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austin * san antonio

December ‘16 ISSUE 128 FREE


Leslie Kell • Towers and Tightropes • Humbug



















The Reiki of the Fire Dragon A new look at the history of Reiki and its founder, Dr. Mikao Usui, with Reiki Master Teacher Michael Abedin


December 9-11, 2016 February 3-5, 2017 Call for discounts on pre-registration.

(512) 879-7299 “An outstanding teacher—clear, articulate, caring, and careful in how you help people absorb the potent information. I wouldn’t do the class with anyone else. It’s Reiki on an accelerated level of learning.�


*Ä&#x;Ä¤ÄĽÄŁÄŚÄ”ÄĽÄ ÄŁ:Michael Abedin Reiki Master Teacher (Please include phone number with email. Phone interview required for info and registration.)


We don’t treat Teeth. We treat people. (And we listen to patients, not insurance companies) BIOLOGICAL DENTISTRY INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE LAB SERVICES UÊiÀVÕÀÞÊ>˜`Êi>ÛÞÊiÌ>Ê/iÃ̈˜} UÊ->viÊi>ÛÞÊiÌ>Ê,i“œÛ> UÊ œœ`Ê …i“ˆÃÌÀÞÊ>˜`ʈVÀœÃVœ«ˆVʘ>ÞÈà UÊ ˆœVœ“«>̈LiÊ,i«>Vi“i˜ÌÊ>ÌiÀˆ>Ê UÊœœ`ʏiÀ}ÞÊ>˜`ÊœÀ“œ˜iÊ/iÃ̈˜} UÊ6Ê-i`>̈œ˜Ê>˜`Ê6ˆÌ>“ˆ˜Ê˜vÕȜ˜ UÊ …i>̈œ˜Ê/…iÀ>«ÞÊ>˜`Êœ“iœ«>̅ÞÊ UÊ ÕÌÀˆÌˆœ˜Ê>˜`Ê-Õ««i“i˜ÌÊ*ÀœÌœVœÃ UÊ"✘iÊ,ˆ˜Ãi Matthew Carpenter, DDS

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Inside Austin All Natural DOWN AND OUT IN DALLAS – Dr. Joe Vitale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CALLING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 TOWERS AND TIGHTROPES – Michael Abedin Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell BRING ME FLOWERS – Michael Abedin Politics, stress, and the flower remedies of Edward Bach HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Unique gifts for conscious givers THE MORE YOU LOOK, THE MORE YOU SEE The Art of Leslie Kell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 THE ART OF ACCEPTANCE – Christina Allen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 FUNCTIONAL WELLNESS – Dr. Trevor Botts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Tired of just repairing damage? Boost your quality of life. BARING YOUR SOLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 UPCOMING EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 HUMBUGS AND CRUMPETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 A Christmas Carol and The Santaland Diaries at the Zach DEAR ASHTARA – Ashtara Sasha White . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 OPENING YOUR GIFTS The Heartwaker’s Club, with Zaeli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 PRACTITIONER GUIDE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 publisher/ editor Michael Abedin (512) 879-7299 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

art director Pun Nio associate editor Eliza Kane advertising Don Draper Cover: Quartet by Leslie Kell Austin All Natural © 2016. All rights reserved. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate, and Austin All Natural will not be held liable for the performance of goods and services provided by advertisers or any other portion of this publication.

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A Letter to Our Readers So how do you follow a November Letter from the Editor that ended with a prayer that didn’t come true? Try another one, short and sweet… Help us, Sweet Lord Baby Jesus (and Happy Birthday, btw). The turmoil was supposed to be over, eight days into November, and it was just beginning. Squabbling, shouting matches, wild accusations of treachery, threats, violence – we’ve finally become, as a nation, what we probably always have been for some time now.

We’re officially a reality show. Jerry Springer is said to be a pretty liberal guy, politically, or he’d be a shoo-in to head up Homeland Security – maybe even Secretary of State, what with all his past experience at mediating disputes between warring factions. Ah, well, might as well blame it all on 2016 being the Year of the Monkey, the troublemaker of Chinese cosmology that wreaks havoc on everything. Maybe 2017 will be better, being, let’s see now... where’s that old Chinese restaurant placemat? Oh, no. The Year of the Rooster – a year often characterized by cockiness, authoritarianism, bossiness. Help us, Sweet Lord… –Michael Abedin

by Dr. Joe Vitale


An exclusive, condensed excerpt from The Miracle

ou probably saw the movie The Secret. That movie introduced the law of attraction and took the world by storm. It came out ten years ago and it’s still moving, still selling. The movie introduced the idea of the law of attraction and that’s all it was supposed to do, but everybody assumed, because of what they saw, that’s how the law of attraction worked.

That’s an incomplete story. The law of attraction works deeper than what the movie revealed. People watched and thought, Oh, well, all I have to do is sit in a chair and close my eyes, visualize a bike, and the doorbell will ring and my uncle will be there with a bike. Or they say, All I have to do is visualize, my perfect house – mmm, I can feel being in it. Then I go down the street, and I discover my perfect house. The movie led you to believe it was so simple, it was almost like your life could be a Walt Disney movie. I’m not saying your life can’t be like that. Those kinds of things can happen, but only once you use the missing secret. Once you get clear of counterintentions, counter beliefs, old programming, you might sit in a chair and visualize the bike. Then the doorbell rings and a bike will be there, because there won’t be any interference in you to keep that kind of miracle from taking place. The vast majority of people watched the movie and made the erroneous assumption that’s all they had to do. Think it, visualize it, it shows up. If you don’t have any blocks, don’t have any counterintentions, that’s what may happen – but most of us have blocks, most of us have counterintentions.

r Kindle reader, or on audio.

My story. I was homeless in Dallas in the late 1970s, and then I moved to Houston. I don’t know how I got there (bus, hitchhiked, I don’t actually remember), but I was in poverty for ten years. I was married during that time, and it was really rough for both of us. I remember being depressed, even suicidal. I remember being so unhappy I would cry. I managed to get a job I hated and would drive to work crying behind the wheel of the car, and drive home crying. I was that unhappy. I had my goal – I wanted to be an author. It was a noble intention. I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t into drugs. I wasn’t doing any of the addictive behaviors a lot of people say got them into homelessness or poverty. I was trying my best. I wanted to make a difference in the planet. I felt like it was my calling to be an author, but why wasn’t it happening? Why was I struggling? I was so broke I get emotional even thinking about it. I remember my wife was making spaghetti one night – great comfort food for an Italian like me, right? She dropped the jar of tomato sauce and it broke on the floor and shattered, and I didn’t have the $2.17 to buy another jar. It was the symbol of my life. When the car would break down, it was a catastrophe because I didn’t have the money to fix it. We lived in this little room with the toilet in the same room as the TV and our foldout bed, and it cost $200 a month. I struggled to pay it.


I know what it’s like to struggle. I know what it’s like to be homeless. I also know what it’s like to awaken and get past that. Everybody asks me, “How did you get past that? How did you awaken? How did you get out of homelessness? How did you get out of poverty? What did you do?”

The turnaround. I’m going to tell you what I did. I did everything. I read all the books, listened to the audios. I lived in the public library literally when I was in Dallas, because that’s where I escaped the heat. I found comfort, air conditioning, and water in the bathroom. I read books like Just Be Glad, How to Turn Your Desires and Ideals into Reality, and The Science of Getting Rich from the early 1900s. I have original editions of all these books now. I even have a book by William Walker Atkinson, the one who invented the term “law of attraction” in the early 1900s. These books are part of my collection. But back then, I was reading them at the library, learning about the law of attraction. I’m grateful for the books. They were changing my life. So what was the big aha for me? I’m in the library in Dallas. I don’t have a home. People said, “What kind of car did you live in?” I didn’t have a car. A car would have been nice, but I didn’t have a car. I was literally homeless. I’m reading these books, learning about the law of attraction, and thinking to myself, how do I make this work? Back then, I didn’t have a coach. I didn’t have anybody to talk to. I was single at that point, totally by myself. I didn’t have the Internet – the Internet wasn’t even invented yet, nor was a Mac computer. There I am, wrestling with these materials by myself, really forced to look in the mirror. Then I realized, with quite a shock, that I was basing my life on a belief.

I hope you grasp what an awakening this was. I suddenly realized everything in my life was because of me. The law of attraction was alive and well and it was working, but it was working on my unconscious belief at that time – and my unconscious belief said I had to suffer to be an author. All the years I suffered. All the stuff I went through. All the suicidal, melancholy, broke, desperate, unhappy days, ten years worth of them because of that thought. When I got clear of that thought and started to ask myself what other beliefs might I have, I started to realize I could choose it. I began to think to myself, Well, if there are authors out there who are unhappy and productive, but suicidal and dramatic, like Jack London and Ernest Hemingway, there must be authors out there who are happy, prolific, productive, who are actually making a difference and making money and helping people, and doing it while being in health and prosperity. Let me find those authors and model them. When I started to think like them, my life changed. It was a slow effort because I still had to change all the other beliefs in me, and change them by myself. In other words, I was working on me by myself – just me, operating on me. That’s a little bit like trying to play chess with yourself. You know all your next moves, so you can’t outsmart yourself, and that’s what I was trying to do –outsmart my own belief system. That’s tough to do. That’s why I’m so grateful you’re reading this. By working through this material, together, we’re going to unravel and erase negative, limiting beliefs – the ones that aren’t serving you. You can certainly keep beliefs that are serving you, but you want to release ones that aren’t. That’ll free you so you can have, do, or be whatever you want. Joe Vitale’s latest book, The Miracle, is at and

Get this – I was basing my life on a belief I wasn’t conscious of. Dr. Joe Vitale is the globally famous author of numerous bestselling books, including The Attractor Factor and Zero Limits, a star in the hit movie The Secret, founder of Miracles Coaching and The Secret Mirror, inventor of Hypnotic Writing, and a man ‘on fire’ to live his passions and help the world. His music CD’s are available at www. His main website is Photo by: Brian Fitzsimmons

I had a driving belief that was organizing everything I was attracting in my life, and I didn’t even know what it was. Through all these books, through self-reflection, through looking in the mirror at myself and being ruthlessly honest, I realized I admired dramatic authors who had flamboyant, dangerous, unhappy lives, like Jack London. He wrote The Call of the Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, and fifty other books. I also followed Ernest Hemingway, who wrote The Old Man and the Sea and other books. I was modeling my life unconsciously on them. I thought I had to have an unhappy, dramatic, melodramatic life in order to be a famous author, too.


No one really knows who wrote the verses to The Twelve Days of Christmas (or why), but it apparently originated in France, was published in 1780 in England without music, and the current tune was added in 1909. It eventually became a kid’s game. If you couldn’t remember all the birds and maids and lords and such, you had to do whatever kids did then – get punched in the arm, eat a bug, whatever. Might make a good drinking game, since, as comedian Eddie Izzard points out, everybody pretty much fakes it until it’s time to belt out the five gohhhld rings part.

Giving the bird. One thing’s for sure – birds must have been considered a pretty cool present, since fully half the haul consists of fowl. (The French, known to dine on the occasional sparrow, might have considered all of them dinner.) Awhile back, someone at an investment bank in Philadelphia with a lot of time on his hands tallied up the tab for such lavish giving, based on the going rate for all the goods and services, and came up with not just one but two figures. The Christmas Price Index adds up the cost of each item, for a 2015 total of $34,130.99. The True Cost of Christmas, however, is based on going out every day and buying all the items – you’d buy a total of twelve partridges in pear trees, twenty-two turtle doves, hire however many maids to milk and lords to leap, and so on – for a grand total of 364 items and a 2015 tab of $155,407.18. This presumably doesn’t factor in cleaning bills for bird poop, a bigger house to hold everything, and a restraining order for your true love. Surprisingly, both figures been criticized for being inaccurate, proving once again some people will pretty much criticize anything, without a trace of humor or irony.


The inevitable segue. Know where this is going, right? Yep. Salt in the wounds of the recent grudgefest disguised as an election. One of the most horrifying revelations (scary choice of words right now, sorry) was how much rancor was intentionally spread though Facebook, Twitter, and other pseudo-media outlets catering to faces and twits. Incredibly, some folks consider them news sources – reliable ones, no less. Cognitive bias is a term for building yourself a belief system that only agrees with what you want to believe, based on emotion, social influence, and skipping the part about checking to see if it’s even vaguely plausible. Might be okay for wasting time on cat memes and selfies, but a dangerous way to absorb – and spread – anything of importance. Cynically manufacturing outrageously fake news to get income-producing online clicks has become big biz, and even those who should know better are often swallowing it hook, line, and sinker – and sharing it without researching (or even reading) it, as long as the headline dovetails with whatever they want to be true. And, yeah, anyone who’s read this far in a print publication of this nature should know better.

Find your calling. Almost resolution time, so here’s an idea – get your nose out of your devices, get the hell out of antisocial media, find something of import to hang onto in what promises to be a social storm that ain’t diminishing anytime soon. The quaint notion of a calling, something in which to invest time, work, and actual attention, is a good place to start. Need a suggestion? Buy a fine natural magazine and pay the guy who created it big bucks to crank it out every month. (Just a thought.) Oh, and those four calling birds? They were originally colley birds, an old term either for blackbirds, or for really smart birds that rescue Timmy from the well. Share that.


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TOWERS and TIGHTROPES by Michael Abedin Now I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back They’re moving us tomorrow To that tower down the track But you’ll be hearing from me baby, Long after I’m gone I’ll be speaking to you sweetly From a window in the Tower of Song – Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell

Ahh, Leonard. Not even forty-eight hours to recover from November 8, and news comes he’s passed from this realm. Wait, you say. Leonard… who? Begin listening to Leonard Cohen songs immediately. Tower of Song, from 1988’s I’m Your Man, is a good start. Cohen hatched from the same Sixties nest of poets, songwriters, and folksingers that also produced the likes of Judy Collins, Joan Baez – and, of course, Bob Dylan. Collins introduced Cohen’s work to pop charts in 1966 with Suzanne, which was on his 1967 debut album. It also included Winter Lady, Sisters of Mercy, and The Stranger Song, all used by Robert Altman in his masterful 1971 western McCabe and Mrs. Miller. The Stranger Song was a perfect fit for Warren Beatty’s gambler. “Those lyrics,” Altman said, “were etched in my subconscious, so when I shot the scenes I fitted them to the songs, as if they were written for them.” Even after multitudinous covers and films, though, Cohen’s work didn’t make another dent in the charts until 2002.

That Shrek song. It took Cohen five years to write Hallelujah, including a night sitting in his underwear in a hotel room banging his head on the floor. The original weighed in at eighty verses and there are different versions, both by Cohen and scores of others who’ve covered it since its 1984 release. The late Jeff Buckley’s 1994 Hallelujah takes its hauntingly beautiful poetry to still another place. It went gold in 2002, was the version used in the double platinum soundtrack to the film Shrek, and uses a different closing verse than most of Cohen’s arrangements: Maybe there’s a God above But all I’ve ever learned from love Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya And it’s not a cry that you hear at night It’s not somebody who’s seen the light It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah


If what Buckley does with that final hallelujah doesn’t send chills down your spine – well, you probably have a future in politics. Cohen usually swapped it for another closing line, though, one that could serve as a good motto these days: Even though it all went wrong I’ll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…

Master of Space and Time. Glenn Campbell, it’s said, once did a show with a piano player from Oklahoma who was kinda freaked out about appearing with him. “Leon,” Glenn told him, “just play that s--like you always play it. They don’t know nothin’ here.” The piano player took that advice. Name a pop music icon from the last half-century – chances are good Leon Russell played with them, from Frank Sinatra and Doris Day to the Beach Boys and the Stones. Austin in the Seventies was one of the places where folks did know somethin’. Russell was an icon his own self back then at the Armadillo, long hair and long scraggly beard waving over his piano, the focused gleam in his eye that of a man who’d taken a number of trips without a discernible mode of transport. In 1970, Joe Cocker learned he had a tour starting in a week. Russell threw together a band and they hit the road – he became the top-hatted ringmaster of the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, the Master of Space and Time. Leon checked out November 13, less than a week after Leonard. A Song for You was his Hallelujah, but he was more a carney than Cohen’s Zen monk, and his 1972 album of that name opened with Tight Rope – another good choice for trying times: I’m up on the tightrope One side’s hate and one is hope But the tophat on my head is all you see… Keep your tophat on – and if you fall, fall towards hope.

BRING ME FLOWERS Politiics, stress, and thee flo ower remedies of Ed dward Ba ach

by Michael Abedin There’s a syndrome in natural health known as the healing crisis, in which you get worse before you get better. If that’s the case, a divided America is due to get really, really better – if it survives getting worse. That’s the catch behind a healing crisis – you have to survive the downhill slide to start moving up. Fortunately, there are tools that can help.

One of them was developed by an English physician in the 1930s. Ironically, that was the same time Herbert Hoover was presiding over the slow, painful slide into the Great Depression on this side of the pond. Edward Bach abandoned a thriving medical practice in the posh Fleet Street section of London to research natural, plant-based healing in a seaside village in Wales – sort of the modern-day equivalent of dumping a plastic surgery practice in Dallas to hang out in, say, Port Aransas. His work led him to create thirty-nine homeopathically prepared tinctures from flowering plants to address mental, emotional, and spiritual states that can lead to physical symptoms, and his flower essences have since become a standard of natural healing. Still reeling from the aftermath of November 8 and the long, acrimonious process that led up to it, followed closely by the usual holiday madness? Grab yourself a bottle of Rescue Remedy, for immediate, acute stress – or, better yet, get your own personalized blend of remedies. Here are a few suggestions, regardless of which side of the political fence you occupy: t 8BMOVUTransitions, advancing stages. Protection from outside influences. Ability to move through big changes with grace and ease. t 4UBSPG#FUIMFIFN Sadness, sorrow, loss. Shock of sudden bad news. t )PMMZAnger, revenge, jealousy. t #FFDI Intolerance of others. The better than thou remedy. t 7JOFDominating, inflexible. Forces opinions on others. t 4XFFU$IFTUOVU Deep depression, despair. Dark night of the soul. t .JNVMVT Known fears – poverty, war, disasters. t "TQFO Unknown, even superstitious fears, nightmares. Sense of dread, doom, something terrible looming. t 8IJUF$IFTUOVUObsessed by unwanted thoughts. Insomnia, disturbed sleep.

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Michael Abedin is a Reiki Master Teacher and an expert in the use of Edward Bach’s flower remedies, providing consultations and personalized blends. Register in December for the Quantum Reiki Master Intensive, Dec. 9-11 or February 6-8, and receive a free consultation and blend of remedies. (512) 879-7299.


The more you look, the more you see THE CUSTOM ART OF LESLIE KELL Austin All Natural is known for its unique and outstanding cover art that jumps out and grabs your attention, tying in with the theme of each issue. Much of it comes from local, national, even internationally known artists, and some of it is designed in-house. All of it has one thing in common – its final design and layout is by Austin digital artist Leslie Kell, whose own original work has been on a number of covers, including this month’s Quartet – the “four calling birds” in her series based on The Twelve Days of Christmas that started in 2012. Kell is a central figure in the Austin art community, with work in galleries, collections like the 2012, 2014, and 2015 People’s Gallery at Austin City Hall, and on the last two covers of the Georgetown Arts and Cultural Guide. The 2016-17 image – Where I Belong, named after a Willie song – is a stained-glass motif using photoss of Georgetown’s Blue Hole Park and downtown square. Most of her work is created from photos of her own travels and favorite places, but she also does custom commissioned pieces from clients’ own adventures – a spectacular wedding collage, a large, multi-dimensional piece for a collector featuring favorite spots along a greenbelt, a collection of vacation photos. Where I Belong

True Love, 2012

Beloved, 2014

Find these holiday designs on cards, phone cases, and more, online at For information on custom pieces, visit


Trinity, 2015

Quartet, 2016

UPCOMING How Did They Do That? EXHIBIT Jan. 23- Feb. 27, 2017

Art by Leslie Kell, Ron Monroe, Lynne Brotman, Jay Schneider. Opening Reception: Thurs., Jan. 26, 7-8:30pm Gallery at the J, Dell Jewish Community Campus 7300 Hart Lane, Austin, 78731

“Day Destroys the Night� Midnight Sun Collection

How Did I Do That? THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF LESLIE KELL The space between reality and illusion is where the magic happens, that moment when they slide into each other and produce an otherness, a sublime encounter. The angle of a light beam or a fleeting reflection ignites a spark, transporting us, providing what life does not. My artwork begins with as many as a dozen ordinary photographs of natural elements and architectural forms based on a theme, location, color, or texture. Blended with a painstaking digital process I developed over years, layers of images mingle and blur, creating highlights, shadows, and contours, pushing the bounds of vision into another reality. Finally, the work is finished with three-dimensional accents to create a sculptural presentation beyond the bounds of the canvas. The works are grouped into collections, each piece named from a phrase from a favorite artist or song. Day Destroys the Night, from the Midnight Sun Collection, was created from photos taken on a recent Alaskan vacation, shown next to the finished work they became.



Art of Acceptance

by Christina Allen Most of us have some sense of the way we want things to go. We have a dream, a vision. And then the world, in all its apparent chaos, happens. For many, this unpredictability seems random and unsettling. On occasion, it can even feel devastating. We want to have control over our outcome, and we want the world to reflect our values.

The truth is, we are not in control. We may co-create with the Universal Force, but we cannot control it. We are an extension of it, and as such cannot make poor choices without consequence. If we are out of balance, it sometimes takes great darkness and calamity to bring us back to center. Disastrous events rise up and teach us when we are not listening. They help us evolve, clear karma – and, ultimately, they restore balance. When it looks distasteful, we resist. Who wants to give up their comfort and jump into a fiery inferno? Sometimes that’s just the medicine, however, that’s needed to move on to the next. Wildfires destroy whole habitats, decimate forests, and in the end, a stronger new woodland grows as the dense canopy above breaks down.

We are visitors. Most of us feel like victims of circumstance when something outside our control happens. When victims feel cornered, they either shrink into fear and helplessness, or rally into a volley of rage and shame, creating more of the same. We don’t have to be victims, however. It starts with accepting the way things are. This means taking ownership of all of the imbalances at play. As the indigenous remind us, we are not here to use up the resources of this planet without reverence or consequence. We are visitors here. Sometimes, finding ourselves at the very edge of consequence is where we finally wake up, where we learn to work with the forces of creation, instead of selfishly against them.


Sometimes it takes a great darkness to consume our light before we, as a collective, remember this. Much like surfers, we mostly live our lives floating on the ocean’s surface, while the deep waters beneath us move back and forth, gently. There are times, however, when something within that darkness surges to the surface to be seen. The waves beneath us swell, they peal over us and crash onto the shore. We cannot change these waves. We cannot make them stop. They have a power of their own. While they have the capacity to pummel us to pieces, there is a timing to them, a rhythm. If we pay attention, we can get up on our surfboards and ride.

The art of acceptance is being aware. It is acknowledging that the storm has arrived. Surrendering to its momentum does not mean losing, it means conceding that ultimately there is a higher intelligence at work. It may not look like it. We may not like it. But we have to trust we are being taken some place new. As Leonard Cohen said, sometimes it’s only drowning men who see Jesus. Sometimes we must be taken to the brink of ruin before balance is restored and we see the light. The forces of Nature can be intense, and there is a timing to everything. We are all part of its process. We are now entering into the darkest days of the year. Let us embrace it, for in the darkness we find the seeds of our future. Within our shadows, we will find our brilliance. Darkness is part of the process. Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year, is December 21. Let us all light a candle then. As the light returns, fear not its power, nor its strength. Balance will be restored. It always is. Steady yourself, and get ready to ride. Christina Allen’s work as an intuitive, healer, teacher, and founder and director of the Austin Shamanic Center combines a strong science background (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, and profound Shamanic Healing based on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). For private appointments and upcoming classes, call (512) 391-9829, or visit


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FUNCTIONAL WELLNESS. Tired of just repairing damages? Boost your quality of life. CZ%S5SFWPS#PUUT Traditional Western medicine and its doctors are the finest in the world for dealing with acute care, such as the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or short-duration illnesses in need of urgent care – a traumatic car accident, appendicitis, a broken leg. For such harrowing situations, I want traditional medicine in my corner. But to stave off chronic problems or diseases, to do a better job of controlling or even reversing disease states and debilitation, and to train people in the art and science of wellness and self-healing, functional wellness is better suited for developing and maintaining a higher quality of life, well into your senior years. Functional wellness is personally tailored health coaching. It deals with primary prevention and underlying causes of chronic disease rather than simply removing or masking symptoms once they arise. Functional wellness emphasizes true healing, treatment of the person rather than a disease, and a partnership of joint responsibility between doctor and patient, with the patient carrying most of the load. It also embraces the most current science in diagnosing early abnormalities that eventually lead to chronic illness. Functional wellness uses botanicals and other forms of nutritional supplementation rather than pharmaceutical agents that create high levels of stress damage. Under the influence of functional wellness, “old age� is not what it used to be, anti-aging is now a science, and optimized living is the new normal for people of every age. In light of the above points, I view functional wellness as a complement to traditional medicine, and not an alternative. Systems of health protection should work together where possible. One approach cannot serve all of Heaven and Earth.

Why do we need functional wellness? Chronic disease, as a rule, is slow to develop. Examples are diabetes, cardiovascular damage, hypertension, low thyroid,


cancer, mental illness, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and back problems. Long-term predictions for such chronic diseases keep rising because the physical, emotional, and mental effects of stress are overwhelming us. This stress comes from poor diet, a toxic environment, drugs, accidents, nervous system impairments, emotional reactions to life, mental overload, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep. Even falling in love is stressful, in a way (eustress, or good stress). Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic, so traditional medicine is planning to target what it labels as high risk individuals with ever more dramatic drug interventions. Researchers, of course, hope to enhance quality of life, while Big Pharma hopes to enhance profits. Yet, the physical, emotional, mental, and economic side effects of drug interventions leave us with a sobering message, one having little to do with healing or quality of life.

Isn’t it time for a sanity check? Functional wellness works to keep you from becoming a high-risk disease candidate in the first place. The rule is simple – prevent disease states from developing now, so there’s nothing to treat later. But if you already happen to be riding the risk rollercoaster (typical for people over thirty), you can start reversing some or most of the acquired stress damage by enabling your body to heal itself. This is very different from suppressing disease signs or symptoms with drugs, as is done with statins or thyroid medications, to make lab measurements look better.

Who qualifies for this proactive approach? Here’s the catch. You have to qualify yourself to follow the prevention approaches of functional wellness and optimized living. Although a prevention or wellness lifestyle is highly rewarding, it’s not for the timid.

Such a lifestyle requires you to understand how you’re mislead – and our collective wellness is reduced – by the Big Five Stress Agents: t #JH.ZUIPoor information. t #JH.FEJDJOFA system dominated by insurance interests. t #JH1IBSNBThe drug industry. t #JH'BLF'PPETThe processed food industry. t #JH$IFNJTUSZA little bit of all of the above.

Many of us have fallen victim to the harmful mental pattern of hoping, rather than (pro)acting. You hope you’ll somehow fare better than others you know who are suffering degraded lifestyles. Hope, however, doesn’t have a good track record for preventing chronic disease – but, hey, hope is easy. So, what are some of the harmful mental patterns you may inadvertently hold because of Big Five Stress Agent influences? Here are a few examples. See if any of them fit: t :PVMMQPQBQJMM BOEUIJTDBOFWFOJODMVEFBWJUBNJOPS mineral) as a quick fix for almost anything, to improve your short-term quality of life. t :PVUIJOLZPVSEPDUPSTPSIFBMUIDBSFQSPWJEFSTKPCJTUP take charge of your health and fix you when symptoms arise. t :PVSQIZTJDBMBDUJWJUZIBTEFDSFBTFEXJUIFBDIQBTTJOH year because you think you’re supposed to slow down as your calendar age rises – or because you just decided to give up, and live with your body as it is. t :PVXBOUZPVSCPEZUPBDUBOESFDPWFSBTJUEJEJOZPVS teens and twenties. (Hint – it can’t and won’t, without ongoing lifestyle adjustments.)

Please consider this. Most cancers incubate ten years or more before they’re finally detectable. An even longer incubation period applies to the metabolic abnormalities that lead to diabetes. What environmental stresses and biological imbalances occur during those incubation years to serve as such fertile ground for cancer and diabetes? It’s the job of functional wellness to answer such questions, and provide tailored rebalancing programs for individuals before they find themselves needing drugs, surgery, or medical appliances. Dr. Trevor Botts is founder and clinic director of the Inspire Wellness Center at 13740 Research Blvd, Ste. L-4, 78750, offering natural, non-invasive programs for gaining and preserving wellness through lifestyle enrichment rather than disease management. His formal education includes a doctorate in Chiropractic, as well as post-graduate training in functional blood chemistry, clinical nutrition, and fitness. Inspire Wellness Center offers free weekly seminars and dinners starting in January, to detail how hormone imbalances can affect quality of life. RSVP and info: (512) 800-2026


The problem.

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I’m walking on sunshine (whoa oh) And don’t it feel good. – Aly and AJ, Walking on Sunshine


n our modern society, we don’t have a clue that the shoes we wear every day have changed the physical form of our feet into weaker (and less practical) feet. Our ancient ancestors were one with nature, the environment, the elements, and walking barefoot, and it’s still one of the most primal instincts for mankind. Recall how wonderful it feels to walk barefoot on the grass, or on the beach with sand squeezing between your toes. Our shoes are a direct contributor to weak feet – feet that could once traverse over dirt, rocks, sticks, and rubble without the aid of the nice, cushioned soles we wear today. We’ve lost our natural way, and don’t realize how this affects us. Walking barefoot provides multiple benefits that we either don’t receive at all or nearly as much walking with shoes. It provides a direct connection to the Earth and its magnetic field, greatly diminished by wearing shoes – walk barefoot on grass or the beach, and see how good it feels.

Get yourself Earthed. Your body’s conductive to the Earth, and the Earth is conductive to your body. The Earth’s full of negative ions, and you flood your body with them walking barefoot – it’s grounding, also referred to as Earthing in the book of the same name by Clinton Ober, Stephen Sinatra, and Martin Zucker. In modern cities, you need an abundance of negative ions. Positive ions are all around you, with electronic gadgets and electro-magnetic frequencies. In a world filled with electronics, we’ve disconnected ourselves from the Earth’s natural negative ion field, and are flooding our bodies with pro-inflammatory positive ions. Our ancestors slept on the Earth itself, or close to the Earth. Being grounded – being Earthed – relieves tension as you sleep. It also removes positive ions to make way for negative ions, which are relaxing and help improve sleep quality.


Think about when you went swimming in the lake or the ocean and spent the day barefoot – and how great you slept that night. It’s believed that spending time walking barefoot helps balance your circadian rhythms to give you a better awake/asleep consciousness awareness. Your body’s around seventy percent water, and the more grounded you are in nature, the more conductive and alive that water is in your entire body. Walking barefoot helps create an ionic balance within your cells and tissues. Exercises with the most age and wisdom, such as martial arts, yoga, and tai chi, are all usually done barefoot, which helps wire your brain to be on your feet at all times. When you walk with shoes, you don’t think on your feet as much, as the saying goes – because you’re somewhat disconnected from your feet. Walking barefoot also helps balance emotional and mental stability and well-being. When you’re barefoot, you’re more alert, aware, and in the moment, because you have to watch where you’re walking. It turns walking subconsciously into walking consciously again, making you more alert and present – a valuable gift.

Our ancestors walked on sand, grass, wood, and pebbles. Because we wear shoes all the time, we miss out on the sensory experiences involved in that process. Your feet, when stimulated, transmit that information to other parts of the body. There are multiple pressure points and nerve endings on the bottom of your feet that go unstimulated because of shoes. When you remove your shoes, you open your sensory world and allow your nervous system to explore more of it. When those nerves and pressure points on the bottom of the foot are stimulated, it can help can circulate chi energy (life force, or prana – different cultures have different names for it) to different areas in the body associated with those pressure points.

What’s the moral of the story? Take five minutes each day, and get grounded. Take your shoes off and absorb the Earth’s energy of negative ions, or lay on a negative ion biomat. Think, reflect on your day, and ease into the night for a restful sleep. Technical information provided by Elizabeth Gueldner, Certified Pilates Practitioner, and Rick Thompson, working together to assist with pain management and health-related issues using the Amethyst BioMat, offering sessions and rentals. Contact Elizabeth at (512) 560-5230, Rick at (512) 423-2972, or

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UPCOMING UPCOMING EVENTS EVENTS NATURE’S TREASURES 4103 N. IH 35, Austin, TX (512) 472-5015 Shop online: 12 Days of Christmas Sale Dec. 13-24. 20% off all jewelry in store. Be sure to follow us on social media for daily flash sales featuring different favorites on each of the 12 days. Rockin’ New Year’s Sale Dec. 26-Jan 1. We are making way for new treasures with the New Year. Be sure to visit us for discounts on Labradorite, Sandstone, Quartz, Amethyst, and more. FESTIVAL WEEKEND FREE ADMISSION Harmony Healing Arts Festival Dec. 10, 10am-4pm. Health and wellness festival faturinging holistically oriented services and products. Coexist Festival Austin Dec. 11, 11am–5pm. Astrology readings, henna art, handcrafted jewelry, local authors. Daily in-store practitioners. Also offering Personal Shopping Saturdays with Dianna, Austin’s Crystal Whisperer. For full practitioner and event calendars and event rental inquiries, visit SPIRITUAL LIFE FAIR December 17, 10am-5:30pm. Monthly event. The talents and products of a community dedicated to healing Body, Mind, and Spirit. FREE! Nature’s Treasures Community Center, 4103 N. IH-35. CINDERELLA: The Musical Bass Concert Hall, Dec. 6-11.

METAPHYSICAL & HOLISTIC LIFE EXPO Jan. 7-8 Sat. 10am-6:30pm, Sun. 11am-6pm FREE 2016 Predictions Panel, Jan. 6, 7pm NEW LOCATION: Norris Conference Center 2525 W. Anderson Lane, #365, Austin 78757 ZACH THEATRE HOLIDAY SHOWS A Christmas Carol: Through Dec. 31. The Santaland Diaries: Through Dec. 25. HARMONY HEALING ARTS FESTIVAL Sat. Dec. 10, 10am-5pm. Nature’s Treasures. FREE. Holistic practitioners, products, unique gifts. MEDITATION AND MUSIC 4th Tuesdays, Kind Spirit Yoga, 8701 Shoal Creek Blvd. #104, 78757. Guided meditation with harp, flute, and bowls. Relax and enjoy the healing sounds. Love Offering. RSVP: (512) 589-4075 or Schedule: ASHTARA SASHA WHITE’S EVENTS MONTHLY GROUP MEETING & POTLUCK Wed. Jan. 15 (No Meeting in December. We’ll see you in the New Year!) 6:30PM: Potluck, 7-9PM: Group Phoenix Rising Metaphysics 8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #201, Austin For event details and Ashtara’s CDs: Call for a Private Session including Profound Psychic Readings and Healings (512) 278-0559,

FREE GOURMET DINNER, SEMINAR SPONSORED BY INSPIRE WELLNESS Hormone Health: The Secret to More Energy, Better Sleep, and Weight Loss Jan. 5: Morelia Mexican Grill, Pflugerville Jan. 11: Saltgrass Steak House, Austin Jan. 12: Texas Land and Cattle, Lake Line Jan. 18: Texas Land and Cattle, South Jan. 25: Saltgrass Steak House, Round Rock Discover how hormone imbalances, man or woman, distort your midsection into a belly that won’t go away with diet and exercise, and can affect sleep, food cravings, energy. Seating is limited, reservations required. Please bring a guest. RSVP: (512) 800-2026 KOOP RADIO’S BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT Dec. 17, 7pm. Music by Omar and the Howlers, Pressure, Joe King Carrasco. Spider House Ballroom, 2906 Fruth St. 78705

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A Christmas Carol and The Santaland Diaries at the Zach Holidays are about traditions, most of them pretty inviolate. (Go ahead, dare to suggest tossing, say, a treasured family ornament or recipe, no matter how ghastly.) If some of your chestnuts have roasted on one too many open fires, though – if you’ve seen The Nutcracker until you cringe when you hear that marching music, or know half the lines by heart from the movie about the guy with the lamp with the leg – you may need some new traditions. Austin’s Zach Theatre has you covered. How about an updated musical production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a non-traditional Austin tradition? Zach’s 2016 version has new music and a new humbugger – Scrooge is none other than Jaston Williams, one of the creators of Greater Tuna, and half the population of Texas’ second-smallest town. As with any of his roles, Jaston owns the scene the moment he appears as Scrooge – his first few hand gestures and his first bahhh, hum… bug nail the character. Not many actors (except maybe his Tuna buddy, Joe Sears) can hold a stage with Jaston Williams, but wait until Roderick Sanford ascends through the floor as Marley’s ghost, draped in chains.

Bad elf.


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David Sedaris is a writer, which means David Sedaris has also been a whole lot of other things in the process of making a living. He did a Christmas season as an elf at the Santaland at Macy’s in New York City, turned it into a chapter of a sort of fictionalized non-fiction diary, and read that chapter, The Santaland Diaries, on NPR in 1992. It was a winner, the break every writer waits for, and was turned into a one-man play in 1996. Timothy Olyphant, the slow-talking, fast-shooting deputy marshal Raylan Givens from Justified, originated the role. Zach’s Santaland changes a bit each year, with the elf Crumpet juggling tots (really hard to do – they tend to holler when you toss them in the air) and tipsy Santas. Some of the language probably isn’t for the younger kiddies, but it’s a good break from shopping and sugar plums, over an adult beverage or two. Zach presents A Christmas Carol through Dec. 31, and The Santaland Diaries through Dec. 25. Tickets:

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Dear Ashtara: Messages from Your Angels and Master Teachers Dear Ashtara, I am interviewing with different positions within my existing company. Do you see me being able to get a higher paying job in the next three months or should I stay where I am at? Also, I read my own angel cards and I am getting the impression a new love will be coming into my life. Do you see this happening? Margie, 36, Austin, TX Dear Margie, Presently, your best bet is to stay at the job you are in while looking for a higher paying job even if it takes several more months. One day true love will find you because of the universal flow that is definitely flowing your way. Keep your chin up, and your career will follow. Your test is to release the past and accept new gifts in the future. Become a universal and intelligent, metaphysical genius that warrants and alleviates situations. Try focusing on higher thought, as well as a bright future. Your Highest Teacher is Metatron and your angel is Gabriel. Dear Ashtara, Am I going to bring in a new income from a partnership? Pat, 64, Austin, TX Dear Pat, In your life you will toy with the idea of material and economic situations that will help you in your life. At first, there will be a person who will want to teach you how to manage a small business. This woman will only assist you with ideas. Next, a fellow and spiritual partner will begin to entice you. When this happens, take a giant leap and go for it. Your success definitely comes from your own instinct, as well as friends with benefits. I see Gabriel announcing this tribute to you and I see Ashtar and the Galactic Federation backing up all that you will ever do. You are the love and the promise that there will be Peace on Earth. Dear Ashtara, Will I find love, free from the patterns of my past? Should I move and/or find a new job? Cynthia, 37, Lockhart, TX


Dear Cynthia, It looks like you are trying to shift, and not have some of the same issues that you had before. Consequently, practicing unconditional love is all I can see that needs to be done. If your partner doesn’t agree, remember to trust your inner voice and it will always tell you what to do and love will eventually follow. As far as a new job, you are supposed to be an MD or healer, architect, design engineer, and/or author. These categories were gifted to you before your first life on Earth. You will travel a lot in the latter part of your years and you will move in approximately eight or nine months. Your guardian angel is Uriel and your High Master Teacher is Sandalfon. Dear Ashtara, How should I proceed with my girlfriend? I was REALLY head over heels for her but then we had a big misunderstanding. She is angry now and not trusting. I feel like she overacted and was cruel and I’m trying to figure out what to do with her reaction. Larry, 39, Austin, TX Dear Larry, Pretend that you are going to look only at yourself and no one else, not even if you know them well. Remember, I said, pretend. When one overreacts as your girlfriend did and you are the Sage from the past, forget about what she did and how she overreacted and then the Universe will be your ultimate supply forever. I am sure that you know what I mean. You are a Savior, Prince and ultimate Deity who has stumbled, fallen, and now is in the last reward that you will eventually understand. Your Highest Teacher is Sandalfon and, of course, your angel is Gabriel.

Profound Psychic Readings & Healings can be scheduled (in person or phone). Questions answered and more. Ashtara Sasha White is a “gifted” Psychic, profound Healer, Minister, Master Teacher, Speaker & Channel from the Ascended Masters/Archangels. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher, Seichim Reiki Master Teacher, Sound Current Healing Master Teacher, Embodiment Master Teacher and Teacher of the Light. Join her group on the 2nd Wednesdays of each month at 6:30PM. See her events at

The Heartwakers Club

OPENING OUR GIFTS 5IF)FBSUXBLFST$MVC XJUI;BFMJ My first true humiliation happened at eleven years old. As an awkward girl in dumpy clothes, I was an easy target for bullying. The kids at my co-ed summer camp did their best to ignore me, except when jumping from the bushes to laugh at my shrieks. “Don’t scare me!” I once snapped, “I have a fatal heart condition!” The message seemed to get across and the harassment stopped – until they learned it was a lie. I entered the mess hall for lunch and found them hysterical with laughter. They turned to see my blank face and laughed all the harder. “You’re a liar!” shouted one girl, her arm around the boy I secretly liked. I felt awful – not because they were cruel, but because I believed they were right. But the experience didn’t stop me from dabbling in exaggeration and innocuous fibs throughout my adolescence, partly as a defense mechanism, partly because I didn’t want to draw hard lines between fantasy and reality. The distinction seemed false to me, or at the very least unnecessary.

What had embarrassed me about my nature was actually the skill set of a shananchie – traditional historian of the Irish oral culture, who might wander from clan to clan, blending in and trading tales. All of us are born with particular inclinations – some charming, some grating; some celebrated, others poorly received. It’s not as simple as dividing them into virtues and flaws. Qualities we see as negative are often gifts we’ve not been taught to open, either because they’re not recognized by those around us, or the moment of their need is not yet ripe. When you find yourself thinking someone is stupid, odds are they haven’t yet opened their gifts. If you catch yourself calling someone a jerk, they’re probably just angry that the world doesn’t seem to value their gifts. One reason relationships can be hard is they demand we open our gifts. Baggage we’ve carted around for years feels unbearably heavy on another person’s back. You may be content to look away from the things you don’t like about yourself, but your spouse or your child is not going to let you deflect so easily.

What was wrong, I wondered, with sometimes faking an accent for fun?

So when they call you out, what do you do?

However, I also harbored a deeply rooted shame about the way I was sometimes seen – drama queen, attention whore, crazy girl, poser – and as an adult did my best to avoid that reputation. Doing so shaped my personality, relationships, and ability to hear criticism. I simply could not acknowledge my eccentricities without triggering a landslide of self-loathing. It wasn’t until I had a little girl of my own that I forgave my theatrical childhood. Seeing her pure indulgence in the world of imagination reminded me of its raw creative power. Did I ever lie? Yes – but was I really a liar? I don’t think so anymore. I was a writer, even then. A storyteller, in tune with poetic truths – trying to tell my peers how much they were hurting my heart in a way that they could understand.

The shananchie. Once I accepted that my flaws were merely the flipside of my gifts, I became free to find my place. These shapeshifting qualities had a use! They helped me identify with strangers, and adapt to foreign situations. They were evidence of keen, multisensory listening skills and an inclination toward empathy.

Do you counter by pointing out everything you dislike about them? Do you break up? Avoid the conversation? Critique them behind their back? Those might be tempting options if you believe we’re all finished products, and the goal of love is to insulate yourself with perfect people and pass time until you die. But that’s not how love works. Love is about exchanging gifts. More than that, it’s about learning to spot them in the most unexpected places. If you hold out hope for perfect partners, you’re bound to wind up alone. Instead surround yourself with people who want to be better, and help you be better. Thank them by working on yourself in the same way. Thank each other with patience as you both turn your lumps of coal into offerings of gold.

Zaeli is a relationship coach, here to help bring consciousness and intention to your emotional life.


PRODUCTS & PRACTITIONERS GUIDE PRANIC HEALING Assess and remove old blocked energy. Projects prana, life-force. Pro bono clinics, private sessions. Practitioner classes. (512) 772-1001

BIRDSONG LIFE COACHING AND CONSULTING Professional life coaching and wellness services. Goal setting, meditation, motivation, forward movement. Crafted individually to help create your song. Michelle: (512) 291-2829

DANI STAITE (512) 772-1001 Personal, phone sessions. Healer, prophet, clairvoyant, psychic. Medical intuitive, energy worker, coach, teacher, friend.


CICADA SERVICES Psychotherapeutic training, shamanic techniques integrate, heal Mind, Body, Soul. Hypnotherapy, regression, the Life Between Lives. Shamanic classes, rituals. Protective, grounding jewelry at Austin’s Metaphysical Fair. (512) 440-9082 TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS Sound Therapy sessions. Private and group instruction. Himalayan bowls for purchase, hand-hammered from seven traditional metals. (512) 426-9568

ASHTARA SASHA WHITE (512) 278-0559. Phone, inperson sessions. Profound Psychic Readings, Healings. Minister, Speaker, Channel, Master Teacher. Pain alleviated instantly. Questions answered. Problems solved. Deep, gratifying readings. Past lives, Akashic records.

ELAINE IRELAND Practicing psychic over fifty years, including helping families, police with missing persons. Classes: Tarot, meditation, psychic development. Phone, Skype, at Austin’s Metaphysical Fair, Nature’s Treasures. (512) 922-4723 ENERGY TRANSFORMATION SERVICES Robert Mazak. Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique, a powerful tool to access your Higher Self’s unlimited ability to heal the physical body. Past life regressions. (210) 426-8328

HOLISTIC HOUSE OF HEALING Massage, Reiki Master, chakra balancing, reflexology, pedicure, manicure, waxing, lash/brow tints, lash extensions, organic facials, permanent make-up. 13740 183 N at Lake Creek. (512) 791-8652

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Austin All Natural  

December 2016 - Issue 128

Austin All Natural  

December 2016 - Issue 128