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VOL. 3 NO. 3



Rules for the Road Book Review:

ISSN 2330-2860

Michael Wollpert and his dog

"Pretty Happy" by Kate Hudson Trevor Hall Channeling the vibrations




I N S P I R I N G F U R N I S H E D R E N TA L S | I N T E R I O R D E S I G N | B A N G I N ’ S TA G I N G



contents 24



features Passion with Purpose


Rules for the Road


Tapping into Love


A Vacation to Remember


Community Sutra in the City


Artist Profile: Trevor Hall


Illuminating the Spirit


Teacher Feature: Michael Wollpert


Traditions Ayurveda






Contact Us:


Escapes Soak up the Sun


Cool Treats


Soulful Styling for Your Home

40 40

Personal trainer Michael Wollpert and his dog, Nikolai PHOTO: Aleks Eva MAKEUP: Kasha Rodig STYLIST: Annie Bangs PRODUCER: Liz Klafeta and Chris Tuttle LOCATION: BANGTEL | Humboldt Park available for bookings at



with love I grew up in southern California, and because it’s a fairly big and geographically diverse state, I had a skewed idea that not much existed beyond its borders. Most of our family vacations were within the state until I was in graduate school.


It was in grad school at Berkeley that I realized many other students were from out of state. They were able to make contrasts between California and other places they visited or lived, and they seemed to have a great appreciation for those distinctions. After this realization, I knew I wanted to experience more of the world and see those differences with my own eyes. Most of my travel has been initiated by yoga as retreats and trainings throughout the world. I have also traveled extensively with my husband. I can proudly say I have visited six continents, and I’m sure we’ll make it to the seventh. I’ve seen some of the world’s official and unofficial wonders. I’ve learned key phrases in several languages that helped me get around, and more importantly helped me communicate my gratitude to the natives. I’ve tasted unforgettable food from fancy restaurants and street vendors. But the best and most important journey I set out on was exploring the infinite territory of my inner Self: to learn who I am and how to be most impactful with my living. Before I owned this inner journey, my outlook on life was like my outlook growing up in California: I thought life kept me busy experiencing what I thought was “enough.” Staying within my known parameters felt comfortable and safe. I now know the inner journey pulls me to scary edges and offers opportunities to leap with faith and courage. In this issue of ILLUMINE, please enjoy our theme: Travel and Adventure. Our writers took to heart their journeys and offer wisdom and insight. Rules for the Road gathers traveling tips for work and pleasure. Our featured teacher, Michael Wollpert has traveled far and wide for adventure racing, even though much of his teaching takes place on a stationary bike and treadmill. He has inspired people to achieve health and fitness goals beyond belief. There are a lot of great lifestyle books out these days, and we review one of our favorites, Kate Hudson’s “Pretty Happy.” You’ll also find other interesting reads, videos, a playlist from our featured artist Trevor Hall, and inspiration online at Travel far, deep, wide and inward, dear friend. Emerge wiser and more courageous from your journeys. Find guides who will point you in the direction and travel with you when necessary. Trust your inner compass when you don’t have a map. Remember: sustenance of the heart will take you farther than eye candy. Take time to stop and notice how far you’ve come and that sometimes, you’ve outgrown your shoes.

With love,

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Lourdes Paredes, Founder / Publisher / Producer




Volume 3, Issue 3 Spring/Summer 2016 Founder and Publisher Lourdes Paredes Managing Editor Abby Hart Editorial Consultant Katie O'Shaughnessy Heidi Schlumpf

WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BIG ADVENTURE? This year, I’m on my boldest and most rewarding adventure yet—launching my own company in service of helping others flourish in life and at work! For travel, I’m eagerly anticipating my first trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms next spring. Katrina Calihan, contributor, A Vacation to Remember I'm taking a trip to Japan this fall with my boyfriend Dan. I've never been to Asia and can't wait to experience all of the culture, cuisine, architecture and nature of a new country. Every time I travel, I learn more about the world and something new about myself. Vanessa McClure, contributor, Michael Wollpert feature My next big adventure is amplifying the impact of omTown Yogis, the hub for Greater Milwaukee's yoga community. We’re organizing a more robust scholarship and grant program, celebrating the opening of our omTown Yogis HQ, and boosting our collaborations with individuals and studios. Claire Stillman, contributor, Going Outward to Go Inward My next adventure involves a new project focused on showing the hopeful side of humanity through inspiring stories around the globe. It’s a big leap, but I can’t wait to fully dig into a passion that drives me to connect people in a way that’s most inspiring and fulfilling. Katie Wilkes, contributor, Tapping into Love


Editorial Board Abby Hart Jim Kulackoski Lourdes Paredes Heidi Schlumpf Print Design Jason Campbell Graham Ebetsch Juyoung Kim Web Design Laura Fairman Social Media Maya Henderson Artwork Jillian Schiavi Writers/Contributors Ania Arsenowicz Tracy Bleier Debi Buzil Katrina Calihan Trevor Hall Abby Hart Allison Forsyth Liz Klafeta Regina Klafeta Jim Kulackoski Ruth Diab Lederer Mark Anthony Lord Vanessa McClure Claire Stillman Katie Wilkes Monica Yearwood Distribution Saba Haider Abby Hart Jim Kulackoski (Milwaukee) Amy Multack Callie Munson Gayathri Raghavan Claire Stillman (Milwaukee) SPRING/SUMMER 2016

Let me help you find your way hOMe! Offering heart centered business savvy and conscientious client care for all of your real estate needs Services available for home buying and selling as well as rentals Feel free to contact me anytime to see how I can help you manifest your real estate intentions! Stephanie Poulos Real Estate Consultant @properties 618 W. Fulton Chicago, IL 60661 Cell: 847.212.8279





Sailing Through Life’s Storms Practicing pratyhara gets us through rough waters by Debi Buzil


hite sand, palm trees, waters of azure, turquoise, cerulean—all perfect shades of blue. Sunshine all day and glorious sunrise and sunset. Sweet beautiful people. Ahhh…the Bahamas! Recently, my family and I flew to Paradise Island, Bahamas. We would have a sailing adventure and spend a week on a 41-foot French sailboat before sailing to Florida and flying back to Chicago. Our boat, Vayu, the namesake of the Hindu Lord of the Wind, would protect and carry us on the journey. We ate our meals onboard, slept under the stars, told stories and savored the experience. That is, until the storm hit. Sailing from the Bahamas to Florida involves crossing the Gulf Stream. I’ve done that passage twice before, and it was rough. The ship captain said this trip would be different, the weather would be good for crossing, nothing for my two kids and me to worry about. A sailboat needs to address wind, weather, tides and currents. Our boat, an award-winning cruising vessel, had a deep keel, which made the boat difficult to navigate in certain harbors and shallow waters. We needed to watch the water, look for rocks and deal with the tides and currents. Although we had proper depth, our boat was unable to leave the harbor due to the strong current. We literally couldn’t move. We made a plank out of our paddleboard from boat to dock and spent an extra hour or two swimming and eating. Our expectation of a smooth journey changed. Pratyhara: Cultivating Inner Stillness Carefree days are fairly rare for me. A daily practice helps me get through my urban life, and when I’m on vacation, my fold-up mat comes with me. In my yoga backpack are external practices, such as postures and breathwork, and internal ones, such as meditation and samadhi, or a state of bliss. Another of these tools is pratyahara, described as “sense withdrawal,” is one of these tools. It is how we move from simple 8

physical relaxation to meditation, a deep rest for the whole being. Sutra 2.54 from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra says: svaviṣayāsaṁprayoge cittasya svarūpānukār ivendriyāṇāṁ pratyāhāraḥ. Swami Satchidananda offers my favorite translation of this sutra: “When the senses withdraw themselves from the objects and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyahara.” The sutra describes how the mind and actions stop engaging with the outer world, so the mind can turn inward, while both body and mind are still and calm. We begin to cultivate a space between a sensory stimulus and a response: a state of non-reaction. This practice can be touched upon in savasana, final resting pose, where your attention withdraws from the external world and moves within. A Storm Rolls In In the Bahamas, we began our journey to Florida, changing course to avoid the black water and sky. We could no longer outrun the rain, and it poured. Three people stayed on deck, in foul weather gear, manning the boat. I was responsible for the children, huddled down below deck.

The practice of pratyahara helped me deal with the storm by responding, not reacting. We snuggled into a small storage cabin to read. We read for hours, as the storm raged on and the boat reeled. We read as lightning hit the water around us, and someone screamed down to us not to touch the mast, because we could get electrocuted. I was calm. When the rain stopped, we could finally see land. The sunset was a gorgeous pink, and Fort Lauderdale never looked so good. Thank heavens for pratyahara, a practice that helped me contain the outer experience of the world and channel it into being my most effective self. The Bahamas were delicious, and now, after our harrowing experience at sea, even more unforgettable. Through yoga, I can explore the feelings of contentment and freedom I had in the Bahamas in my everyday life. I may not be able to take a vacation for a while, but I certainly can do yoga. This practice can help us all weather life’s storms. Debi Buzil is the leader of Chicago-based Kirtan group Devi 2000. She is a longtime teacher and student, and a mother of two.

Soon the storm was upon us, pelting us with water. The sky was charcoal gray. During our journey we saw six waterspouts, actual tornadoes on the ocean—a solid column of water reaching upward to the clouds. Our seasoned crew with decades of sailing experience had never seen anything like it. During all of this chaos, a green finch flew on board and down into the cabin, scaring my kids even more. It was just too much. My job was to stay cool and calm, and rally the kids. A younger me would have been useless, trembling and crying. Preservation through Pratyhara SPRING/SUMMER 2016



Trevor Hall Channeling the vibrations

Photograph by Marina Chavez


hat is so powerful about music? We cannot physically touch it. We cannot physically see it. But it is there. Music, for me, is the connection. It is like a river that runs both ways. It speaks to me, and I in turn speak to it. Music has always been a way to search and journey through my own consciousness. It is inseparable from my spirituality. It IS my spirituality. Sound. Vibration. Power. A lot of people ask me how I write music. My reply is, “I don’t know.” That is why it is so powerful for me. I’m not thinking anymore. The “I” moves out of the way, and something else comes through. It is hard for me to explain. I am just grateful that music allows me to listen. That is one of my biggest blessings. SPRING/SUMMER 2016

Trevor Hall has been a singer/songwriter since the age of 11. His music is an eclectic, soulful mix of acoustic rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting. He has played sold-out tours with Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Franti, Matisyahu and Colbie Caillat. Hall’s latest album, KALA, was released in August 2015 and debuted at #2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.

Visit to learn more about Trevor Hall, and to check out his playlist of his favorite songs of the moment.




Chasing Amazing by Tracy Bleier


aba Hari Dass hasn’t uttered a word for 64 years. The monk wears a small chalkboard around his neck to communicate to the world. When asked why he practiced such austerity, he said his silence prevented him from saying anything negative and calmed his mind. It’s amazing how when we slip into silence, what we are seeking is just right there. The peace of mind that we strain to find in our yoga practice or on our cushion exists in molecules floating around us all day long. And yet, we walk through these particles all day without allowing ourselves to be penetrated by them. Silence, I realize more and more, has to be entered into. It doesn’t just sprinkle its fairy dust upon us as we go blindly through our day carrying groceries and honking at people who cut us off. It doesn’t rain its powers down upon us while we sit staring at screens. It doesn’t only live within the walls of a studio, a meditation hall or a chapel.

Tracy Bleier, photographed by Alley Maher Photography


Silence is with us in every waking breath, in the transitions we make from getting out of bed and moving out the door—but it goes on ignored until we choose it. After my first yoga class years ago, I experienced right away this special kind of quiet. “I feel amazing,” I said to my friend who encouraged me to practice. It was not a feeling I recognized having before, and it took me by surprise and left me in wonder. My friend smiled, “Well,” he said, “That’s the way you should always feel.”

I asked myself, Why do I not allow myself to have that sense of peace all the time? What’s stopping me? What I learned was that “amazing” was not something I needed to chase after in a yoga pose or chase, period. That feeling—call it inner peace, lightness, calm—was not based on things needing to be this way or that. That feeling was available at all times. Often what can obstruct that sort of amazing on a daily basis may possibly be worthiness. We put so many things before being quiet. I just don’t have the time. I need to do this or that first. But you deserve amazing on a daily basis. Even for just a moment, in the middle of your day, take a few steps away and look out the window, or close your eyes or go outside or look at people’s faces and their children’s faces. Look up! Birds! Clouds! Light! It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. Silence waits patiently for us to notice her. Though sometimes it’s necessary to get out of our everyday routine to find peace, we don’t need to cease the pace of our lives completely to find the presence and calmness of mind that Baba Hari Dass has found in silence. The universe holds out her hand and offers us her gifts. All we have to do is receive them.

Tracy Bleier is a teacher and community leader/ builder. She recently moved to Chicago where, in addition to teaching yoga and writing and caring for her family, she is writing her first memoir.




Going Outward to Go Inward Where to go in Milwaukee by Claire Stillman


etting out of your daily scenery can be fun, and it can also stoke refreshing observations and creativity. Something as simple as hopping on a train to Milwaukee can take Chicagoans out of context just enough, even simply to experience another facet of the familiar. Read on for several of our recommendations in our sister city of Milwaukee.

designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. With over 200 people coming out to practice each month, it serves as a showcase for various studios, styles and personalities of teachers from all around the city. Yoga classes are free, but a $15 donation is recommended.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center has nearly 200 acres of natural habitat for birds and wildlife and six miles of hiking trails through forests, wetlands, restored prairies, ravines, bluffs and Lake Michigan shoreline. A partner of the National Audubon Society, the center is a birding hot spot because of its location within a migratory flyway. Beauty abounds here at this quiet, peaceful getaway.

For more on ILLUMINE’s recommendations in Milwaukee, visit

Claire Stillman is the founder and executive director of omTown Yogis, Greater Milwaukee’s yoga community hub, a 501(c)3 non-profit designed to help strengthen and unify Milwaukee by leveraging the local yoga community.

Colectivo Coffee is a cultural staple in Milwaukee not only for serving up hand-roasted session coffees and incredibly good food, but also for forming meaningful partnerships with a variety of the city's local non-profit groups. The unique vibe of Milwaukee is evident in the friendly, creatively designed spaces of the many Colectivo locations throughout the city. Yoga @ the Museum is awe-inspiring community yoga. Monthly classes are held under the wings of the stunning Quadracci Pavilion Top: A great-crested flycatcher, photographed by Zoe Finney; middle: the Nature Center building, courtesy of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center; bottom: Colectivo Coffee, photographed by Kelly Anderson. SPRING/SUMMER 2016




The Inward Journey An adventure of a lifetime by Mark Anthony Lord


or all there is to be explored and experienced in the world, an even greater, more expansive inner world is just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. One of the foundational principles of spirituality is the idea that the outer world is a reflection of inner thoughts, beliefs and emotions. We’ve all had days where we felt overwhelmed, frustrated and impatient—only to see that reflected back at us in a day filled with red lights, accidents and misunderstandings. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve experienced days where we woke up happy, we felt wonderful and the whole day easily unfolded with green lights, fun and laughter. As within, so without. The ancient Greek dictum “know thyself” has remained significant throughout time because it’s an invitation into the inner world where meaning, purpose, wisdom and guidance resides. When you take the time to journey into the deeper parts of yourself, you bring back into your own life more happiness, ease and peace. I’m talking real peace from within—not the fleeting kind that comes and goes from depending on an ever-changing world. If your goal of creating the time to journey inward keeps landing on the back burner, then I invite you to give up the excuses, take the inward leap and discover for yourself what a wonderful gift an inner adventure can be. Synchronicities will begin happening, your mind and emotions will become calmer, which in turn will produce better solutions, and you’ll become positively magnetic for that which you desire. I’m guessing you already know this is a solo adventure, right? No buddy passes allowed, but 12

you can certainly share your experiences from the trips with those who love and support you. Don’t worry about a lot of baggage either—you’ll be traveling very light. All you need is a journal (no computers, sorry) and a pen.


he map for your self-discovery is called Morning Pages. It’s a journaling practice created by Julia Cameron, in “The Artist’s Way.” She offers instructions for this practice accordingly: Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind—and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow. Here’s how it works: • Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual. Don’t freak out already, you can do this. I promise, over time, you will gain so much mental clarity and energy from this you won’t even miss the extra snooze time. • Take out your journal and pen and write for three pages. Don’t stop. Don’t edit. Don’t worry about it being smart, true, right or wrong. Just begin allowing yourself to dump anything and everything onto the page. • When you fill out three pages you are done for the day. Close the journal, put it in a safe place and leave it until the next day. • Do NOT go back and read previous pages. This is not the point. Just trust the simple, consistent

practice of showing up to the blank page and writing, one day at a time. I invite you to do this for 90 days. Does that seem like a long time? Over and over again I’ve seen students of mine freak out at the idea of doing this for so long, only to discover that when the three months have come to an end, they are continuing to do their Morning Pages. You may even uncover an old dream or heart’s desire that comes back to life. Karen, one of my students, committed to Morning Pages with no specific goal except to discover more about herself. She had no idea that her dream of being a painter, which she had long ago put away on the shelf, would come back to life in a big way. In fact, within six months of doing her morning pages, Karen let go of a job that was not making her happy and sold a series of paintings that hangs throughout the halls of a prominent hospital in North Carolina. Who knows what’s possible for you? Your Morning Pages do.

Mark Anthony Lord is an author, counselor, speaker and irreverent reverend. Hear Mark Anthony Lord speak and teach on the principles of spiritual living every Wednesday night at Unity in Chicago. Learn more about his work and register for the livestream of his talks at Unity in Chicago at


Randi Lattimore, Mind Body Director

With beautifully designed yoga studios, instructors who take your experience personally, and a philosophy that nurtures a feeling of community, it’s our way of making sure you never go to the gym again. Upgrade from gym to club in Bannockburn, Chicago, Palatine, and Willowbrook. 13 SPRING/SUMMER 2016 Learn more at



Making Moves Michael Wollpert takes his high-energy, adventure-inspired classes to a larger platform by Vanessa McClure

Photograph by Jeff Schear of Jeff Schear Visuals


ichael Wollpert is a man on the move in more ways than one. The longtime fitness instructor and personal trainer seems to rarely sit still. He’s a marathon runner, triathlete and avid adventure racer with a Tour de France race on his resume. Now he’s moving into the next phase of his career, taking his original classes to a national fitness club brand. “It’s good to be the pioneer of something,” says Wollpert, whose workout platform took hold in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in 2014. That year, he opened a boutique gym called TRAINology to house his signature high-energy fitness classes. Wollpert drew inspiration for his classes from what he calls his number one love: adventure racing. The increasingly popular sport includes hiking, trotting, paddling and bicycling across the wilderness for days or weeks at a time. Hiking, Wollpert explains, is a high fat-burning activity with a low injury risk, and he wanted to offer those benefits to his students. With this idea, HIKEology was born. These classes use a combination of steep intervals and 14

cardio bursts on the treadmill interspersed with strength training circuits. Though the initial Hike class was a success, Wollpert realized he needed to add something more to create a full body workout. He noted there weren’t many fitness programs designed to work all the muscles in the leg, and adding a lateral (side-to-side) movement to his hiking-inspired workouts would remedy this issue. “I took something functional from a sport that I love and then asked myself, ‘How can I find the same benefit of hiking in a lateral form?’” he explains.


he answer was Wollpert’s GLIDEology concept. Students cover their gym shoes in a special slip-on bootie and move back and forth across a glide board. The motion is like a hockey skater on ice, building core strength and using muscles that are difficult to target with running or jogging. His goal was to target all leg muscles in a fun, new way. GLIDEology hits the mark, Wollpert says. “Original ideas in fitness are few and far between,” he adds.

Wollpert’s creativity and energy is evident in his teaching style, too. He says he’ll do whatever it takes to get a student pumped up for class, and students feed off of his infectious excitement. "Michael’s enthusiasm, energy and humor really resonate while he trains and teaches classes,” says fellow fitness instructor Hope Radtke. Beyond offering a kind grin and a laugh while motivating people to push through that last incline jump or rep, Wollpert believes in modifying his workouts for individual students. He encourages them to define their own minimum and maximum effort and work within those personalized parameters to achieve their goals. “I feel successful when I see people have success, come back and want to do better,” he says. Now he’s hoping to spread that feeling of success to a larger fitness community by bringing his trademark workouts to Equinox clubs. The Equinox club in Chicago’s Loop will offer Glide and Hike classes beginning in May, and the formats will roll out across other Chicago-area locations in the future. Wollpert is also teaching SPRING/SUMMER 2016



Pursuit, a studio-style cycling class where he’ll draw on his years of experience as a master instructor at Flywheel Sports. To commit to his new position with Equinox, Wollpert chose to close TRAINology and let go of his classes at Flywheel Sports, a series of decisions he says was an emotional roller coaster for him. "Luckily my friends at Equinox love my Hike/ Glide programs,” Wollpert says. “Accepting the position as the Central Region Cycling Mentor was the icing on the cake. I now get to teach all my favorite classes (and some new favorites like 'Ropes and Rowers') for one outstanding national brand." Wollpert is also training clients at Lateral Fitness in River North. He says no matter the physical space or the class format, what motivates him to teach stays the same. “What drives me is just how fitness can make you so happy in so many ways,” he says. “If you’re fit, you can be great at whatever you want to be or do in your life.”

Vanessa McClure is a certified yoga teacher and works for ATI Physical Therapy. She spends her free time teaching yoga, traveling, volunteering for the American Lung Association and drinking wine with friends.

Wollpert rappelling in the 2015 Cowboy Tough adventure race in Wyoming. Photograph by Randy Erickson.


"What drives me is just how fitness can make you happy in so many ways."




Balancing Acts Four ayurvedic practices for staying healthy while traveling by Monica Yearwood

Photography by Mu-Hsien of Live Like You’re Traveling


yurveda is an 5,000-year-old lifestyle practice and a medical system from India. It teaches that three energetic forces or “doshas,” govern physiological function as well as mental tendencies. Each person is composed of a unique proportion of the dosha types: vata is “that which moves” and influences circulation, menses and peristalsis; pitta is “that which transforms” and influences digestion, metabolism and hormonal function; kapha is “that which sustains” and provides structure for the physical body via our muscles, bone density and hair. Travel can be a particularly jarring experience for the body and its doshas, since they are affected by behavior, diet, daily activities and sleeping habits. Activities that increase movement, such as travel, also increase vata dosha, and excess vata dosha can result in symptoms such as worry, insomnia, constipation, stuttering, hyperactivity, anxiety, low immunity, loss of appetite and dry skin, nails 16

and hair. Luckily, there are methods you can adopt to mitigate these negative effects. The following four ayurvedic practices can help you stay balanced during your travels. Sniff oil to reduce sickness Ayurveda uses oils prescriptively and supplementally for healing, and there are a wide variety of therapeutic oils designated for almost every area of the body. Untoasted sesame oil is generally pacifying for all dosha types, especially vata dosha. Sniffing a bit of sesame oil into each nostril before getting on a plane can help prevent cold and flus that are commonly transmitted in tight quarters and public spaces. In addition, administering two to three drops of plain untoasted sesame oil in each nostril

before bed can help reduce dry sinuses, mucous production and allergies. Eat at regular times Circadian rhythms refer to all of our physiological processes that run on a 24-hour cycle. Most people believe that circadian rhythms are regulated primarily by light. However, recent research from UCLA neuroscientist and professor Christopher S. Colwell shows that eating times are more powerful than light at regulating circadian rhythms. SPRING/SUMMER 2016


When traveling to new time zones, and especially during international travel, our bodies need a period of adjustment to synchronize with new day/light cycles and meal times. This can cause symptoms such as minor headaches, nausea and insomnia. To help the body assimilate, observe regular eating times that align with the new time zone that you have traveled to. Catch some rays As mentioned above, we follow the day as led by the 24-hour cycle of the sun, which guides most of our daily routine. Exposing yourself to adequate sunlight each day, especially in the morning hours, helps to stimulate melatonin production in the evening. Melatonin, a powerful antioxidant, is the hormone that creates a desire for sleep and can help you get rest at the appropriate times during your vacation.


Favor cooked foods Ayurveda teaches that digestion is the epicenter of the immune system and should be protected. When we travel, the digestive fire can become irregular. A cooked-foods diet is easier to digest. In fact, ayurveda teaches that digestion begins as our food cooks and breaks down in the pot on the stove, prior to being consumed. Cooked foods are more nourishing and easy to digest than raw foods such as salads and smoothies that tend to be rough, cold and dry.


Monica Yearwood is an ayurvedic practitioner, author, speaker and founder of Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga.

Adopting these practices can help you adjust quickly to your new surroundings when traveling, and ensure you feel healthy and ready to make the most of your excursions.




Finding Vaastu in the World by Ruth Diab Lederer


the kitchen, sleeping in the bedrooms, etc.)—the details of choosing the size of the structure to build, selecting the best site for the structure and refining the interior design—truly define Vaastu.

contains a variety of Vaastu structures, with projects around the world. He is on the board of the American University of Mayonic Science and Technology.

Books “The Fabric of the Universe” by Jessie Mercay $19.95, available as a PDF by email, The most comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of Vaastu, this book reveals the core concepts on which the the system was conceived. These include the idea that space is consciousness and that the material world is a function of time and energy. They are key to knowing how Vaastu can be used to improve our lives.

Workshops The Cornerstone Series in Mayonic Science and Technology An in-depth study of the secrets behind Vastu Science, Building Architecture of Sthapatya Veda, Traditional Indian and Sacred World Architecture, Jessie Mercay offers the most comprehensive Vaastu workshop through the American University of Mayonic Science and Technology, the foremost center for Vaastu study in the Americas. Taught at the university’s campus in Patagonia, Arizona, students are able to study, rest and meditate in pure Vaastu structures during the in-residence session. The workshop is offered every summer and may be taken as a two-week or five-week in-residence class. Either prepares a student to pursue the two-year formal certification program that culminates in becoming a Certified Architect, Builder or Consultant, based on the student’s background. Students read and discuss classical Vaastu literature, create Vaastu design projects and take a university-guided tour of significant architecture in India.

Attractions Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago 10915 Lemont Rd, Lemont, Illinois. Phone: 630-972-0300, After years of planning, the Hindu community engaged Sri Ganpathi Sthapati, the nationallyrecognized Vaastu expert and primary source of this tradition, to design and supervise the construction of their temple, which was completed in summer 1986. The campus includes three temples and a meditation center. Tours are available for groups of five or more by reservation.

he science of Vedic architecture (Vaastu) is a rich tradition that has helped create beautiful, life-affirming and harmonizing structures throughout the world for centuries. In our times, the late Sri Ganpathi Sthapati was the primary source of this tradition and is the nationally-recognized Sthapati, or Vaastu expert. If you are seeking to learn more about the benefits of Vaastu, these resources are excellent starting points for beginning a personal exploration into this ancient architectural science.

“Vastu Architecture: Design Theory and Application for Everyday Life” by Michael Borden $34.99, Borden’s experience as an architect is evident in the design and approachability in this treasure of a book. He provides a number of architectural plans with a variety of options and does a thorough job of introducing the design options within the Vaastu system. He also recommends professional advice before building. While the execution of a Vaastu design is simple— alignment to true north, constructed with precision and used as designed (i.e. cooking in


Websites Michael Borden, principal of Vastu Vedic Design, offers an overview of the design topics of Vaastu, a variety of plans, as well as a gallery of beautifully designed residential and commercial projects. Borden is a practicing architect whose portfolio

Sri Somesvara Temple 95 Mount Soma Blvd, Clyde, North Carolina. Phone: 828-476-4073, Conceived by author and spiritual teacher Michael Mamas, the Mount Soma community is intended to promote enlightenment in the world. Set on 360 acres, the development opened in summer 2011 and will ultimately contain a university, a business center and a wellness center. Vaastu concepts are used in all buildings. Tours are available by reservation.

Ruth Diab Lederer is the principal of Vaastu Partners LLC. Contact her at ruth@vaastupartners. com for more information about Vaastu.



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Lila The enriching power of creative play by Jim Kulackoski

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


n a recent trip to Colorado, I found myself atop a bluff overlooking a valley below. As I sat and contemplated the view, I watched as a far-off storm began to roll in from west to east. I watched as the sky along the northern horizon become darker, first blue, then turning a deep grey as the clouds thickened. The sun illuminated the amber-colored plains that surrounded me, providing a stark, golden contrast to the dark sky of the distant storm. Far off, I could see violent flashes of lightning and pockets of heavy rain pouring down. The storm passed nearly as quickly as it came, and soon the northern sky was bright again. I was enchanted to be able to watch the whole storm play out from beginning to end in front of me. My distance allowed me a panoramic view of the whole situation—I was able to see all of the storm’s parts coalescing into a single entity. This perspective allowed me to experience the sublime beauty of a situation that may have been otherwise mundane, inconvenient or even scary. A concept in the Vedic and Tantric sciences, called “līlā,” sums up what I experienced in Colorado. These ancient sciences explain the fundamental principles behind the cosmos: the what, why and how of creation. In the Vedas, the universe—and everything in it—is described as a dynamic “play” of forces that continually cause


creation, change and dissolution again and again. This “play” is called līlā. From the perspective of līlā (pronounced “lee-lah”), the universe itself or any situation within it is like a richly woven tapestry, a collection of varying degrees of color and texture that create a single piece of art. Each part on its own would be somehow incomplete, but when brought together, they complement and complete each other, creating harmony and balance despite their individual qualities. Līlā is available only when we observe from a broad perspective such as from atop a cliff rather than from within the valley below. When we can step away from something, we have an ability to appreciate it for what it really is.


he concept of līlā gives us an opportunity to see ourselves beyond our own limited perspective or circumstances. It allows us to see the whole picture, and thereby experience any situation as perfect and complete, a perspective unavailable while immersed in one small aspect of the situation itself.

life no matter if it seems playful in the moment or not. This view also inspires us to find integration within all of the individual parts of ourselves, and also how we contribute individually to our world, becoming a key player in our lives as well as the world at large. Although currently I live a full and busy life, I will always find time for opportunities to practice līlā. Whether it is visiting a museum, traveling or playing my cello, in taking a step back, I find the ability to enjoy any experience I encounter.

Jim Kulackoski has developed programs for and taught at Loyola University Chicago and Rush Medical College. He is the founder of Darshan Center, where he leads and develops programs such as teacher trainings, workshops and a healing clinic.

I believe this is why we love to play, no matter what our age. Although .adults value the qualities of seriousness and work, we also know that leisure activities, such as art, movies, plays, and travel, have the potential to elevate and enrich our lives. These situations offer us a chance to practice stepping back, broaden our focus and become an objective observer. It is then that we can truly appreciate anything we encounter in




Lila [lee-lah] noun, Hinduism. 1. creation, seen as the playful activity of a god.



Photography by Darren Ankenman



BOOK REVIEW by Monica Yearwood

Kate Hudson reflects on ayurveda and feeling good in your body


hen I heard that Kate Hudson wrote a book titled “Pretty Happy,” which discussed ayurveda at length, I was intrigued. Just 10 years ago, when I first became certified in ayurveda, western awareness of ayurveda was virtually non-existent. In the last year, Katie Silcox wrote a New York Times best seller on ayurveda called “Healthy, Happy, Sexy.” And now, one of America’s most popular actresses has written a book on a similar subject.

In Hudson’s book, she discusses introductory ayurvedic concepts that relate to physical constitutional types, called doshas. She describes that knowing your doshic type can help you determine lifestyle practices (diet, meditation, daily activities) to keep you in balance. She emphasizes the importance of digestion, which is the epicenter of the immune system, citing ayurvedic practitioner John Douliard’s research on probiotic strains. Hudson even gives a recipe for a cleansing ayurvedic soup, called kitchari.

Hudson’s book is not exclusively ayurvedic. She enmeshes several philosophies together, emphasizing what has worked to make her pretty happy. While ayurveda encourages understanding different medical systems, it does not inherently combine allopathic, or traditional western, medicine with it. Ayurveda is a complete medical system and science that stands solidly on its own feet.

The overall theme of “Pretty Happy” and where Hudson really shines, is in her emphasis on listening to the body. She writes, “When we learn to pay attention to the signals our bodies are giving us, we have a better chance of making healthier, cleaner choices about what we eat and what we do, and resisting the foods and activities that deplete us.” This motto is essentially the


theme of her entire book, which she supports via journaling and self-reflection exercises that explore the reader’s innermost feelings, fears, desires, digestive tendencies and ayurvedic body/ mind types. The doshic quizzes and body type explanations are informative and introduce the ayurvedic system to a wider mainstream audience. Hudson emphasizes throughout the book that lasting happiness comes from the development of one’s intuitive prowess, cultivating inner peace, and understanding one’s unique needs—an approach that makes this a good book for the ayurvedic novice. Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body By Kate Hudson 256 pages. Dey Street Books. 2016. $26.99


Passionwith Purpose

Photography courtesy of Mar de Jade

Mar de Jade retreat center helps grow community by Abby Hart and service in rural Mexico


estled in the sleepy fishing village of Chacala, Mexico, Mar de Jade is not a typical yoga retreat center. Of course, it does have the modern conveniences of a four-star yoga retreat locale: warm wood yoga studios bathed in sunlight streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows; a luxe full-service spa; kitchens bursting with fresh, organic cuisine; and beautiful guest rooms in a sprawling stucco structure set on a peaceful beach, surrounded by lush jungle and soothing silence. But look a little closer, and you’ll find that the retreat center is one part of a whole, a collection of community projects intentionally undertaken to serve the fishing community of Chacala and the surrounding farming town. Laura del Valle founded Mar de Jade in 1980, when she was 32. As a physician, educated in Chicago and in 24

Mexico City, she came to the village of Chacala in search of a different type of medical career, separate from large medical institutions and hospital systems. “You have an idea of what you’re going to go and do… and then the crooked finger of fate comes and gives you something you could have never imagined,” del Valle says, telling the story of Mar de Jade during one of her animated retreat orientations. “You say something simple like, ‘Oh, I want to be a doctor in a rural poor area,’ and then you get there, and you say, ‘Oh my God, I had no idea what the world would open up to me.’” Informed and inspired by her Zen Buddhist practice and her medical profession, del Valle knew she wanted Mar de Jade to provide a serene refuge for visitors as well to address the needs of the surrounding impoverished community.

Mar de Jade began by opening a primary care clinic for locals. As an associate professor at University of California at San Francisco, del Valle ran the clinic, where medical students from UCSF would receive credit for their rotations. Over the years, the community projects have included, among others, a human rights group, a sewing co-op and a citizen education program. Living to Serve The projects Mar de Jade has developed have resulted from paying attention to the community and its needs. Currently, in addition to the retreat center, Mar de Jade supports an organic farm, a school and an after-school program, with more projects in progress. Angelica del Valle, Laura’s daughter, has worked at the resort since 2006. After growing up on the grounds and leaving Mexico to attend college at Brown University, she couldn’t resist the pull of the village. What she SPRING/SUMMER 2016

intended to be a short stint back in Chacala has turned into 10 years answering the call to serve, while working with her mother to run the business at Mar de Jade. “Once I realized everything that needed to be done [at Mar de Jade], I took on more,” Angelica explains. “Then I got married, and looked around and thought, ‘Wow, this is actually a great life. Why would I want to live anywhere else?’” Angelica explains that Mar de Jade is a family business, consisting of a small group of people, with projects growing organically from this group. She runs the administrative activities of the retreat center, while her husband and her mother work on the community projects.


n 2013, the del Valles opened a school in Chacala called El Jardin. When they realized the need for a good school in the village, the del Valles began researching educational methods and decided upon a combination of the Waldorf and Montessori ones. This unique blend of teaching styles allows children to experience individualized education, and encourages kids to grow and learn at their own pace. Currently teaching 30 children from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, El Jardin will expand to include fifth and sixth grade this fall. Sowing the Seeds for Growth El Rancho “Don Chon,” an organic farm, is another of SPRING/SUMMER 2016

the Mar de Jade community projects. Set on 18 acres about a 20-minute drive from the retreat center, the farm is a model of self-sustaining organic farming. Staffed by an agronomist and several full-time farmers, the farm also provides employment for local families and presents an opportunity for vacationers to volunteer. In addition to becoming delicious, healthy dishes in the retreat center kitchen, the fruits and vegetables of El Rancho’s labor are turned into organic products such as luscious tropical fruit marmalades, salsa and peanut butter in the food processing workshop. The farm began in 2008 as a response to the lack of organic farming in the state, as well as the abundance of mono-cultured crops creating soil erosion and the prevalence of pesticides. It demonstrates that organic biodiversity is possible, provides steady employment to the families of the community and models how to give added value to local crops through food processing. A Vision for the Future The Mar de Jade grounds weren’t always active with yoga retreat-goers, vacationers and project volunteers. “Back in the old days, Mar de Jade was on a very dusty road and 45 minutes through the jungle to get to the retreat center. Most of the people who showed up were adventurers seeking a rustic jungle experience off the beaten track,” del Valle remembers. A paved road created in the early 2000s gave greater access to the resort, but even today, Chacala remains a tiny tourism and fishing

town with a population of 300 to 400. In contrast, the larger farming town of Las Varas, 15 minutes inland, experiences the obstacles created by the seasonality of the farming industry. With a population of about 20,000, Las Varas sees migrants from other states who come to work the farms in the busier seasons. During the down seasons, when work is scarce, under-educated adolescents face few options—either attempting to enter the U.S. in search of a better life, or getting involved in the drug trade. As a result, the dropout rate for high school-aged youth in Nayarit, the Mexican state where Chacala is located, is about 40 percent. “As things are, there isn’t a whole lot of hope for the youth,” acknowledges Angelica. The del Valles’ solution to this problem is to create a trades and arts school, “Aldea de Jovenes” (Youth Village), at the organic farm. The idea is to give adolescents skills for life, to earn a livelihood and to make smart choices in this challenging environment. It will offer skilled trades, formal education, art and recreation and entrepreneurship. Students will also receive training in self-reflection, emotional intelligence and mindfulness through integration of yoga, meditation and other practices. The del Valles have already equipped an industrial carpentry workshop, and are now seeking help to buy equipment for food processing and the expansion of an existing building for classrooms, offices, a dining room and a yoga hall. The launch date for Youth Village is tentatively


scheduled for November 2016, pending funding and financial support. Bringing Community and Service to Life How do the del Valles make these projects happen? They are mostly subsidized and funded by about 40 percent of the profits from the Mar de Jade retreat center. The del Valles and Angelica’s husband donate their time to overseeing the operation of the community projects in addition to running Mar de Jade. Last year, the Tides Foundation in San Francisco agreed to become Mar de Jade’s fiscal sponsor and provide tax-deductible receipts to those who donate to the community projects.

battling against the elements—we’re right between the ocean and the jungle. But [Mar de Jade] has so much more richness and meaning for us and for our guests because of the commitment to help as we can, to live with open hearts, and to invite guests to join us in creating a home for all.”

Abby Hart is a writer, editor and marketing consultant living in Cleveland.

To learn more about Mar de Jade community projects and retreats, and how to donate to or volunteer for their community projects, visit

Though Mar de Jade is split between a retreat center, an organic farm, a school and the upcoming trade school, its core mission is simple: to build bridges between cultures and people. “It’s a supportive environment where people can have the time to explore their creativity, awareness and compassion. This intimacy brings people back year after year,” says Angelica. “We feel so grateful for the many guests who have contributed not only to the continuous growth of Mar de Jade but to the well-being of the larger community.” Angelica acknowledges that Mar de Jade has blurred the line between tourism and community service. “It’s not just a business, but it’s not just a non-profit either. It’s where business has a social purpose. It’s the spirit of awareness and community that is infused in the place,” she observes. “Things might not be perfect, we’re always 26



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RULES FOR THE ROAD In honor of this issue’s theme of travel and adventure, ILLUMINE looked to globetrotters, explorers and those choosing to live life on the move. Here, we’ve collected their wisdom for making the most of your wanderlust, finding the freedom to get out of your routine and creating memories to last a lifetime.

Say YES! “Some of my most memorable experiences have come after stepping out of my comfort zone. Being on the road is a perfect time to explore something new.” -Kyle Gati “Anywhere anyone asked me to go, I said yes. I went to dance clubs, hipster bars and even strip clubs, never knowing what I was getting myself into. I let myself be irresponsible and it was so unbelievably freeing. In the midst of all that partying and traveling, I realized that life didn’t have to be so serious.” -Cat Aldana

conversing with people around you. Whether they are fellow travelers or locals, you truly never know who you are going to meet, what you will learn, and how it may change your afternoon, week, or life.” -Aliy Puhalla

Seek authenticity “Traveling is an opportunity to see how others live. I try to find where the locals eat and spend their free time. Whether visiting a different part of the country or another culture entirely, I always come home with more appreciation and a better understanding of life and the world around me.” -Kyle Gati

Talk to strangers “When I connect with someone new, it doesn't surprise me when we stay in touch or cross paths again in the future. I've struck up conversations with people on trains, ferries and beaches with whom I've stayed in touch and formed meaningful friendships.” -Kyle Gati

“I made sure to ask the locals about those off-the-beaten path gems that might not be in any guide book. It’s how I found an incredible shoemaker in Florence and a tiny winery in the Tuscan countryside.” -Brooke Johnson

Don’t overplan “I think it’s so important to open yourself to speaking and more importantly, 28

“Let your days unfold, let your interests get piqued, let yourself linger at places

that call your name. Especially if you are a Type A kind of person, try to have a rough idea of what you want to do and then allow for time to be really agile and spontaneous. There were days where I wanted to spend hours in a museum and others where I scrapped any plans and chose to sip coffee, eat gelato and casually walk the streets.” -Brooke Johnson

Join in “Though I would typically gravitate toward expats, I wanted to experience and befriend some local Italians during my trip to Italy. For me, finding a local yoga studio where the practice was taught in Italian was an amazing and humbling way to connect with the community and made me feel almost like a local myself.” -Brooke Johnson

Attempt the language “In many countries we can ‘get by’ speaking English. However, to fully embrace a new culture, attempting the language is key. Locals appreciate that we are attempting to communicate in their language, rather than expecting SPRING/SUMMER 2016

them to speak ours. I took two Italian classes and truly struggled through both, and I made a ton of embarrassing mistakes while speaking. However, I felt proud as I committed to the local language when possible.” -Brooke Johnson

using laundromats or cooking in smaller kitchens or with limited supplies. Remember you are pursuing your dream. This is the true sign of living life to the fullest: marrying your basic needs with your passion.” -Megan Downey

Disconnect to connect

Remember that everything is heightened

“At home I can be too plugged in, focused on work or social media interactions, even mindless television. While abroad my Wi-Fi was limited and TV was nonexistent. This forced me to make eye contact and engage in conversation while flying solo at a restaurant instead of burying my head into my iPhone. It gave me space to read, think and simply lose track of time by being in the moment of whatever I was choosing to do.” -Brooke Johnson

Find the joy “If you’re planning to travel for more than a few weeks, life’s regular responsibilities still apply. You’ll need to do laundry, clean and cook. Find the joy in fulfilling these everyday needs in an entirely different setting, such as SPRING/SUMMER 2016

“We experienced the highest of highs, and also the lowest of lows. Be as present as you can in both moments, extending encouragement and grace to those around you, and remember to give yourself the time and space to breathe, reflect and renew.” -Megan Downey

Approach questions with openness and respect “As we’ve been realizing our dream of living on a sailboat and spending our days at sea, we’ve received unbelievable support from family, friends and our community. There have also understandably been those who question our chosen lifestyle. Anyone who’s pursuing a radical change will inevitably encounter this.

Rather than getting defensive, see it as an opportunity for open dialogue; answer their questions respectfully and encourage them to pursue their own dreams, wherever that path leads them.” -Megan Downey

Warning: Traveling can lead to major life changes “If I didn’t spend time traveling, I don’t think I would have ever become a yoga teacher. I studied abroad in London the last semester of my senior year of college. It was an incredible experience because for the first time, I wasn't concerned about grades and I didn’t have to work a ton of hours. When I was in college at DePaul, I had to work three jobs at a time just to make rent and pay bills. When I was in London, I just said “F*** it” and used my credit card to pay for entire vacations—which is a horrible idea, I know, but it all worked out! I traveled to Turkey, Budapest, Belgium, Barcelona, Scotland, Austria, Amsterdam, Paris. Traveling gave me the perspective I needed to explore and find out what was important to me.” -Cat Aldana




“Don’t be surprised if you find a monkey sitting in the bathroom. Sometimes he’ ll come in through the window because he likes the fruit in this tree.” 30



dmittedly, you never truly know what you’ll get with an Airbnb. But those words alone from our host, Ketut, told me that this trip wouldn’t be like any other.

This past March, I checked my type-A personality along with my bags and flew across 14 time zones in 30 hours for an intimate week-long immersion to strengthen my inner awareness and intentions in gorgeous Bali. Alongside my Chicago-based life coach, Rebecca Niziol, and fellow client-turned-friend Lee Hubilla, I had the intent from the beginning to go far, far away to create space and dedicated time for creativity, emotional breakthroughs and connection to apply in every part of my life. It’s easy to become inundated living in a downtown high rise balancing schedules, appointments and expectations. Together with the help of Rebecca and the community around me I’ve deemed my “soul crew,” I have learned that sometimes you need to literally distance yourself from the daily noise. That space allows you to feel your way to the next steps in your life—versus overthinking everything—and deeply understand yourself in a way you simply can't when living your typical day-to-day back home. The Indonesian island’s beauty is well known for Elizabeth Gilbert’s quest to find herself in the everpopular book, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Though we too dove into the spiritual magic of Bali, we tailored our trip to our own interests and needs. We spent mornings meditating, practicing yoga and connecting over home-cooked breakfasts. Afternoons were filled with climbing waterfalls, feeding elephants and watching sunsets by our infinity pool. Other days, we didn’t leave our house overlooking the jungle at all, soaking up the stillness instead. But in between the physical beauty, there was also deep emotional healing. The work can be tough, and it’s a

different form of beauty that’s certainly not for the faint of heart.

doesn’t even know me and he can tell I’m an over-thinker, I remember saying to myself.

No matter how different I thought our own sacred immersion was going to be from the famed novel, I now know exactly why Gilbert went to Bali to find the last element of the trio: love. It proved to be everywhere.

In fact, I noticed a heightened intuitive energy in almost all Balinese people I met. They were vested in being open, understanding and lovingly connected to the land, spirit and each other. They are the epitome of empathy.

No, I didn’t find the man of my dreams there, but what I did discover was the importance of tapping back into love, the root of what allows peace, creativity and happiness to flourish. It’s a simple concept, yet it has affirmed how I want and choose to live. And guess what? Bali taught me how to do it even when I am not in “vacation mode.”

The land “Let the trees talk to you, especially those two big ones,” Ketut advised us during our stay. It’s easy to become what I call “pseudo-connected”—attached to our pinging phones but completely detached from our inner selves. What happens when instead of turning to a screen, we turn to the nature around us? She encouraged us to take a breather, sit back and truly listen with our hearts, as those trees had been there for hundreds of years and had seen way more than we had. Answers had a way of showing up when all I had to listen to was the jungle chorus of rooster caws and gecko chirps.

Here’s how I came back to love halfway around the world. Learn to love and honor… Tradition The Balinese are deeply rooted in their traditions, keeping their culture alive through fire rituals, water temple ceremonies and endless other customs. The family whose land we stayed on had lived there since the 16th century. Each morning, they would pay tribute to their ancestral gods and goddesses by presenting handmade offerings made of palms, flowers and treats to their family temple on the grounds. It was impossible for us to not adapt our own sacred rituals of meditation, yoga and prayer to honor ourselves, too. I still do my practice I created in Bali every morning, knowing there’s a place of certainty I can always return to. Your neighbor One day, on our way to get one of many more-thanaffordable massages, I asked our driver how long he had been practicing meditation. “A little over three years,” he said, smiling. Then he told me, “You have tight line on head.” “Oh, no. That’s just a line from my sunburn,” I said, thinking I was understanding. “No, massage no fix that. You have tight line IN head.” Oh my God, he

The unexpected I got a startling sign when I most needed it. After a day of deep inner-self work, I was in a funk. (No, all your problems don’t stay at home when you go to Bali.) After taking care of nature’s business—mind still clogged—I flushed my outdoor toilet, and both Lee and Rebecca heard my blood-curdling scream. Just as I stood up, a giant tree frog had leapt from under the rim and stuck to the wall. I later found out the frog spirit animal symbolizes transition, transformation, healing and emotional cleansing. Bali told me in its own comic way where I needed to turn my attention. Yourself It’s not my default to be patient and go with the flow. It’s not easy for me to open up about my feelings. But the most valuable moments happened when I did fall open, accepted and trusted what was in front of me, and drowned any fear or insecurities in love and compassion by turning down the self-judgement and being gentle with myself (another trick from my coach that has been a game changer). Above all, Bali reminded me what it means to go back into myself at the heart’s core—my own root—to become the best version of myself. I asked Rebecca how she would put our experience into words. “We released the old dark shadows and healed, and love was there,” she said. “Everywhere we looked love found us, so we surrendered into its embrace, relaxed and smiled. Just as the Balinese people do." That’s something worth bringing home, no matter where you are.

Katie Wilkes is a storyteller focused on sharing the stories of humanitarians. She is also a yogi and rescue pup mom living in Chicago’s West Loop.

Opposite page and above: photography by Lee Hubilla


Photograph by Katie Wilkes





Reflect on the inner space and regain balance.


Affiliates in Counseling Alexandria Crow in handstand variation

Psychotherapy Children, Adults and Couples and


Gavin Mullen, Psy.D. Chet Mirman, Ph.D. John Gobby, Psy.D. Jason Price, LFMC

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A Vacation to Remember

How a little planning can help you get the most out of your travels by Katrina Calihan


ravel invites us to break free from our routines, explore the world, unwind, play and revitalize our hearts and minds. However, limited time off and ever-increasing work demands can make it difficult to get away and spend vacation time traveling. The effort to plan an adventure and the discomfort of a cramped coach seat leave some travelers preferring a “stay-cation.” But for those who make the effort, it’s almost always worthwhile. Peak-End Rule: The Key to Creating Memorable Experiences Planning vacations to generate positive memories for a lifetime and to get us packing for the next adventure is not up to chance, it’s science. Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s research finds that our evaluation of an experience in the moment is quite different than how we remember it. In fact, as Kahneman discusses in his book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” what we remember most readily about our experiences is two-fold—we remember our peak moment, which is the time of greatest intensity (positive or negative), and what happens at the end of an experience. This well-researched phenomenon is referred to as peak-end rule, and it has important applications when it comes to planning your long-awaited and well-deserved vacation. Next time you plan a trip, consider how the peak-end rule can help. Most of the fun of traveling, especially with others, is that the memories last much longer than the experience itself. The length of the vacation may not matter because our remembering self doesn’t catalog duration.


When making choices about how to spend your time during your travels, keep a few things in mind: Plan one special highlight, or peak experience, on every trip. Even if you’re a die-hard beach bum, do at least one exciting, out-of-the-ordinary activity, perhaps a challenging hike or in-town exploration of the culture. Save something amazing and memorable for your last day. Go out with a bang! Pull the trigger on that excursion that caught your eye or save the best restaurant for last. Using these peak-end rule tips for travel planning will elevate positive memories from your vacation. And, because how we remember informs how we make future decisions, you’ll be packing soon for your next big adventure. On a trip to Argentina last year, I booked a guided excursion to ice hike on a glacier and kayak through icebergs. While it was a significant investment, it was the peak of the entire trip, and it’s the first memory that pops into mind when I reminisce about this vacation. Savor the Present Positive psychology gives us another practice, called savoring, for maximizing vacation experiences. Most commonly we think of savoring when it comes to food—chocolate, anyone? But savoring can be done as an intentional practice with anything that brings you happiness and pleasure. It is the act of enjoying and sharing what is good in life. Savoring boosts our well-being by deepening gratitude, increasing positive emotions, enabling mindfulness and augmenting meaning in life. SPRING/SUMMER 2016

Photograph courtesy of Katrina Calihan

In their book “Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience,” psychologists Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff outline three forms of savoring: anticipation, savoring the moment itself and reminiscing. Here are a few tips to help you savor your next vacation. Plan ahead. People who plan well in advance may feel more joy because they anticipate the upcoming experience. It carries you through the long work weeks and gives you something to look forward to.

Savoring boosts our well-being by deepening deepen gratitude, increasing positive emotions, enabling mindfulness and

from your vacation. Use your photos, perhaps by making a screensaver or creating an album with online tools such as Shutterfly to spark reminiscing. Share a slideshow of those images with your friends and family and recount your trip. Linger in the details. Remember how the food tasted, how the sun felt on your skin, how jubilant you were during your peak experience. As a positive psychology practitioner, I mindfully and intentionally apply the principles of peak-end theory and savoring research to create standout, memorable travel adventures. I cherish the few times a year I get to travel with my loved ones, and it takes only a small amount of planning and awareness to make these experiences unforgettable. Don’t cast aside your vacation time again this year because of your increasingly busy life. You earned it. Whether you need an extended weekend or a longer reboot for your well-being, it’s time to start planning— and savoring—a vacation to remember.

augmenting meaning in life. Be present. Pause from time to time when you’re on vacation to take in the details. Breathe, focus on how you’re feeling and cultivate gratitude for the experience.

Katrina Calihan is a positive psychology expert, yogi and the founder of Point of Arrival, a well-being and leadership coaching and training company. Learn more about Katrina at

Be intentional about reminiscing. When you get back into the swing of work and need a boost, call on the memories and mental photographs SPRING/SUMMER 2016




Soak up the Sun Beach beauty must-haves by Ania Arsenowicz

Whether you’re headed on a beach vacay or going to a live music festival, these five summer beauty essentials will keep you glowing. These products are absolute musts for the upcoming season.

Clinique SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Body $32.00 Sunscreen is an absolute must yearround, but especially during the dog days of summer. Clinique’s version is strong enough to protect against sun damage yet gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, and the lightweight formula leaves you beach ready without feeling greasy.

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm $17.00 This easy twist-up lip balm comes in 30 shades, in sheer, moisturizing and intense formulas. The color range leaves room for both the minimalist and the statement-maker. The ideal lip balm for your purse, super-nourishing and mess-free.


Fresh Rose Floral Toner $40.00 for 250 ml. The summer rays will leave a mark on your skin, but this toner will help refresh and soothe in the best way. It moisturizes and cools the skin, the perfect pick-me-up after a long day at the beach.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray $15.00 for 1.7 oz. A must-have product for the girl on the go. This styling spray adds volume and texture to the hair to create a beautiful, effortless look for both day and night.

Bobbi Brown Beach Fragrance $74.00 for 1.7 oz., Summer in a bottle. This fragrance captures the scent of sunshine and sand, giving you that fresh beach babe smell. Wearing it will bring back your best sun-kissed memories.

Ania Arsenowicz is a freelance makeup artist and skincare expert in Chicago. SPRING/SUMMER 2016


Photos by Tierza Scaccia

EVENTS Seva Set-Up Weekend May 6-8 Seva Fix-Up Weekend May 13-15 Seva Gardening Weekend May 20-22 Stonehouse Farm Weekend Retreat June 3-5 Stonehouse Farm Weekend Retreat June 10-12 Five-Day Vipassana Retreat June 12-17 Stonehouse Farm Weekend Retreat June 24-26 Homegrown: Bluegrass & Homestead Gathering July 1-3 Vinyasa Warrior Weekend July 8-10 Breathe Slacklining Festival July 14-17 AcroCamp July 28-31 Wild Rose Sisterhood Camp Aug 1-5 Lotus Rising Women’s Celebration Aug 5-7 200hr Yoga Teacher Training with Daren Friesen Aug 7-26 Ashtanga Immersion Aug 12-14 Silent Retreat with Daren Friesen & Paul Fowler Aug 19-21 Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival Sept 2-5


Visit or 815.246.6673 to register.37 Visit or call 815.246.6673 to register.




Cool Treats for the Summer Nana Creme offers up decadent, dairy-free desserts


wo years ago, my threeyear-old niece ate a cashew off the car floor, as kids sometimes do. A frantic dash to the emergency room, an epi-pen in pocket, and one shaken up toddler later, the lives of our entire family changed. We all became expert nut investigators, reading labels and calling companies to make sure their facilities were nut-free. The one product we couldn't find (and needed!) was ice cream. So we created our own solution. Nana Creme is a delicious bananabased ice cream alternative that is free of the top eight food allergens. We hope it’ll help you and your family enjoy life’s celebrations, free of the worry that comes with food allergies. -- Regina Klafeta, founder and creator of Nana Creme

Cremesicle Mimosa Float: 1 scoop of Nana Creme Cremesicle 1/2 cup orange juice 1/4-1/2 cup sparkling white wine or champagne Combine orange juice and white wine or champagne in glass. Top off with a scoop of Nana Creme. Enjoy!

Mint Chip Dipped Sundae Cone: 1 package of waffle cones 2 pints of Nana Creme Mint Chip 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips 3 tablespoons coconut oil Scoop Nana Creme into waffle cones and place in freezer until hardened Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together, and cool to room temperature Dip the ice cream portion of the cones into the chocolate mixture Sprinkle your favorite toppings on the top of the cone before chocolate hardens Place in freezer or eat on the spot!

Visit for Nana Creme retailers and purchasing information.

Photograph by Colleen Durkin, Creative Direction by Ella Swenson



An illumined life M A NIFESTO


verything in life comes back to choice. There is

choice in what we do, how we see ourselves and others and how we treat those we love. Live and love in the confidence of who you are. Celebrate uniqueness, practice kindness and generosity, and live your chosen future each and every moment.

Allison Forsyth is a former competitive ski racer, competing in two Olympic games and spending 28 years of her life striving to achieve goals on the world stage. Now, as the Director of Brand and Community for ivivva, an athletic apparel brand for girls created by lululemon athletica, she helps young female athletes achieve their own goals.

An illumined life regularly features the manifesto of an inspiring soul. Send your nomination to SPRING/SUMMER 2016




Soulful Styling for Your Home by Liz Klafeta


Photograph by Aleks Eva

our possessions and your surroundings speak volumes about who you are and the life you lead. Ensuring that your space reflects your authentic self and energizes you is an important part of living an illumined life.

on the kitchen counter help bring personality and flair into your home. Unexpected details such as a window wall in the bathroom, or quirky and whimsical details, like a giant decorative bunny on the kitchen counter, help bring personality and flair into your home.

As a designer, I find that spaces with lot of sunshine inspire openness and creativity. To further accentuate their brightness, I recommend removing walls and adding windows (if you can) to let natural light shine through. Personality and fun touches add character and humor to the space, such as neon light fixtures that say thought-provoking things like, “If not, why not?”

Here are some design tips that will help you decorate your home to reflect your story and lifestyle:

Mementos and special items from your life should be displayed with care and love throughout your home, and these items are great way to customize your space and make it stand out from the rest. Unexpected details such as a window wall in the bathroom or a giant decorative bunny 40

Picture this Gallery or picture walls of family and friends are an easy way to bring soul into your space. Frames don't match? Don't worry! Spray paint frames in one cohesive color, or, for an unexpected touch, paint your frames the same color as the wall—it really makes photos pop. Don’t stop at standard dimensions. Take your picture wall to the limit and go floor-to-ceiling with the frames. Worried that your style overhaul might break the bank? SPRING/SUMMER 2016

Fret not: Estate sales and thrift stores have the least expensive frames for designing on a dime. Bring your travels home Seek out unique, non-touristy items during your trips. For example, my favorite find was gift wrap an artist made in Thailand that I had turned into a full wallpaper covering for my master bath. There’s no better way to get the creative juices flowing than taking a trip to a new place. Reminders from your adventures are a great motivator to keep exploring and experiencing the world.


Chalk it up Chalkboard walls can add a color pop to any room. Luckily for color-lovers, basic black is no longer the be-all and end-all when it comes to chalk paint, and you can actually tint chalkboard paint to be any color. It’s a nice touch for families because you can leave each other love notes or write down goals you want to accomplish for the week, day or month. Help keep yourself organized with to-do lists and never miss a birthday by writing it where you can see it. Let the sunshine in Personally, I find it best to go without window blinds or shades, but if you aren't that daring and prefer some privacy, solar blinds are a great option. You can pull the tops of the blinds down to let the sunlight in, but keep the bottom down. Long transparent curtains are another alternative to allow beautiful sunlight in and still provide a touch of privacy. With all that sunshine, you can add plants, plants and more plants! Bringing oxygen and greenery into the house is an instant pick-me up. It brings hope and positivity especially during the colder months. It doesn't take a huge change to liven up your space with your own special style. Remember these tips and tricks the next time you're feeling that you need a little spicing up in your home. Liz Klafeta is the founder of Bangtel, a hospitality and design company. Learn more at, or contact to inquire about design and staging services or to rehab your next interior design project.

Find relaxed ur ban s ty ling in Lolë’s Summer Collection. We are ja zzing u p classic lines with asymmetr ic necklines and angular hems w hile backs are revered with dramatic off- center s tra ps . This season’s mus t have looks! S top in and see us soon!


Lolë S outhpor t 3434 N. S outhport Avenue Chicago IL 60657 773.880.9642

f /LoleS outhPort l @LoleChicago

#sheisillumined Emmy Rig a li Leader of the pack, owner of GO Cycle, GO Row, co-founder of Cryobar, and the “Fun Mom"

Emmy Rigali starts her mornings singing. Emmy has a music theater backgound, and loves to sing and perform “old school” classics like Sinatra.

She’s got the beat Music lights her up. She loves planning the playlists for her classes. She shines so bright Her light is contagious. It’s not hard to smile when you see her sparkling self! She’s got goals Emmy’s 10-year goal is to open a piano bar. See you there! She is unstoppable She always goes for the natural endorphin rush. She balances all of the good During the day, she motivates others to be their best on the bike or on the rowing machine. At the end of her day, she puts up her feet and treats herself to a little Johnnie Walker Black.




She makes it happen She opened her first business, GO Cycle, in 2012 and her second business, Cryobar, in 2016. It takes faith, courage and confidence to create something out of nothing!

Illumine Magazine




Know someone who shines bright in their community? Share a photo or tweet using #sheisillumined and we'll share it on our social media. PHOTO: Aleks Eva MAKEUP: Kasha Rodig STYLIST: Annie2016 Bangs SPRING/SUMMER PRODUCER: Liz Klafeta and Chris Tuttle



Get quiet. Live loud. Light the way.


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2016-04-19 3:23 PM

ILLUMINE Spring Summer 2016  

ILLUMINE's Spring/Summer 2016 issue offers great articles and reviews. Exploring the theme Travel and adventure, we offer Rules for the Road...

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