appointments or interviews
I know that light impacts me--I love
hideous and it’s just getting re-written
with a few free minutes. Other times
the light in certain seasons and times
now. Words are great (I’m a writer, I
I set time aside in my calendar,
of day. And I crave it. I’m in awe of
love words!) but there is something
and make myself follow through.
the beauty nature offers us—it’s so
about the way a message is conveyed
Otherwise I can be just as distracted
incredible. I couldn’t come close to
visually that goes right to the heart. So
and over-busy as anybody.
I paint reminders of hope, expansion,
I believe in the importance of just
Maybe that’s why I’ve had people
practicing the craft. It isn’t always
suggest my paintings be in medical
about connecting with angels and
offices and hospitals. I know the color
guides (though that’s cool when it
and imagery resonate with women.
happens), it’s also about getting paint
Color heals us body and soul; there’s
on paper/canvas. Just start: get the
research reflecting that. It’s very
brush wet. Ideas and images get
healing for women to see images of
expressed in word, form, line, texture.
other women. The paintings trigger
But that only happens by being at the
an aliveness, a visionary awakening.
canvas and applying the materials.
Often viewers see symbols and
Otherwise it’s just thinking about
meaning I didn’t even know was there!
painting. Sometimes I feel like I don’t
It’s important to honor the beauty
know what to paint, so then I just start
that we are. We’ve had millennia of
playing, moving around color, line and
messages that women are sinful and
form. Something always happens and
disgusting—not personally perhaps,
but the cultural message has been
108 BellaMia August 2015
energy, empowerment and joy. These paintings can open up doorways, to see what is between and under the obvious that everyday life can become. When it works, it’s a direct hit: all emotion with no rational explanation or footnotes needed.
110 BellaMia August 2015
The Genius of Eve Rebecka Eggers He had fashioned her from the rib of her husband (or so
shaped patterns that marked Her scaly skin. A faint hint
she had been told) for two purposes. First, she was to tend
of sulfur surrounded Her. It was, oddly enough, ever so
and care for her husband and to do what the first wife had
so violently and adamantly refused. Eve was made to lie beneath.
Eve felt the shift the moment she witnessed the first hissing slips of the Serpent’s magnificent tongue. That now
Second, He intended for her to remain His intimate
infamous member immediately foretold the temptations
companion, innocent and unseasoned. He forbid her
with which our heroine soon began to grapple.
even one taste of the fruit that could carry her beyond the hallowed gates of paradise and into her own understanding. For a long time, the garden and His mandates were all she knew and she was, peaceful, if not entirely content. The tiny hint of restlessness she felt was barely noticeable at all, and Eve felt no need to delve into things she could not name or understand. In fact, were it not for the intervention of a certain outside influence, this would be the end of the story and we would not be here. But of course, it isn’t! A soft, almost imperceptible shiver came over the Garden the day the Serpent arrived.
The pressure started building for Eve slowly at first and then with the fierce determination of a baby working to exit the womb. It wasn’t the Serpent’s words that drew Eve’s eyes ever more frequently towards the shining, ripe, red apples of the forbidden tree. Something had awakened inside her that mere words could never have enlivened. Eve began to wander along edges of the Garden attempting to peer through tiny openings in the foliage. Though she could never see anything, she also could not stop her crazy searching. The Serpent’s very presence set off a storm of questions in Eve’s mind. An indescribable hunger for MORE marked her every
A silver tongued temptress with insurrection on Her mind,
moment. Eve’s dreams were filled with sensations and half
She was a most unwelcome visitor. The crafty Serpent
formed experiences that, like the holes in the foliage, never
knew this and so remained hidden. She cloaked Herself in
seemed to offer answers, but certainly stoked her lust to
the rich foliage of the garden and She waited. She intended
to reveal Herself only in good time and only to the woman.
It was in this condition of fervent longing that Eve took her
When Eve finally took notice, she found the Serpent’s eyes
first tremulous steps towards the tree. She stood beneath
alight with fire. Transfixed, Eve marveled at the Serpent’s
it a long time in utter silence. A stillness overtook her once
appearance. She was black as coal. Yet a tiny glint of light
seemed to spring like magic from each of the diamond 112 BellaMia August 2015
Eve began to understand. She could remain here in the Garden, in her gilded floral cage, until the end of time. Every need would be tended.
True to the rumors, the voice of the Master Gardener did boom through the atmosphere with anger and foreboding promises.
She would remain God’s intimate and Adam’s subservient
But something in Eve had changed. She shouted back at
wife. If she chose it, she could forget her thirsty urge for
Him. She refused to believe He was the only one there. She
some other experience and content herself with the life
rejected His prophecies of suffering and doom.
she had. At the thought of it, her heart ached a little. Eve also heard His admonitions playing over and over in her mind. They collapsed into one fearsome word that carried with it the weight of promised consequences: Don’t! Beside her the Serpent hissed in melodies. As Her seductive, sensual songs played on and on, the fissure between Eve and the Garden grew. No promises were made between Serpent and woman that day. No visions of grandeur were offered. The Serpent’s sinewy song simply stoked Eve’s desire. Then the apple attached itself to her growing hunger and presented itself as the object of her insistent craving. But truthfully, it wasn’t this potent enticement that ultimately divided Eve from Him.
That’s when She appeared. Eve knew Her only by the faint hint of a sparkle that seemed to emanate from the nearly imperceptible diamond shaped patterns that marked the skin of her voluptuous bare breasts and by the slight fragrance of sulfur wafting through the air. Like a flash of lightening, this mysterious woman snatched Eve up and carried her away. When next Eve’s feet hit the ground, she found herself at home in a new garden more magnificent than the last. But this garden was open at the edges. She could come and go. It’s inhabitants seemed to fully delight in one another and in the bare bosomed woman who was now reclining beneath the branches of a golden apple tree. Again a slight hint of sulfur filled the air. Eve followed its scent and before she knew it, she was soaking in the
Eve’s own true nature began to assert itself.
purifying warm waters of a natural sulfur spring.
Arms trembling, legs shaking, she reached for the apple
and for her something MORE. As she touched it, the
delicious, haunting sensations that had so frequently permeated her dreams immediately drenched her fingers. The same half formed visions flooded her eyes. As she raised the fruit to her lips, the foliage at the edges of the garden began to split apart. Still without knowing what she would find on the other side, Eve sank her teeth into the soft flesh of the apple. She took a bite of her own rich, delectable sovereignty. The sweetness of the forbidden enveloped her and the familiarity of her sealed garden began to fade. Now, the events that actually unfolded in the wake of that momentous occasion aren’t exactly in accord with popular historical accounts. In fact, the disclosures that follow will certainly be contested by certain vested interests. Regardless, I will tell it as I saw it! 113
In One Love – A Love Letter from the Divine Rev. Lorraine Cohen “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You
You are NOT your words You are NOT your body You are NOT your circumstance
playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing
You are NOT your past, present, or future
enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel
You are NOT broken
insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson Dearest One,
You do NOT need to be fixed I love you beyond words. I have rejoiced as I have witnessed each courageous step you have taken in the name of love for yourself. For indeed, self-love is the key to transform every false belief that has
As I gaze upon you my heart bursts with love. You are so
separated you from the truth of who you really are and
beautiful and magnificent. I am so proud of how much you
every fear that has held you captive from enjoying the
have grown and the woman you have become.
fullness of life.
Throughout your life people have attempted to define you
There has never been a moment that I have not been with
and you have had experiences that have caused you to
you. Even when you have not felt my presence, I have been
question your own value and worth. You have struggled
there loving you and cheering you on.
with thoughts of not being good enough and fears that have held you back from embracing your greatness; to
I believe in you.
stand tall as the powerful woman you truly are.
You must believe in yourself.
Do you question that you came into this life ill-equipped to
You can be too hard on yourself and I want you to hear
fulfill your deepest desires?
this… Be gentle with yourself. What if all the things that
Do you believe you are meant to fail rather than soar brilliantly? Lies….. You are NOT your thoughts You are NOT your mind 114 BellaMia August 2015
you judge as broken, flawed, and unlovable are what make you the most beautiful? What would change? You may see yourself as a work in progress. In my eyes, you are already a masterpiece. If you could see yourself through my eyes, you would never question how
magnificent and beautiful you are, as you are right now. Nothing you have ever said or done is being held against you and I encourage you to let go of anything you may be holding against yourself. You have always done the best you could in every situation according to your level of consciousness. Forgive yourself. If you are holding onto resentment, anger, guilt, shameâ€Ś, you will not allow yourself to receive your dreams, love, and the bounty of
Within you is the wisdom to always know what is right and best for you. This is your life and you are the only one who can walk it. I am always with you. I live within you, as you, and through you. You are in my every thought. Wherever you go, I walk with you side by side. I am always with you and wrapping you in love. You are never, ever alone. How could I be anywhere else, Beloved?
goodness life has for you - all that I want for you.
Itâ€™s a new day. The world needs your Light and your love.
You are a fabulous, valuable, and loveable woman
Go, be awesome, Gorgeous
You are here for a reason and a purpose
Loving you to infinity and beyond,
You are meant to be happy and thrive
Your Loving God and biggest fan
You are made of the stuff that creates worlds
Lorraine Cohen To access this love letter as a guided meditation click here
That is why I am writing to you today to remind you to
remember who you truly are. It is safe for you to embrace your greatness because in doing so, you embrace your Divine Feminine Essence; the power to re-waken the world to Love and enlightenment
Dawn Patricia Maddalena Guilt, shame, feelings of deep inadequacy, bending, contorting, compromising and shrinking, becoming less in the hope of becoming more. Ring any bells?
spanning an age. In Europe alone we had 400 years of the most brutal culling of our female ancestors, the healers, the seerers,
Even if you are not religious, the Adam & Eve story
the wise women, taken, tortured, brutalized. The
has vibrated out through, generation after generation.
psychological impact handed down through generation
Reinforced time and time again in the form of church
upon generation has taken its toll on our mental and
sermons, ceremonies, how our parents, teachers &
emotional health. Even if we are not consciously aware of
priests talk to us, poor pay checks, female mutilations,
it, somewhere deep within the recesses of our mind there
child brides, films, books and sometimes it’s so hidden,
is a fear, a rather valid fear, that if we tap into that sacred
so subtle, even I, a women of our times, can simply
place inside, connect to the power that lives deep within
not notice the belittlement, the subservient attitudes,
our bellies and start to live from there, then we too could
the unquestioning acceptance that men are of more
be hauled out from our homes, banished, named and
importance, are of higher regard, have superior intellect
shamed and even dragged to our deaths.
and more physical power than women.
Throughout our lives, from the moment of conception till
What an incredible woman Eve must have been to instill
the moment we die, we are conditioned, fueled by other
such fear into the heart and mind of God! She must have,
people’s beliefs, programs & dogmas. We are controlled by
in her full magnificence sent him into such turmoil to have
the fundamental building blocks of shame, guilt, betrayal
created a story so full of blame, guilt and shame to banish
and abandonment, and a deep inadequacy that is all part
her and her female line to live in constant fear for eternity.
of the Adam & Eve Story. We now have two paths: We
And to be fair, I’m not surprised. I mean, what a sight to behold, when a woman is standing in her own true power. When that sleeping snake coiled within wakes and the Kundalini energy surges up and through her body, expanding her conscious within her own Universe,
can respond either in rebellion to our conditioning or we become our conditioning. We become the hussy or the Chaste. The good girl or the bad girl.
accessing ancient wisdom, knowledge, understanding and
Whether we become the opposite of our conditioning or
experiencing unconditional love of all that is and ever was,
the same, we are still in response to it. That conditioning
knowing deep within her very core that we are all one, and
is still in control of you, but that conditioning is not YOU -
so much more than our earthly bodies - we are, in fact,
you are separate from that - you are way more than that.
Super Magnificent Eternal Beings and the Creator of our own reality.
Eve knew it and I know it, and deep down YOU know it too.
The War on Women has been a relentless onslaught
As far as I can make out, there is only one way to release
116 BellaMia August 2015
yourself from this victim consciousness - this place of
utter disempowerment - and that is by changing your focus from the content of the story to the mental structure that keeps each physical story in place. The Eve Story is held up by shameful, guilt ridden belief
I am shameful My body is dirty Sex is wrong
structures. Uncover all of these and use cutting-edge
The most radical, extreme action one can make is
psychological tools for deep transformational change
by becoming FREE of inherited Dogmas that keep us
which will have the power to rewrite them. Then you will
imprisoned and reconnect into that sacred place deep
set yourself free.
within, that spark of light that has been secretly passed
Our beliefs may be so subtle, so innocuous that we don’t even notice they are running deep within our psyches. I am the root of all evil
down from mother to daughter, lying dormant, waiting to wake and unify the masculine and feminine and become whole again. As a daughter of Eve, I am now waking up to a new Dawn
I am not good enough
and do you know what? It feels good!
I am a sinner
Patricia Maddalena NLP Master Practitioner, Trainer & Spiritual Life Coach
I am guilty
Hugs from the Heart, For the Heart Edie Weinstein Humans are relational beings. We come into the world with
people approached him, seeking hugs. He discovered that
at least one person by our side and if we are fortunate, are
regardless of age, gender or background, people were
surrounded by others who welcome our arrival. Touch is
drawn to that emotional link and walked away re-vitalized.
an essential nutrient that helps us thrive.
A video was created that highlights Mann’s initial foray
According to Dacher Keltner, a professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, “It is the first language we learn.” The author of Born to Be Good: The
into the hug fray. An interview with Oprah ensued and the world became aware of the immense power of this type of nurturing touch.
Science of a Meaningful Life (Norton, 2009), has referred to
On the other side of the world, I watched, fascinated
it as “our richest means of emotional expression.”
with the concept that was far more than an academic
Psychologist Virginia Satir shared, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
exercise. Having grown up in an affectionate family in which hugs were plentiful, I had the first-hand experience of nurturing touch. As a social worker and therapist, I had witnessed what occurred when people felt isolated
Nurturing touch produces oxytocin which is a brain
and were living and working in low-touch environments.
chemical that makes people feel warm and fuzzy and
Loneliness, depression and addictions prevailed. For many
bonds them to each other. Hugging is quite simply good
I encountered, touch was either non-existent, limited,
for the heart and our other assorted body parts.
violent or sexual.
A snuggly seismic shift occurred on June 30, 2004 in
On Valentines’ Day weekend 2014, in celebration of the
Sydney, Australia. “Juan Mann,” (a pseudonym with
holiday that lavishes love, I gathered a group at 30th
the likely reference to his being ‘one man,’) had felt
Street Station in Philadelphia, which is known as ‘The
disconnected from community, having had a series of life
City of Brotherly Love,’ for a FREE HUGS Flash Mob. At
changing events. Longing for human contact, he took pen
the appointed time, a friend began playing and singing
to cardboard and wrote two iconic words in bold capital
the song “Give a Little Bit,” as we walked through the
cavernous building, while people waiting to catch their
FREE HUGS Standing in a town square, sign in hand, he waited, as
trains to far-flung places gladly shared hugs. One was a veteran who had contemplated suicide and told us that encountering us had changed his thinking. I began calling
people walked past, some laughing, others shrugging
us ‘Hug Mobsters Armed with Love’.
or rolling their eyes, until one diminutive older woman
Buoyed by this experienced, I decided to keep the
approached him, arms outstretched. Kneeling down, he welcomed her into a warm embrace. From that moment, a movement was born. One by one and then in groups, 118 BellaMia August 2015
momentum going and on Valentines’ Day 2015, created a FREE HUGS stroll through Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Some of us had made signs announcing our intentions,
others gave out paper hearts, stickers or kiddie Valentine
attack. This time, I was moved by the sentiments expressed
cards. Willing huggers included Girl Scouts selling
by the young people who eagerly hugged people old
cookies, store owners and employees in our local food
enough to be their parents. A group of teenage girls had
co-op, book store, record shop, day spa, two coffee shops
just been discussing the plague of bullying and then saw us
and a boutique. Passersby also welcomed the warmth of
offering an antidote and decided to join us, signs in hand,
embrace. Some walked past, looking down as if not to feel
arms at the ready.
like they needed to utter the words “No thank you.” Some crossed the street to avoid hugging, while others crossed the street intentionally to wrap their arms around us. A few jumped out of cars to grab a cuddle. Laughter and smiles almost melted the snow. A few months later, in polar opposite temperatures; a sweltering 90 some degrees, the Hug Mobsters were on the loose once again. This time, it was in celebration of my
I had long ago discovered that love is good medicine and when it is offered and received in any dose, it heals hearts. My mission became clear; encouraging pop-up hug-fests wherever and whenever they are called for. The rallying cry? More oxytocin means less oxycontin! Edie Weinstein www.opti-mystical.com
‘one year cardio-versary,’ as on June 12, 2014, I had a heart
The New Transformational Feminine Wave Carolyn Gervais As we look around at the conditions in the world, it can
Know that with this new feminine wave of energy sweeping
seem very discouraging. Regardless, we are all striving to
over our planet and through us, a balancing act is being
find a way to balance and unify. There is a new, stronger,
performed in the darkest, deepest crevasses of our human
courageous feminine wave affirming its presence on
mind, which tends to trap itself in its own delusion.
the planet. It is here to expand the heart with the soul
Transformation must begin on the inner levels of our
and to balance the old masculine energy. This feminine
being before it can manifest in the physical world.
energy is working at transforming insanity and the chaotic conditions of our human world as we open to its empathy, love, and wisdom.
The balancing process that is going on is creating a transformational tidal wave that pushes extreme opposites more into balance. This balancing energy must come
The unaware mind and heart live off of the old masculine
through us as we balance our own individual feminine and
energy causing life-threatening division in all areas of life.
masculine energies. Compassion and love must balance
This old masculine energy is expressed in the damaging
world division, and honesty and integrity must balance
weather conditions on the Earth; the genetic altering of
our food, and a lack of compassion for all living beings. Itâ€™s time for the extremes of rich and poor, integrity and corruption, fear and courage, and love and hate to become more balanced in the human psyche and therefore in our world. Extreme opposites create resistance to changes that must take place in order for humanity to transcend what is no longer useful on our evolving planet. For the feminine energy to manifest the harmony we are all striving for, it needs to gradually blend with the old, masculine energy. This masculine energy has been dominant for eons. It was needed for survival: to hunt for food and to protect families from danger. This dominating masculine frequency has been in control for so long it does not know it is outdated and dangerous because it is self-destructive. The old masculine energy feeds on
We are all seeds from the creative source. We as these seeds have been germinating for eons. Parts of our consciousness and brain have been asleep, even dormant, waiting for our awareness to expand; allowing us as the germinating seeds of creation, to open like flowers revealing our greater potential as life essence in human form. What expands awareness? Everything that challenges and makes us question ourselves on all levels of our being expands awareness. These kinds of challenges, like tidal waves humble us and make us more flexible on body/mind levels. Each devoted effort we take to look deeply inward to understand our real self brings us more in contact with the wisdom of that self.
control and force which can lead to fanaticism, and self-
Itâ€™s important to recognize the feminine and masculine
destruction---throwing oneâ€™s psyche off balance. Why?
energies must be in balance within me, before I can
It goes against the grain of our feminine aspect, which is
express balance in the outside world. The same goes for
nurturing, not controlling.
all of us.
120 BellaMia August 2015
The new feminine energy is stepping into its rightful place
In every manifested form, the feminine and masculine
in the world, gradually transforming the old masculine
polarities are not separate. They can, however, be out of
energy and helping it to move into its rightful place; that of
balance wherever free-will can obstruct or block.
equality with the new feminine energy.
Compassion, intuition, wisdom, and the ability to manifest
The masculine energy is responsible for our creative
the masculine thought imagery, in a peaceful, balanced
thought imagery, while the feminine polarity is naturally
and egalitarian way is what the new feminine and
transforming that imagery into ever new manifestations.
masculine energies are capable of, when working together.
If we look, we will notice the transformations that have
Carolyn Gervais Author of I Dreamed I Was Human (Awakening from the Illusion)
already occurred because of the work of the new, feminine frequency. The new frequency continues to transform and absorb the outdated, passive feminine. The overbearing
masculine force is tapering off in its pursuits as the new feminine reclaims its power and demands its equal rights in the world.
Hospice and the Holidays Tina Ketchie Stearns Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the multitude
During this season of so many holidays, celebrations, gift
of other holidays various religions and cultures celebrate
exchanges and television ads that portray utter bliss and
make this season among our favorite times of the year.
happiness, allow others the privilege of helping you if
When you have a loved one who has a serious illness or is
you are a caregiver for a loved one with a serious illness.
nearing the end of their life, the holidays and all of that
Caregiving can be exhausting and emotionally draining,
celebrating can be extremely difficult to deal with. The
which can result in a whole host of feelings including anger
typical caregiver is a 47 year old female, and the temptation
and resentment, which can then lead to feelings of guilt for
is to be Super Woman. We try to do it all and do not accept
feeling angry and resentful! Let your support system bring
help and support from others because – we got this. As
you dinner, do your grocery shopping, stay with your loved
many of us know, that’s total BS. We all need help and
one so you can go to a movie or the salon for a mani-pedi.
support when caring for a loved one with a serious illness
Practice saying, “Yes, thank you, that would really help me
or in need of end of life care, and during the holidays, this
a great deal”, and watch a huge smile appear on the face of
is especially true.
the person offering to help.
So, how do you go about giving yourself permission to
If your loved one is in need of hospice care, which is
get the help and support you need? Well sister, you just
appropriate when their prognosis for end of life is
do it. You simply allow it to happen. Five years ago, 2010
estimated at 6 months or less, call the hospice in your area
was the year of True Generosity in the Native American
and let them assist you in making the final months of your
tradition. True generosity means this - yes, it is important
loved one’s life as enjoyable, memorable and comfortable
to give, but it is equally important to receive. Have you
as possible. Hospice care is not about helping people die…
ever offered to help someone and when they said, “No,
Hospice is about helping people live until they die. I work
really, I’m fine, I’ve got this. Thanks anyway”, did your
for a hospice in North Carolina, and I can speak for our
heart hurt just a little bit because they wouldn’t let you help
hospice as well as all hospices across the country when I
them? Well, that’s because they were not being generous.
say the #1 thing families say after the loss is, “I wish we had
They were denying you the joy of giving. Someone I have
called hospice sooner.” Hospice care is a 6-month benefit
great admiration for said when people won’t accept help
under Medicare, Medicaid, and is also covered by most
and support from others when they really need it, they are
private Insurance companies. The hospice I work for is a
actually being stingy, and they are not being generous.
non-profit hospice and thanks to donations, we never turn
Since I learned the meaning of True Generosity, I have
anyone away due to inability to pay.
been much better about saying yes when someone offers to
Educate yourself about the various hospices in your area
help me, even if I do not really need the help. I do not want
and select the hospice that best meets your needs. The
to deny someone the joy of giving, and I hope the people in
love and support both you and your loved one will receive
my life will never deny me the joy of giving to them.
will help make this holiday season a little less stressful,
122 BellaMia August 2015
a little more peaceful, and hopefully will help you make
else’s day by letting them help. That’s the best gift you
some wonderful memories with your loved one.
The holiday season is here bringing with it a laundry list
Tina Ketchie Stearns owner of Go Free® Pants
of things to do. Practice saying yes when offered help and support. By saying YES, you will get some much needed
respite from caregiving while bringing joy to someone
Home Is Where the Heart Is Cali Gilbert Would you take a leap of faith and pursue your true
San Francisco’s Master’s program in Sport Management. I
passions in life, even if you knew you could lose everything
moved to Sausalito and was excited about creating a new
in the process, even yourself perhaps?
life for myself, one based on my terms and not what I felt I
Over the last decade I have taken several leaps of faith
was expected to do.
beginning with going back to university after a fourteen
Fast forward two years and I received my Master’s
year absence. I grew up in the limelight as an athlete and
degree from USF. I had also launched my own Event
then as a magazine publisher. I had no idea what I would
Management consulting firm and felt I was in a good place
do next so I decided to go back to school. I majored in
to have a successful career, once again doing something
Sport Management bringing together my love of sport and
in which I excelled. What I didn’t realize in the heart of
the practical, business. When I graduated from university
the recession, was that my degree would soon become a
in 2007, I landed my dream job as Director of Special
detriment and my efforts to find clients and/or a job would
Events with Boys & Girls Clubs in New York. My family
prove unsuccessful. What I also didn’t anticipate when I
was proud, friends were happy for me, yet something was
graduated was that I would find myself pregnant and on
If you looked at the surface of my life – great job, financial
Had I made a mistake in taking that leap of faith? Should I
stability, good friends, you’d think I’d be happy, but I
have just swallowed my pride and stayed with the secure
wasn’t. There was an emptiness inside, a void. I loved my
job and life in New York? I had savings but how long would
job and I was good at it, but it wasn’t my passion. Deep
that last in the San Francisco Bay Area? Would I be able to
down I was an artist. I loved to write and take photographs.
raise my child alone? These were some of the questions
Those were my passions, but to me they were just hobbies,
that came to mind as I began 2011. The last question was
and never encouraged to be anything more. My heart
answered unexpectedly when I miscarried the child. That
resided on the other side of the country in the quaint little
experience set in motion a spiral downfall of loss. By the
village of Sausalito, California, and that is where I wanted
end of 2011 I had lost my child, my car died, money ran out,
to be. In 2008 I informed my boss that I would give him
the father of the child left me and I lost my home. I didn’t
the best of my capabilities till the autumn, and then I was
recognize my life and wondered if it was worth living at all.
resigning. I was moving to California.
According to the Homeless in America 2012 report by
Moving west was a BIG leap of faith for me, something that
the National Alliance to End Homelessness with the
wasn’t well-received by others, but something I needed to
Homelessness Research Institute, the homeless count in
do for myself. I knew I could have continued to live the so-
San Francisco topped 15,000 individuals. Of those, single
called ideal life, but would it be worth it if I was miserable
women were often the forgotten ones when it came to
in the process? I decided to apply to graduate school and
receiving assistance as programs for women with children
was admitted on a partial scholarship to the University of
were often more available. I remember being told there
124 BellaMia August 2015
were more options for me had I had a child. This just made
In the autumn of 2012 I would learn again that life is a
things more difficult as I was still grieving the loss of my
series of constant transformation. I severely injured my
back and couldn’t work. I lost my job and once again my
Four months would go by before I was able to find a semi-permanent home. Throughout that journey of transformation, it was my writing and photography that eased the pain. My artistic gifts became my outlet for my grief, and for all the emotions I was feeling. At the end of 2011, a month prior to losing my home, I published my first
home in the spring of 2013. This time I would be without a home for eight months and it was a time where I learned more about myself and my strength. In September, 2013 I would write, market and publish my fifth book, It’s Simply Serendipity, my personal story of transformation from homelessness to published author.
book, It’s Simply Sausalito. Two months later I published
Since the autumn of 2013 I have once again been led to
It’s Simply GOLDEN, a tribute to San Francisco’s Golden
answer my soul’s calling and take yet another leap of faith,
one I didn’t fully understand, but nonetheless followed.
Once settled in my new Sausalito home in the Spring of 2012 I would go on to publish two more books, It’s Simply SF and It’s Simply Sailing. I had found my calling and the
In November, I will release Pearl, my seventh book where I share my story, but now I do so as a 5-time bestselling author.
artist in me had come to life. I was living the dream, the life
Homelessness does not discriminate. It can happen to
I had envisioned, one where I could wake each day and do
anyone. So when you are asked to answer the call, will you?
what I was truly passionate about.
Cali Gilbert www.caligilbert.com
No Briefcases Required
Expect the Impossible! Umoh Luna
126 BellaMia August 2015
I had on honor of interviewing innovative powerhouse and holistic minded entrepreneur Shannon Graham. Shannon is a premier otivational speaker and leader in the self-help and coaching industry.
million dollar mark in his business this year. You can check out his work at shannongraham.com Shannon: “My vision or my legacy is about showing people that the impossible is possible. You cannot do the impossible unless you expect to. You have to expect it, not
You can check out his work at shannongraham.com He
just sit around wishing it will happen. We are not what we
generously shared serious truth bombs, radical ideas, and
do every now than then. We are what we continual do.
pearls of wisdom about love, God and success.
Interestingly enough the impossible doesn’t have a very
Shannon was just a young kid from Vermont with a knack
good track record. Just about everything we have said is
for giving great advice when he started his business at
impossible has been done. Run the four minute mile, go
the tender age of 21. Now he is a man on the forefront of a
the moon, measure the smallest observable unit of mass
revolutionary movement to do business and create success
in the universe. It has all been done. We are just now
is a smarter, gentler, more intimate way.
scratching the surface of human potential. We don’t even
As nearly everyone in the coaching industry is leveraging and automating, Shannon skews his business the other direction. His model is almost exclusively small groups
understand the magnitude of our brains and our potential at this point in human history. We really don’t even know how powerful we really are.”
and one on one coaching. He says, “I’d rather go a million
Umoh: Wow, very interesting stuff! How do you stay so
miles deep with 7 people than an inch deep with a million
inspired and in that high vibration of fierce commitment to
He explains why.
Shannon: “One, the reason I can maintain the fierceness
“I’m a student of history and all of the greatest change agents in history from Jesus, Gandhi, to Buddha. All have
and that boldness is because I exercise it every day. It’s just like exercising a muscle.
all demonstrated and brought their gift to the world in
Two, I get so inspired by thinking about that idea of doing
a very similar way. That is with intimacy. Mother Teresa
the impossible and helping other people to do that. This
hugged people and she fed them one by one. Jesus also
fire constantly burns because the more I continue to
touched and healed people one on one. When it came to
do the impossible, the more my clients continue to do
the success world I noticed a very different trend. People
the impossible. It’s a self-feeding machine. It’s a really
would buy dvds, books, and go to huge seminars. 90% or
testament to living your passion and operating in your
more would not experience any lasting transformation.
zone of genius. When you do those two things then you are
There is obviously something wrong with that model.
just perpetually filled with more and more inspiration that
There is no such thing as a gold metal Olympian who
just builds on itself.”
got there by watching YouTube videos. People have a
Umoh: I love how you talk about the value of rest and living
fundamental need for real, deep, human connection. It’s a
a balanced holistic life. Does that also play a part?
must. Mother Teresa didn’t write a book about how to be compassion she just demonstrated it in the most human way possible. When you leverage, you get your message and material out to more people but you dilute your gifts. Also your material and information is what not what facilitates the transformation it’s you.”
Shannon: “Yes, we have been sold this lie that we have to sacrifice our health and our relationships to be successful. It’s about life as a whole. There is this very linear and out dated idea that you have to give up everything and be lonely at the top. Why does it have to be lonely at the top? Why can’t we bring not only our romantic partners but
Obviously it’s working for him and he clients as he was
others up with us and rise together? What’s the point of
recently featured in Forbes magazine and set to hit the
being a rich, sick, lonely old man with an empire? Humans 127
overall are a very young species and to think that that’s
inherited. Just like if you have children. Your love for
the only way to be successful is really a slap in the face of
those children is inherited. As soon as they are born or
even before their worthiness of your love is inherited.
“When I feel really healthy I’m more productive and actually do better financially. I find my relationships aid
They don’t have to DO anything! And your worthiness of whatever you want is also inherited.
in that too. When I’m doing well in business, I’m more
If I had a child that came to me and said I want to be an
compelled to be present and nurture my relationships.
astronaut. Am I worthy of it? I would say of course. If he
They all matter!”
said, “Well I don’t believe it.” I would tell him, “It doesn’t
Umoh: You are in a long term relationship. How do you balance building your business and maintaining a healthy, loving relationship? Shannon: “It comes down to one word, boundaries. We both have very clear boundaries around work time and our time for each other. Because we have these clear tight boundaries, neither compromises the other. I’m also very clear that, as much as I might get caught up at times, she does come first. We both understand that a wildly high
matter. Frankly I don’t care what you believe because there is a different between what you believe and the truth. And truth is you are worthy purely because you are here and you want it.” What this means is that we get to experience as much worthiness as we decide to allow ourselves. Worthiness is a choice. That’s great because that means we can have as much joy, as much impact as much money as much gratitude as we decide to have.”
level of success by yourself because you sabotaged all your
Umoh: Wow, how liberating! Now how does your
relationships doesn’t really make you successful.”
spirituality and your relationship with the divine tie into
Umoh: So for entrepreneurs what quality do is most important to have in a partner? Shannon: “The most important is to have someone who believes in you and what you are creating. They don’t have to be part of it or have the same vision as long as they support you in that.” Umoh: So important because we frequently struggle to believe in ourselves.
how you show up in your work? Shannon: “This was a major challenge that I had. I didn’t go up heavily Christian but certainly there was an influence. So for me one of the biggest challenges and shifts that I had was understanding the difference between God and Godliness.” “God in the majority of our culture is kind of this personality. He’s a big guy with a beard that sits up in the clouds, on a throne with a whole lot of judgment. And of
Shannon: “This is a huge one because I see this all the
course he must be a man! This is all kind of silly, really.
time. There are entrepreneurs that could have amazing
Then he is this all powerful, all knowing, all loving being
business, make an amazing impact and a phenomenal
and who created you and yet if you do anything wrong
amount of money. They don’t purely because they don’t
you’re bad and you’re going to hell.” We have to transcend
believe the y deserve it. I was the same way. So, I really
our definition of God as a person or a persona. If you drill
wanted to understand worthiness. We have been taught
down the core meaning of persona or personality in Greek
worthiness is conditional. If you do good you are worthy.
its meaning is mask.”
If you do bad you are unworthy. This is flawed because it means sometime you are and sometimes you’re not. So how do you really know? Especially if you inherently
Umoh: Beautiful. So the energy of the divine cannot be merely a mask!
believe you are bad, it’s going to be hard to believe you are
Shannon: “Yes! This idea of Godliness is different. It
worthy even if you live under “right” conditions.
stripes away the personality. It’s not like a talk show host.
So the conclusion that I came to is that worthiness is 128 BellaMia August 2015
It’s a state. If you can be in a state of Godliness, then every changes. Because you get a lot less concerned with
right and wrong and you can just be in the pure beauty of
Shannon: “I would say 3 things. Decide that you are worthy
everything that is. At the core Godliness relates purely to
of what you want because if you don’t have it or at you are
creation. The universe and everything that is in it is in a
not at least on your way to having it there is a good chance
constant state of creation. New stars are constantly being
you haven’t decided that you are worth it yet.
born, new galaxies are being created. On earth, trees, flowers, animals, fish are constantly growing. An oak tree
Second, decide you are going to get in the game. Go all in.
starts off as just a small nut and its only purpose in life is
Last but not least decide you are enough. Now this isn’t
to just grow. So how are people any different? We are all
about worthiness but readiness. Most people think they
one, which many of the spiritual teachings point to and
need a team, a website, this, that. No, you don’t. You’ve just
science agrees on a molecular level. When you put things
got to show up. With my very first client I had no website,
under a big enough microscope all of matter is made of the
no business cards. I literally had nothing just myself.
Everything we think we need, we don’t. The perfect day
So to answer your question, how this ties to my work? I try not to see things in terms of black and white and right and wrong. This gets me away from a state of judgment, limitation and dichotomy. And the universe does some really amazing and unbelievable things, certain things that to this day science doesn’t even understand. Take Quantum Entanglement, for example. You can divide one particle and separate the two parts. When you manipulate one in any way and the other one will be manipulated in the exact same way no matter how much space or distance is between them. It’s fascinating. We believe 2 plus 2 equals 4 but when you smash 2 atoms
never comes. You just have to decide and show up and when you do that you’ll be ready. Just start where you are. You can’t take step 100 when you are at step 1. It’s not a competition or a fashion show. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s highlight reel. We don’t see that Walt Disney was turned down over a hundred times with his crazy Disneyland idea or J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers before she sold over 400 million copies and Harry Potter became the bestselling book series in history . All you can do is take the first step and then another. That’s all you need to do.” www.shannongraham.com
together at a molecular level sometimes it equals ten! All of this allows me to remain in my area of genius and connected to my passion of achieving the impossibility.” Umoh: Powerful perspective! And lastly what would be your best advice to someone who is feeling stuck in their business?
No Briefcases Required
Before Eve Umoh Luna he story of Eve, in today’s bible tells us, that we as women are responsible for being cast out of paradise and separated from God. Eve is given to Adam and made from Adam. She doesn’t even have a name until the end of the story. Before that she is just referred to as “the woman”. And Adam names her not God. For centuries this story has been used to justify our position as second class citizens. The bible says directly in 1st Timothy 2:12-14, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but
think of her and therefore has a hold of her own power and identity. When we start to tap into our Lilith energy as women we can let go of the lie of Eve and her curse. We have made so much progress. We as western women have more opportunity and freedom than any other time in recent history. There is a lot to celebrate. Women have a lot more access to education. Women are graduating from college and higher education programs in record numbers. However there is still a lot of disparity when it comes to work, money and earning potential. The pay gap has hardly budged in the past decade. In 2015 women are still paid only 78 percent of what men make.
the woman being deceived...” The “curse” of Eve is still
Doing what you are told, playing nice and sacrificing
haunting women today.
yourself doesn’t work if you want to do great things,
In many ways today’s view of a “good” woman is still one who keeps quiet, does not assert herself, and doesn’t speak her truth or share her wisdom. Research shows men are four times more likely than women to ask for a salary increase. Research also shows that if a woman does ask for a raise using the exact same words as a man she is viewed negatively. The man will be viewed as “as a powerful go-getter” and the woman as, “demanding and too aggressive.” She may get the money but people will not like her, men AND women. There is another older version of the creation story in the bible that many do not know about. Lilith was Adam’s first wife. She was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam. This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam’s ribs. Lilith is not cast out of Eden but leaves on her own accord . Lilith doesn’t care what others 130 BellaMia August 2015
have an amazing career or build a successful business. Well behaved women seldom make history. This saying is truer than you might think. Most prolific, impactful and successful woman are strongly in synch with Lilith’s rebellious energy and influence. They did not follow the beaten path or live life meekly. Lilith represents the aspect of feminine often scorned by mainstream society and does not follow the rules or uphold the values of “the good girl.” The more successful a woman is the more likely it is she has gone through some extreme challenges and taken the nontraditional route to the top. Maya Angelou was raped at age 8 and didn’t speak for 5 years. She was a pimp, a prostitute, a journalist and a nightclub singer/dancer before she became the well-loved and world famous award winning poet laureate.
Marilyn Monroe is the most famous movie star in history.
power and our deepest innate gifts. In my branding work, I
She had a very rocky start in this world marked by abuse
use astrology to show my clients where their Lilith energy
and neglect. She was married 3 times, a poet and an avid
lies and how to best use this hidden feminine power in
reader of philosophy and classic literature. Most don’t
know she was also a very accomplished business woman. She owned her own production company and successfully challenged the old Hollywood structure that limited actor’s ability to choose their own roles.
You can start to do this on your own in 3 simple ways. Start by asking for more of what you want. You have the right to speak up and you can have what you want. Second, remember to make your own opinion of yourself more
Even Mother Teresa would have never got anything done
important than what “they” may think about you. Other
is she stayed quiet and followed the path laid out for her.
people’s opinion of you are none of your business. Last but
She personally went up against popes of the church and
not least follow at least one gentle nudge from your heart
Nicaraguan rebel leaders to build her community and
or your intuition every day. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t
share her movement of compassion and service.
make “sense” or seem like the next logical step. It only
The main things that hold us back in business are, not owning our power, making ourselves small to fit in, not
matters that you are moving towards your dreams and following the beat of your own drum!
wanting to rock the boat and people pleasing. When we
step into our Lilith we stop letting these things run us. We
unlock and activate our hidden reserves of primal energy,
No Briefcases Required
Empowering Woman to SHINE One Brand at a Time Lucinda Rae Kinch ou need a strong brand to help you and your
in the form of a tagline, in your name, or in the language
business show up in the world!! “
that you use in in-store and promotional materials.
What does that mean, anyway? And how does it empower your streams of income, unveil your ability to show up and shine in the world, and create a much bigger impact of contribution? If you’re a woman entrepreneur, most likely you have the mind of a visionary. You see well into the future and know how to bring forth the realms of potential into the tangible aspects of business. There are a few essential steps to build this foundation. Here are 5 pillars to your successful brand: Visuals (What your people see)
Consider Nike – “Just Do It”. It pulls on the Hero archetype and makes the succinct point of diving in the game with unceasing ambition. The glyph, the swash part of the logo, backs up this energy. Wording will become an essential part of a brand. What is the language of your brand? Uniqueness (What your people feel) Brands who use archetypes have a language to speak that resonates to their personal strengths and company core values. Applied to branding, an archetype is rooted in a universally understood symbol that becomes identified
The visual realm of your branding includes the colors,
with a specific brand. To use the example of Nike is the
images, and other visual elements used to represent
winged ancient goddess associated with triumph and
your business. Some of these may be influenced by your
victory, as is the brand that utilizes her name. This comes
business’s industry, but others are completely unique.
forth into Nike’s brand archetype as the Hero, who helps
The best person to help you decide what colors and other
people act courageously.
visual elements work best for your customers is your logo designer. These graphic artists tend to have a good sense of what different images and colors mean to different people.
What is the flavor of your brand? Promise (what your people find sustainable) An intangible aspect to your brand is a promise and
How does your brand visually represent the credibility and
a guarantee of what your clients can expect from
energy of your business?
you. Successful brands consistently deliver on their
Messaging (What your people hear)
promises which creates trust and the foundation that your customers will gain from your brand to improve or
Your messaging is the language that is non-visual. The way
transform their lives. Your promise can be communicated
the essence is conveyed and speaks to the brain, where
by various words, messaging, or images which differentiate
often the visuals speak to the heart. It can be emotive,
you from others (uniqueness – the previous pillar). And
evocative, up-front, or straight-forward. That depends on
of course a promise is only good as long as it is kept. The
your brand archetypes (see Uniqueness). This can come
three “Cs” of your promise are:
132 BellaMia August 2015
It must convey a compelling benefi. It must be authentic and credible (refer to the next pillar).
be cookie-cutter, mimic someone else in visuals or messaging, or show a face that is superficial or a projection of something other than who you are. It’s not like applying
And the promise must be consistent and kept, every time.
makeup for face value only and then having something
So say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what
completely different beneath. It’s like eye-gazing with the
you will say you will do, all for your clients. It is a higher
face of the business at a deeper level to see the integrity of
purpose in your brand as you being in-service to your
something. You can’t put a pretty face on and then try to
people so you can make a brighter contribution.
hide the rest.
How are you promising your brand to be a sustainable
What elements are you hiding to not be authentic in your
force for good?
Authenticity (what your people can depend on)
Bringing the many complexities and personality forth into
This little “A” word speaks volumes and will shine the light upon your level of alignment with truth. People believe in honest brands that consistently refer back to their core values and are aligned to their bigger WHY – the space that guides the desires behind their contribution.
the face of your business. Your brand is the ambassador of your life’s work and sometimes even sole purpose. So you want to do it right with a lot of moving pieces and create something of lasting beauty to propel your legacy forth. Lucinda Rae Kinch www.prosperitybranding.com
Remember to express what is true for you. Don’t
No Briefcases Required
Power Dynamics in Interpersonal Relationships Who Has The Power David Zozaya, Turnkey PR
As a publicist I am often asked
butts are too big, whether we walk funny, or if we wore the
how I influence others or
right outfit. All of these thoughts create a power dynamic
how I am influenced either
within ourselves that we showcase to the world and in the
through conversation, media, or
situation of interpersonal relationships they play a vital
advertising and the answer to
role in how we see ourselves compared to others. Now,
that is, just like everyone else. The
let’s go back to our date scenario. After noticing all of these
fact of the matter is, we are all susceptible to persuasion
things you begin to feel more like yourself. You begin to
and we deal with it on a daily basis. I influence people
remind yourself just how good of a catch you really are.
everyday, sometimes without even knowing, in order to
You got your nails done, your outfit is on point, and overall
form a mutually beneficial relationship and it doesn’t
you like the way you look. Suddenly, a situation that began
stop at just work, the tactics I use apply to friends, family,
as nerve wracking is now a situation you feel you can
and relationships. The trick is to be aware of what factors
handle because “Hey there is nothing to lose right?” These
influence others and how to be mindful of when and how
things about your first date, don’t necessarily change the
to use them.
way you feel about this person, but rather change the way
Imagine you are about to have your first date with
you feel about yourself and the situation.
someone, you’re nervous because you like this person.
When thinking about power dynamics think about two
Your hands are a little sweaty and your mouth is dry, you
main categories. Presence and Experience. If you have
wonder whether or not this person is going to like you. At
a masters in education and you meet with another
this point your mind begins to race, you begin to anticipate
teacher that only has a bachelors you might feel more
the worse, maybe you will forget to laugh at the right jokes,
experienced than that other teacher and therefore feel
maybe you will trip and cause a scene the possibilities
more confident when interacting with that person. When
are endless. You’ve never seen this person face to face so
it comes to Presence think about these four things;
there is also a little intrigue, then, you see them walking
Physical Appearance, Personal Hygiene, Voice Tone, and
through the door. He doesn’t quite look like his picture
Environment. These things all influence how confident we
and you begin to notice little things about him that you
are in a given situation and therefore impact our power
never thought about. He has a nose hair sticking out, his
dynamics when dealing with others. For example, have
shirt is a little wrinkled, and he has an interesting mole on
you ever been reminded before going into an interview to
the side of his neck that looks a little bit like Elvis Presley.
get your hair styled, get a manicure, buy a new outfit, or
It is human nature to asses the people and the world
get your car washed? These things will influence others
around us and we do it all the time. We look at people
when they see you because of the natural confidence we
and compare ourselves to them, we wonder whether our
get when we take care of ourselves. This confidence is
134 BellaMia August 2015
noticed by others and those who are mindful of this will
use it to their advantage to get what they want. Be aware
of this and you can use these things to your advantage. thus controlling your Power Dynamics in Interpersonal Relationships.
Vanderocker Mia Saenz
136 BellaMia August 2015
BellaMia: Describe your sound for us and your band
that I couldn’t find anywhere else. So it ended up being
a great school for me- I went from making no noise, to
Vanderocker: A neighboring band at our rehearsal last
making all the noise!
night just asked us the same thing and left with about
BellaMia: The sound of Vanderocker is uniquely different
twenty different answers from each of my band mates.
from one song to another. What is your inspirations?
Art Rock. Indie Rock. Baroque Rock. Pop Rock. Surf Rock.
(Please name and talk about some hits that are totally
Electro-Punk. Yes, the sound is all over the place, my taste
different from the other0
is so broad. The album I’m working on now in a nutshell could safely be described as Alternative Pop...I think.
Vanderocker: Oh, I’m inspired by everyone and everything! And I do draw from my relationship with
I listened to a lot growing up. And I was worried for a while
classical music a lot- I think that’s where my writing mind
about not being able to find my niche in the music world-
defaults. Take Cupid’s Sting, for instance, it was inspired
“where would I fit in?” “would I then be forced having to
by a gorgeous piece by Corelli from one of his Christmas
stay in that niche?”. Finally, I’ve figured out I can’t think
Concerto’s. Then we move to a sound that inspired me for
like that. I like a lot of different kinds of music and am
a track I wrote called Kissing Booth- the surf guitar. Surf
gonna swim around in as many flavors as I can. It’s art! We
guitar is simply sexy as hell! Such a turn on! I was fortunate
have to go where it takes us, let it serve its purpose, and
enough to get to make a music video for Kissing Booth with
just not worry about it.
music video auteur, Matt Mahurin- which was a thrill. Also
BellaMia: Your story is interesting on when you started your career as a musician. Would you share with us when and the motivating factor?
sometimes we’re just inspired by a feeling. I think my most successful track as of the last few months would be a track called Without the Light which has a super stripped back 80’s punk kind of feel. It’s a renegade anthem, so I think
Vanderocker: Well I grew up in a family of classical
it was more inspired by a need to feel alive and free in the
musicians in Austin. But having three much older sisters,
monolithic constraints of our culture.
I was also exposed to a lot of rock music- Beatles, Kate Bush, Jethro Tull, etc. When I was about 12 or so I began singing backup for my oldest sister’s rock band around town which was great exposure to that world at the time.
BellaMia: As a soulful and spiritual woman this creates your drive for music to be different. Will you share how your spiritual journey shows up on your rock?
Later I started experimenting with different kinds of
Vanderocker: This business is kind of great in that if
performance art but when I eventually moved to New York
you aren’t seriously committed to your love of music
I came back to music and really began devoting myself to
and connecting with people through music, you’ll most
it. I’ve been writing songs and producing music for ages
likely tucker out and move onto something else relatively
but not until these last few years did I really decide to start
quickly. So once you get to a certain point you end up with
my own project and began finding my own place in the
the people who do share a deeper, more spiritual love for
music and it becomes sort of a beacon, or a church in a
Motivating factor? Well I was so quiet, and quite invisible throughout my childhood; I never really had much of a presence in my body and voice before I left the house, as if I didn’t feel like I had permission to make noise or be seen. Nobody “made” me feel that way, it’s just how it was
way for people to commune in this frequency. There’s an understanding- you don’t need to give anyone your personal history, the details or your day, or even your name for that matter. You just come together and play. It’s beautiful. It feeds me.
with me. But on the other hand, I’m also a triple fire sign,
Being a very spiritual person, or at least aware of and
and a total lover- I always felt a deep need to make contact
present with my own spirit, I definitely include my
with people in some way beyond convention. Music and
explorations and curiosities in my music and lyrics all
performance gave me a kind of special access to people
the time. I’d like to think I’m pretty well rounded in that 137
I don’t try and maintain constant excruciating happiness
have before. So poof, now I love meditating. I’ve been doing
like a kid in Disneyland for the first time- that would be an
it with my yoga for 15 years but didn’t really love it until
exhausting lie (for me at least). I do prefer to feel light and
recently. Now I’m actually teaching my own meditation
joyful but if something is biting at me, I get down in the
class in Venice Beach, I love it so much. Poof! What’s next?!
dirt and roll around with it for a while- or whatever I need to do. But I am mindful and consciously infuse love into everything I do. It’s my way of doing my best. I value love
BellaMia: What would you like the BellaMia Readers to
above everything else so want to experience as much of it
know that we haven’t talked about?
as I can as well give it as best I can. Every kind love- Agape, Ludus, Pragma, Eros, etc. etc. etc.
Vanderocker: Well as far as my music goes, I’m finishing
So if you listen to my lyrics, there’s always something in
November (cross our fingers!) so you can look out for it
there about love and mindfulness, even in my sluttier
around then. I’m always giving updates on VDR’s social
songs like Smoke and Mirrors which is purely about the
feeds about it AND I’m also always giving away free
highs of interacting in lust. Deeper down, it’s really about
downloads to get the music out there. So if you get your
being alive and connecting, and freakin’ enjoying our
hands on a track of mine that you dig, PLEASE share it!
bodies, dammit! That’s our birthright too!
Also I LOVE interacting with you guys on the socials as
One of my more recent songs called She Become Me touches on the surprises of self- evolution. How we often
up my album, Jupiter’s Kiss, and hope to release it in
well, so please don’t be shy. This is about connectivity for me so come by and say hello!
end up growing in directions and doing things we NEVER
would have imagined for ourselves. I ended up putting
some of my meditative ram ram’s in there because that’s
what I do now and never would have pictured myself doing
this ten years ago. I meditate and it’s helping me push
www.soundcloud.com/vanderocker Look for them on Pandora and Spotify
through barriers and finally grow up in ways I couldn’t
138 BellaMia August 2015
140 BellaMia August 2015
Cups of Consciousness Aleya Dao he months of October thru November of 2015 are an interesting combination of
Open in the higher realms to access a deeper part of your essence. Invite the Angelic realm to hold a safe a protected
energies. We will be pulling our energy deep
space as you open internally and go deep within, and
within. Once we are anchored deep inside
access a deeper power and connection.
we will open internally and gain access to an even wiser more sacred aspect of ourselves.
2nd Cup - Open To Receive The Essence, Love, Source
As we embrace our inner divine energy it will trigger a
Energetically locate all of your receptors for receiving
nourishing restorative current that can heal and empower.
the current of oneness, love, and the divine aspect of you.
Use this time to go deep within, open to receive the divine part of you, and open to a revitalizing current.
Clean and clear your receptors for receiving the energy of Source and Oneness. Bring in a healing hologram to help you open to receive more deeply. Dissolve all vibrations of
The following two meditations can help you go deep within
jadedness, entitlement, disappointment, and expectations.
and then restore your spirit by opening to receive the light
Open your heart to receive a current of love from your
of your essence, and love.
divine spark that exists in the heart of Source. Tones to
1st Cup - Go deep within and allow for an inner opening.
activate the inner current of your own divine energy. Invite your Team to receive their own Essence more deeply.
Energetically locate the vibrational pulses of energy that
(Angelic tones to help you open to receive, literally singing
are assisting you in accessing your core essence. Bring
in the background.)
your awareness deep within your divine line. Go deep in with tones. Imagine standing in a waterfall of light that is perfect whole and divine, as some part of you brings greater awareness into your divine line, locate the appropriate frequencies, light codes, and vibrations that can help you open, and transform to the degree that
May you open to receive your own essence more deeply. Aleya Dao Author of Seven Cups of Consciousness, Change Your Life by Connecting to the Higher Realms www.cupsofconsciousness.com
is appropriate for your spiritual growth and evolution.
Kiss Your Fears Goodbye Adrian A. Boniardi In the same way we recognize “Love” to be the most
Most people are also afraid of dying. We are afraid of dying
powerful positive force in the Universe, we also recognize
because we are still not fully certain about our real identity
“Fear” as a legitimate, equally powerful opposite force.
as consciousness itself. We are born into these bodies with
Fear doesn’t manifest only as an obstacle to accomplishing goals or to solving challenges along our path in everyday life, fear manifests itself primarily at the starting point of thought. It is so deeply embedded within our consciousness that we are not even aware it is there; that is, until we stop and really look. There is good news, however. We can actually exercise a conscious control over the way we think and over the quality of the energy in our mindset; that is, over the content and the context of our thoughts. We have the ability to choose if we get to the decision-making process from a state of mind ingrained in an unconsciously subtle state of fear or if we embrace our available options from a consciously loving state of mind. As we become aware of ourselves and our place in the universe as conscious beings, we cannot help but realize that we carry within us many conscious and subconscious
full amnesia about our true origin and identity. We are misguided and conditioned from a very early age to believe and to think that we are anything but our true selves. Human ignorance about its true identity breeds fear as a default result. In order to begin to break free from the grip of fear and to come to a deeper understanding of its creative capability, we need to get past the limited perception of the 3D reality that we perceive only through our physical senses. We need to get to a much higher and broader physical and non-physical perspective of our existence; one that considers remembering our true identity as an eternal spiritual being of light on a sacred journey toward infinity. The present state of global unconsciousness and fear that we are unconsciously helping to recreate and perpetuate is the only obstacle that continues to fuel the amnesia and the disbelief we have about our true universal identity.
fears. These fears act as powerful but subtle influences in
By becoming consciously aware and by slowly releasing
all our decision-making processes causing us to turn away
the illusion that we are fighting to hold on to at the back
from our most cherished dreams and aspirations and/or to
of our consciousness, we can decide to embrace a new
selfishly step over others for personal gain.
understanding of all that lies ahead.
So, what are humans afraid of?
Adrian A. Boniardi Enjoy the first chapter for a Free download at
Humanity is, for the most part, unconsciously afraid of fear
www.kissyourfearsgoodbyebook.com Full version available on Amazon.com
itself. We are afraid of the infinite negative possibilities that can run wild on the individual and collective mind of man.
142 BellaMia August 2015
GET YOUR COPY TODAY! Tired of secrets that don't work? Aleya shares with you the formula that will transform your life into one of happiness, peace, fulfillment, and empowerment. In Aleya’s newest book the Seven Cups of Consciousness discover how to change your life using the higher realms. Available at Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Or ask for Seven Cups of Consciousness at your local Bookstore! Experience Aleya’s Daily Cups of Consciousness Meditations with a FREE trial week! www.cupsofconsciousness.com 143
Have you ever been stopped by your fears?
On Sale Now! KissYourFearsGoodbyeBook.com 144 BellaMia August 2015
Is life real or imagined?
Is there a difference?
Do our beliefs and perceptions hold us hostage? How do we break free?
Author Carolyn Gervais immediately hooks the reader's attention by revealing the profound philosophical questions she, as a small child, asked her grandfather. I really appreciated the authorâ€™s biographical stories and I like the way the author explores reality and illusion. "Judge, Writer's Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards"
Author Carolyn Gervais takes you beyond the boundaries of belief and perception. http://www.awakeningyou.com/
MANUAL FOR A
SELF REVOLUTION 145
"Living Life on a Natural High"
146 BellaMia August 2015
Possibilities • Purpose • Passion • • •
Gain clarity about your Next Step Clear the blocks to Abundance, Love, Success Master new strategies for Happiness
Together we will develop the Roadmap for you to Live Your Richest Life
Rosemary Bredeson The Scientific Mystic Spiritual Teacher/Mentor/Medium www.TheScientificMystic.com Rosemary@TheScientificMystic.com
+1 410-991-6139 147
Bellascope by Suzanne Taylor, Angel Channel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Aries 21 March - 20 April
Taurus 21 April - 21 May
Gemini 22 May - 21 June
Your energy swiftly directs itself
High volumes of energy are currently
Suffocation. Why are people so needy
inwards with the intention to release
being transported through you. The
for your love and support? Your vibrant
all that is not felt on a loving vibration;
affects will certainly send your mind
energy is highly motivational , you are
you are ready to step up, and take full
into overdrive, bring about confusion
magnetically drawing people in and
responsibility for your actions. The
with an emotional upset. For those who
around you. You are being reminded
pressure of your past haunts may
are sensitive identity crisis may be on
that the advices you give to others can
leave you feeling physically exhausted
the cards – it will pass quickly, 21 days to
transform their world, and direction
– as your density evaporates, a new
be precise. Taking time and creating a
for their highest good. Use your
phase concerning love for one self will
spiritual self-care routine will assist the
talents in a positive manner helping
blossom beautifully that will shine
new energies settling within your energy
others by naturally lighting their
through all areas of your life. Believe
system – spend extra time connecting
pathway. Through your hard work, and
in miracles, and yourself. The Angels
with mother earth. A time for believing
determination you have opened a door
are experiencing your proud moments
that all good things are coming your
that has given you the ability to turn
with you! All is not lost it is simply being
way; visualising empowers you to step
everything you touch into gold. Drown
into the person you were created to be.
out the voices of others quickly!
Cancer 22 June - 23 July
Leo 24 July - 23 August
Virgo 24 August - 23 Sept
Follow the yellow brick road Cancer
A time for expressing yourself through
The teacher within you explores new
and step into your hall of fame that
songs, as your heart expands, your
opportunities as you enjoy taking on
you have secretly hid away within the
thoughts rapidly burst with ideas that
the role of the student this season.
deeper layers of your heart. Excuses
will deliver the challenge you have been
Your ability to complete tasks leaves
keep you stuck, and through positive
seeking. Prepare yourself physically,
you feeling satisfied, and hungry to
programming habits can be changed.
as your spirit lands in a winter
learn more about a subject that takes
The Angels are making you aware of
wonderland that sets your spirit roaring
you by surprise. The need to be
your healing method at present – harsh
with magnificence. Ideas are being
alone with your thoughts attracts a
emotions within your heart will surface;
downloaded to you daily – make sure
group discussion sparking an interest
the key is being given directly to you.
you are ready to receive. Love delays
concerning travel. The Angels are
Start your desired life and heal along the
get back on track acting on impulse will
helping you become more spontaneous
way by letting go of the thoughts that
gracefully fulfil your divine mission. You
within yourself as you accept a romantic
restrict your passion. A third eye kiss
have learned to dance in the rain!
gesture from someone who admires
sparks your fire!
148 BellaMia August 2015
Libra 24 Sept - 23 Oct
Scorpio 24 Oct - 22 Nov
Sagittarius 23 Nov - 21 Dec
It’s time to knock down the brick wall
There is not even enough time to slow
When we do not ask we simply do not
that has been blocking your personal
down Scorpio your busy diary, and
receive the support that is available to
pathway recently. A sluggish start to
hectic social/family life is empowering
us from others, and our Angels. You are
your month that will only last a short
you to get up, and get the multiple tasks
feeling a little agitated at the moment
time leaving you with the need to modify
done surrounding you at this present
because you are settled within a zone
your outer world, such as; your home, or
time. Your energy at this time is vibrant
that is not aligned with your desire!
your car. You may find your temper to
and healthy – you could actually save
Visualise, and you will materialise
be a little snappier around those that do
the world, but let’s save your energy for
Sagittarius as you spend time working
not reflect, and support your vibrancy.
fresh projects, and financial abundance
within your source energy call upon
Spending time being creative such as;
as your financial accounts rattle with
the Angels who will assist you with the
painting, will balance your energies
excitement! The Angels are encouraging
rise you desire within your vibrational
beautifully. It’s time to get the work
you to spend time in water during this
frequency. Look out for the signs your
episode to ensure you root your spirit
Angels are delivering – Be free!
and calm your mind for rest time.
Capricorn 22 Dec - 20 Jan
Aquarius 21 Jan - 19 Feb
Pisces 20 Feb - 20 March
Stocking up within your spiritual
Don’t forget to feed the fish as you spend
Pisces I feel a planetary moment or shift
kitchen, and bathroom this month
the majority of your month out, with
that will leave you feeling a little cold this
as you prepare to relax more within
your family. Socially you are enjoying
month – pulling on the cardigan, and
your homely life. You are energetically
the company that those surrounding you
woolly socks but you”re still freezing.
chirping just like a bird would do, as
have to offer. You are spoiled for choice
Emotionally you feel that finally you
they prepare to nest. Your cognizant self
and will bump into someone who will
are having a break from your personal
understands that change is coming soon
spark that energy shift you need in order
healing. You would love to join in
for you. Enjoy your free time getting lost
to move forward with a task that has been
the social fun, but feel much more
within a romantic novel as you slip into
stagnant within your work life. Enjoy the
comfortable being introvert at the start
a sensual current of desire enhancing
celebrations this month, and spend time
of the month. This will change as you
your love connections. Spending time
shopping within outlets that would not
become more alive midmonth – you
making love with one-self, or another -
normally be on your list of shops to visit.
are happy to join in any activity that
opens a door of mystery.
gets your heart rate up. The Angels are encouraging you to keep singing your song as your inner glow radiates through the hearts of others.
Body Image SOS Mary E. Pritchard, Ph.D., HHC
away what I felt was my God-given right to have children of my own. I now understand that my infertility, my pain was my
greatest gift. My wake-up call from the Universe. My body
Body Image SOS
was screaming at me to listen to it, but because I was
ignoring it, the screams kept getting louder.
I experience chronic pain due to an accident I had a few
So my question for you is this: what is your body trying to
years back. Over time, I have learned to accept my scars,
tell you? Ask it. Get into conversation with your body. You
but I am not happy about the pain and how it has changed
might be surprised at what it has to say. Leave your mind
my life. I’ve had to give up hobbies that I love. I worry about
out of the equation. The point is to ask your body – not
the pain worsening and losing the ability to use parts of
your logical angry brain. To ask it another way, what is the
my body like I want to. How do I cope with that? How can I
pain trying to tell you? Does it want you to relax more?
love my body through all of that? And how can I forgive the
Does it want you to stop seeing that friend of yours who’s
person that caused my accident in the first place?
toxic? What is it providing for you? For example, my pain
Answer: Chronic illnesses are so difficult to deal with and I admire your strength and the courage it took to comes to terms with your scars. I’ve been there, and I know it’s not easy. To answer your question, I’m going to tell you a story. When I was in graduate school, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I spent a couple of those years doubled
was giving me a way out of doing some of the things I didn’t want to do in my life at that point. I was too shy to speak my truth when I was in my 20s and my pain allowed me to use it as an excuse. Now that I feel free to speak my truth, my body no longer has to give me a way out. Dive deep and see what other messages your pain and your body might be telling you.
over in pain most of the time. To top it all off, I was told
Now, let’s move onto the forgiveness issue. I think you’ve
I would never bear children and would have to go into
got two people you need to forgive: the person who
drug-induced menopause three months before I was to
caused your accident and yourself. I want to be clear here
get married. I was 21. For years, I felt betrayed by my body.
about what I mean when I say “forgiveness.” I don’t mean
I too came to terms with the scars, but I couldn’t seem to
atonement. To me, that is a separate issue. Forgiveness,
let go of what I saw as my body’s ultimate betrayal – taking
for me, is letting go of the hope that the past could have
150 BellaMia August 2015
been any different than it was. You can’t rewind time and
have a different meaning depending upon your culture or
make your accident not occur – as much as you may want
what you were taught about forgiveness growing up. The
to do just that, it isn’t possible. So it’s healthier for you to
meaning may also be altered depending on the different
accept the reality that the accident did in fact occur and
components of forgiveness that are being suggested.
that you are now facing issues resulting from that accident.
Forgiveness can range from a quick apologetic, “I’m sorry,”
This will help you move forward with your life, instead of
possibly bearing no actual emotional meaning, to a more
ruminating about the past. That being said, I also think
sincere offering of contrition or remorse followed by an
it may be time for you to ‘face’ your demons so to speak.
offering to make amends.
I want you to write two letters: one to the person that caused your accident and one to yourself. In these letters, I want you to get everything out – every thought, every word – good, bad, and downright ugly – about how this has affected your life. When you finish, burn those letters, letting go of everything you’ve been carrying around – all that anger and resentment towards that person who caused your accident and towards your body. Once you’ve let go of your past, it’s time to actively create of your future. Ask yourself, “What do I really want right now?” (Again, let your body answer, not your mind.) Then, “What do I want to create for myself and my life?” (I bet anger and resentment aren’t on that list.) Now go out and do one thing today that will help those dreams become a reality! I used that process to heal my relationship with my body. I rarely experience pain these days.
Regardless of the origin or definition, your friends seem to suggest that you will feel a sense of relief or release if you practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is truly just that, a practice. Sharon Salzberg, a prominent teacher of Buddhist philosophy, suggests that forgiveness “creates the space for renewal, and a life free from bondage to the past.” This is the notion I believe your friends are suggesting to you. Without forgiveness you give the past an opportunity to create an emotional hold over you. It creates an energetic or emotional tether which has the potential to hold you to past memories or events so you are in essence then, still bound to them. “When we are held prisoner by our own past actions, or the actions of others, our present can not be fully lived” (Salzberg). To move forward and be fully participating in the present moment, unencumbered by memories or events of the past is why practicing forgiveness can be so powerful.
What do they mean by forgiveness? By, Karen M Anderson, Licensed Psychotherapist Question: I have a group of friends and when we get together we often discuss different concepts about life. Sometimes they are more spiritual in nature. We often touch on the concept of forgiveness. Can you help me understand where
This is particularly relevant when the events that created harm were experienced as a child or times when you felt powerless with the experience. You have the right now to live your life as an adult, making choices on your own, using your own values and moral compass to lead the way. Forgiveness can enhance this experience by releasing judgement about the past or conflicted emotional ties to those from your past.
I get stuck with the concept of forgiveness? When it comes
Forgiveness does not mean that you accept or tolerate
to different things that have happened to me my friends
someone’s behavior or actions that were harmful.
suggest that I forgive people, friends and family. I truly
Forgiveness is an action that you cultivate in your own
don’t understand or believe how forgiveness can help me
heart and release outward to others so that you can be free
feel better about things overall. I also don’t understand
of the situation. When it’s cultivated this way, forgiveness
how or why I’d forgive someone who hasn’t even asked for
becomes an inner practice of serenity and peace. It allows
forgiveness. - L.K.
you to clear up and release all prior experiences that may
Answer: Hi L.K. Forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself. It can
create disharmony or anguish within you. The notion that you can forgive someone without them even asking for it
is absolutely accurate. In fact, they need not be present for
it or ever verbally hear your words of forgiveness. It is an
The big deciding factor in whether to voice your truth or
energetic release from you to them.
not must come from what it is you are looking to achieve.
To practice forgiveness find a place for quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation. Allow yourself to breathe fully and follow your breathe in and out. When you are ready, bring up a person or an event that you have some sadness or anguish about. When you are ready, offer them forgiveness, you may even say it aloud if you prefer. “I offer you forgiveness, I forgive you.” If you have difficulty believing that it’s true don’t worry, for now it is enough to begin with the intention of forgiveness and releasing the experience. With practice this will be reinforced and you can enter into a mindset of releasing any experiences or events that generate discomfort for you. You can also practice self-forgiveness this way. Self-forgiveness and allowing unconditional acceptance of yourself is equally as powerful. In fact, it is often more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others. When self-forgiveness is practiced it can also be used to cultivate self-love.
Recently, someone came to me for support in a break up. It was made so much worse when her partner followed up with the need to ‘share’ why he broke up with her. This is despite the fact that she asked him not to. She was raw, in shock and still in pain. Yet he wanted to speak, to share. For me, this type of sharing is a way of sharing pain. Sharing pain is an act of disempowerment. It unempowers you and the person that is receiving this information. The place to share this is with whatever Higher Power you believe in. This is the way to keep hold of all your Greatness and power and as a bonus, it will improve your relationship with that Higher Power, which will support you in having better relationships across the board! :) Here’s the thing you have to keep in mind in wanting to voice your truth: to a greater extent you created the scenarios in that relationship that you don’t like. If you don’t like something, it is up to you to either change it or move or both. People are who they are, and they respond to the energetic scripts that you give them. When you
Relationship Rescue By Angela Gower-Johnson
fully own that what you were unable to receive from the relationship was almost entirely from your choice and you make yourself responsible, then that need to share your insight with the other person diminishes greatly. This
concept also goes for what you have chosen to not receive.
With breakups (both friendships and romantic), how do I
You are powerful and magical beyond your imagination.
know when it’s important to voice my truth? Sometimes
You have the power to have the most phenomenal
I just want to walk away quietly and other times I want to
relationship that goes beyond all your expectations! Are
tell the person all the reasons why and then some. I want
you ready to dive into that power and create the most
to make sure I am setting clear boundaries and giving
amazing relationships? :)
my voice a platform.... I just don’t know if it’s always necessary, if the person actually hears me, and if I’m at all being mean or just honest.... Help!
152 BellaMia August 2015
After Andrea’s first yoga class 16 years ago she was asked, “how do you feel?”. She only needed one word, “beautiful”. This feeling started an entrepreneurial journey of sharing her passions, gifts and inspiration with others. Now the founder of InspireMe2b, she is on a mission to help others turn their purpose into profits by helping them create their own unique business, signature programs, trainings, and marketing strategies that are in full alignment with their most “beautiful” self.
154 BellaMia August 2015
156 BellaMia August 2015
Published on Sep 24, 2015
BellaMia Mag is a holistic women's magazine that brings Living Well, Holistic & Transformation to life. Our motto is “Every Woman is Beautif...