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ISSUE

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SPRING 2017


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NOURRIR STAFF FOUNDER AND CHIEF EDITOR

Freya Boulakbeche freya@nourrirmag.com CONTENT EDITOR

Justin Hickman media@nourrirmag.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Dameun Strange, Keisha Battles, Vima Lamura, Vanessa Feils, Jes Rosenberg, Isis VB, and Laura Buccieri ON THE COVERS

Superstretch and Isis VB SUBSCRIPTIONS

Media@nourrirmag.com www.nourrirmag.com

NOURRIR’S MISSION STATEMENT Nourrir, the French word meaning “to nourish” is a multi-media lifestyle magazine designed to feed all five of the senses - sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. We will feature food, fashion, travel, current events and women who inspire us. We don’t want to tell women how they are supposed to be, we want to give them information that will support their path, today. With commitment to responsive and insightful storytelling, and a keen and fresh editorial eye, Nourrir dares women to not only be good enough, but exceptional. We believe in you.

media@nourrirmag.com

facebook.com/nourrirmag

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@nourrir_mag

@nourrir_mag


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NOURRIR CONTENTS STAFF

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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CONTRIBUTORS

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HAPPINESS

8

TWO BUDGETS

LUSTS & MUSTS SPOTLIGHT

13 16 18

DIVINE FEMININE

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RESIST

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HEALTH

32

POETRY

36

NOURRIR TABLE

38

FINAL THOUGHTS

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EDITOR’S LETTER Birth requires total destruction. An obliteration of the old and a movement into the new and unfamiliar. Since the last edition of Nourrir, I have not been buried; I have been planted. Body, mind, soul; my very being, I needed this internal winter to gestate. While away, my feelings about the hiatus varied from guilt to self-doubt, elation to grief. I wondered, how could I have let so many months go by? This magazine’s mission, its very purpose, touches me to the core. But, birth requires total destruction. A seed which becomes a plant, any plant you pick the one that illuminates your imagination, cracks itself open, demolishes and destroys the thing it was at first, only to emerge as a force different that what it was. Not better, not worse. Not prettier, not more valuable. Just born and reborn. And, so can we embrace the cycle of seed to plant, plant to seed, of eternal growth and destruction. However uncomfortable, we can honor our personal winter because it is not the end, it is the beginning of rebirth. Only recently as women, are we re-learning what our tribal ancestors knew: that we function on a different paradigm and energetic wavelength. We have been in a patriarchal matrix so long we acquiesed; we forgot our Divine Feminine. We operated under the impression that we contained a flaw, we were at a deficit, somehow never enough. We believed we were not enough. We bartered away our power for the false sense of safety offered by complying. Our true essence is abundant. We are abundance. This is the feminine divine. Nourrir Spring/Summer 2017 is dedicated to the Essence of the Divine Feminine, planted not buried. Destruction of the old, and rebirth. We explore the Divine Feminine with an amazing group of contributors! We welcome back Dameun Strange and Laura Buccieri. New to our mix are some dedicated women ushering in the new paradigm each in her own way: Jes Rosenberg, Keisha Battles, Vima Lamura, Isis VB, and Vanessa Feils. I invite you to our dialog. Join Nourrir as we support each other to find our truest nature, our own Divine Feminine.

Freya C h i e f E d i t o r, Fo u n d e r

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CONTRIBUTORS K I E S H A BAT TLE S Kiesha is a multi-talended woman passionately living as a yogi, teacher, mentor, mother and now contributor. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University. Her undergraduate minor was Asian studies. She went to pursue a Master’s degree in Asian studies and a certification in International Business. Her academic focus on Asian humanities, religion, and modern language exposed her to East Asian (Taoism) and Indian philosophies (Hinduism and Buddhism). In addition to yoga, Kiesha has over 15 years of corporate experience in business with an expertise in project management, IT audit, training and development. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two school-aged boys. ISIS VB Franco American hybrid raised between New York, Paris, London & Milan. Neuroscience background, creative strategist in the luxury sector exploring passions in art direction, writing, music, image making & pirating. Isis is a multidimensional force to be reconed with!

LAURA BUCCIERI Laura lives in New York City where she is currently getting her MFA in Poetry at The New School. Traveling is one of her biggest loves. Her mom started taking her all over the world when she was young, and that same wanderlust is now engrained in her. She is especially fascinated by the literary work in the places that she visits. When abroad, she alway try to find a bookstore that will have English translations of local poetry. Similarly, she hopes that her work “translates” across multiple minds and places. Gertrude Stein phrased it best when she stated, “I am writing for myself and strangers.”

VIMA LAMURA Since the age of 12 Vima was exposed to Vedic teachings, Patanjali’s yoga sutras and Naad yoga with Professor Usharbudh (Swami Veda). In later years frequented india to study with Mahamandeleshwar Swami Nityananda. Her passion for merging sacred traditions and the arts expanded into the Mid-Eastern, Hawaiian, Maori, and West African indiginous music, teachings and practices. A lifelong immersedin traditional ancient wisdom of the Vedas, Chant, sacred sound and mantra. These teachings continue to inspire her works in musis, speaking and writing. She has an experiential and mature understanding of the interface between deep spirituality and self-actualized living.

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CONTRIBUTORS JES ROSENBERG Jes Rosenberg is a national yoga educator, a catalyst in the wellness community, and committed to helping students live an inspired life. Her passion for mindfulness and movement has allowed her to cultivate a uniquely blended teaching style to find alignment on and off the yoga mat. Download her award winning ‘Super Stretch Yoga’ kids yoga app, Chair Yoga iBook, and yoga programs for every age to make NAMASTE a part of every day. Follow Jes for all things, yoga, meditation, and practical life inspiration: Websites: www.JesRosenberg.com, www.AdventuresofSuperStretch.com, Instagram: @jesrosenberg. DAMEUN STRANGE Dameun Strange is an award-winning Minnesota composer/sound designer who grew up in Washington, DC where he started on his journey with music and sound at a very young age. He was fortunate to have grown up exposed to many different styles of music influenced by the vibrant culture represented in the Mid Atlantic Area. He has since been fascinated with the idea of exploring the outer limits of music and fusing them into a style that is uniquely his.

VANESSA FEILS What if I told you that you already have everything you need right inside of you? As a Life Guide, this is what I help you to understand. When we approach your life from this new lens, any ideas that you “need to be fixed” immediately dissolve. We don’t follow a templated format—each session is tailored specifically to you, allowing us to discover a True Self that the world is ready for! Like many people in a creative field, I’m an experiential learner. It’s through my experiences that I gain insight and knowledge, as well as my passion to learn, teach and share. My spontaneous yet methodical spirit is always right where it needs to be, so I am so grateful you are here and I invite you to welcome this connection as well. After being on my own 10 year self study, in February 2013, I was invited to join International Healer in an Operational Role. That experience sparked my desire to begin laying the foundation of my own practice. Soon after, Vanessa Feils Inc. was founded. I strongly felt the need to help people using the skills and overall enlightenment I’d experienced myself. Immediately I attracted people in need of direction and assistance, and realized successful, fulfilling results. This work is my calling in life.

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NOURRIR HAPPINESS, PAGE 8

“No tall trees or mountains to impress you, just a flat strip of terrain surrounded by clear waters and governed by the rhythms of the sun and the moon. No pasa nada.” - ISIS VB

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NOURRIR HAPPINESS BY ISIS VALLIERGUES BARNUM

Does life unravel over time or at once? Sinking feelings & trauma triggers & efforts & expectations & glitter all create confusion and noise and how do you know when it’s got to stop? Because one day, after saturating in environmental dissonance, there’s only one voice left to hear – your own. It was quivering then whimpering then screaming but Paris is the city of lights and sashaying from legendary caves to “Hotels Particuliers” and smoking in clawfoot bathtubs enclaved in heavy curtains and party hopping with your music and fashion friends who all love you and leave you in a cocaine heartbeat anyway, was louder. And you’re from here but you left a long time ago, but you’re not from there either and people don’t really know what to make of you and you thought you knew what to make of them… friends, maybe? You’ve always been an optimist. By the end of winter the night’s eaten all your light and spring comes back but the spark doesn’t. Luckily you can count on yourself as you were taught to, and you have to honor their memory and your life and be better to yourself, and be lucid and clear and hopeful – being a stubborn and unrelenting optimist does provide you with a handy strain of survival instincts. But you’re also part of that hapless batch that got squeezed somewhere between big promises and hollow opportunities, so your optimism lies elsewhere. They say we value authenticity & experiences over material accumulation. I wouldn’t mind both. But in the dire & immediate need to breath and believe in an achievable and sustainable state of contentment, I ran away with myself and my books to a place which would be the answer – reliable intuition of mine that I listened to in extremis. “No pasa nada” is the first phrase you’ll have to come to terms with because it seems Pirates live by it. Nothing’s going to happen, nothing’s going to change, nothing’s happening. Time and stress stayed behind, in Paris, we promise. Leave the Late White Rabbit behind, have time to say hello, goodbye. Because after years of feeling like a pirate and growing up like a mermaid during Caribbean winters but wanting more than 14 allocated days a year to explore this further in your adult life before that holy grail of retirement, to take advantage of being – gratefully – of sound mind and body, and believing that pirates exist, you found them, in Ornementia. Hippies are easier to come by, but aren’t so sexy.

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4000 years of cultural hopscotch have unraveled on this tiny island yet barely a trace would betray this. What does permeate is the blank slate offered to you that no one would dare impeach. No tall trees or mountains to impress you, just a flat strip of terrain surrounded by clear waters and governed by the rhythms of the sun and the moon. No pasa nada. And so it is with those who’ve chosen Ornementia as their home. Here you’d also crash into the reality that resources are scarce and must be respected, yet your needs are comfortably met. While the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Moores, Pirates & modern Europeans have all laid claim to this land, the rat race couldn’t take a hold of it – here, freedom stands too strong. Freedom from the pressures & expectations & future that you’ve been gladly thrusting yourself into like a blind idiot. Freedom to open your eyes and reclaim your breath and free will. Freedom to feel incredibly lucky.

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And so, suspecting I was in the right place, I applied myself to infiltrating this pirate scene which it would turn out is the most welcoming and enticing I’ve come across over 15 moves in 30 years across 4 countries. Vagabonds, princes, early retirees, endless adolescents, artists, musicians, dancers, thinkers, workers & sailors all mingled and welcomed me with open arms. I discovered the hypnotic swell of the sea on century-old sailboats, near the island that would inspire the Isle of Sirens Eea in Ulysses’ Odyssey. I was brought to secret full moon and sunrise parties accessible only by sailors who know how to navigate the coast at night. I was blessed on the water during the sailor’s holy mess of a procession in honor of their patron saint, Santa Carmen. I was free to come and go as I please, always welcome, never judged & finally had no one to answer to but myself. Come as you are, emblematic Gen Y sentiment that had somehow gotten lost along the way, was found again. The sun, the sea, salt, sand, boats, anchors, compasses, navigation, the stars, the moon. Many vital elements and symbols that become lackluster under city lights or trophy testaments to too rare and exceptional moments. La mer, la Mère – a welcoming and inviting return home. The pursuit of happiness is considered a principal right but it takes dedicated pause & reflection to determine a proper plan. What stands between you & your happiness? Who is really doing a good job at being happy? Pirates preserve their liberty ruthlessly and among them I found the first convincing case to inspire my own pursuit.

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TWO BUDGETS: FRUGAL For the gal who has champagne tastes on a shoestring budget - looks for under $100 SPRING THEME : PARTY ON A DIME

White Blazer, $23.09

Glitter Crystal Heel Booties, $45 Sexy Backless Halter V Neck Sequin Jumpsuit, Ivrose.com $28

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TWO BUDGETS: SPENDY For the woman who has capital to invest in a chic wardrobe - looks for under $1000 SPRING THEME : PARTY ON A GR AND

Viktoria Hayman Tiered Wood Chandelier Earrings, $150

Rag and Bone, Ellis Boots $595 French Connection Jumpsuit, $100

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LUSTS & MUSTS Here are four things we’re obsessed with this season - don’t say we didn’t warn you.

G I F T S TO G I V E

Jade Egg The little jade egg that caused so much disruption! Known for centuries in China, this egg shaped piece of pure jade, when used in daily practice can enhance your sexual arousal, orgasmic sensation, create healing in your reproductive system and so on. Since we are not medical doctors, you will have to try this out for yourself! We recommend Layla Martin for her accessibilty and comprehensive/easy videos. No tantric experience required!

MUSIC

Intro by Kehlani The intro to her SweetSexya vage release hits like a ton of poetic bricks.

A PP S

Unicef Kid POWER The UNICEF Lid Power Band empowers kids to get active, go on fun missions with famous champions and send lifesving therapeutic food packets to kids in need. Teaching and encouraging empathy, while balancing the effort with self-care makes this an app parents can get behind. That kids can follow their sports stars and feel good about their actions, we are sure Kids will be on board with, too.

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MUSIC

Mute ft. Elvis Brown R A JA K U M A R I From first listen, we were completely obsessed. Known by her stage name as Raja Kumari, born Svetha Rao, draws you in with her combination of songwriting acumen, brilliant dance worthy beats and cultural blends. With already a slew of succesful songwriting projects with stars such as Iggy Azalea, Gwen Stefani and Fall out Boy, we are thrilled to “discover� her fresh sound. Trained as a classical Indian Dancer/Singer, she will leave you entranced with her ability to fuse the styles without making you feel like you are listening to a World Music Pandora channel. Enjoy her EP and we hope she gets on it for a full LP!

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NOURRIR SPOTLIGHT Super Stretch BY JES ROSENBERG

Life is moving at break neck speed, and adults and children lead a perpetually stressed-out, harried existence. The dilemma we are in is leading people to have anxiety, burnout, and exhaustion. But wait! There is a cure to our dis-ease. Not a pill, magic food, or a drink (although a glass of wine or some dark chocolate always sounds good) but the ancient wisdom of yoga, mindful movement, and breathing; this is the next big health revolution. These practices help to put life into perspective and teach people of any age ways to release trauma, anxiety, and stress, so that they can stay calm in the center of a storm. Yoga is a tool that will last a lifetime. The playful movement and positive psychology of the mindfulness practice offers people focus, clarity, alignment, and insight to our inner workings. Happiness is our birthright but sometimes we loose our way and yoga brings up back to our true, divine nature. Through the process of yoga practices we become firmly rooted like a tree and like a tree when people are healthy, nurtured, and flexible we grow roots to bear fruit and flourish. When one feels supported and grounded through breath and movement practices, they settle into their bodies, inhabit their lives, find center, and drop-into mindful awareness. Only when we let go of the ‘busy-ness’ of our life, get quiet, and remember our deeper purpose can we live out loud and authentically.

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Maybe things long ago were just as busy as they are now because yoga was created as a self-regulating skill and sensory integration tool to teach one to relax and find balance. The therapeutic, bilateral movement practice – and it is a habitual practice not a perfect! - helps students to rewire their brain through breath and gentle, flowing, joint-freeing actions. When you think about it, the human body is an amazing, resilient machine powered by the breath. Here is a rough overview of how it all works (if you aren’t into the science of things please skip to the last couple of paragraphs of the article). Muscles are driven by brain and brain is driven by muscles. The more we move the more brain cells we build and regenerate. Our brain is the central computer in a human being that delivers messages and instructions to our limbs and internal organs through our nervous system. The brain helps our nervous system to function. The spine supports the health and healing of the central nervous system. It is the protector of our superhighway of the human machine that leads to our brain. The breath, just a simple inhale and a cathartic exhale, are the power, the energy, the pistons of our ‘super human’ engine that keep our systems fine-tuned, free of disease, and in harmony.


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A great teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar, once stated that, “Our brain is the hardest part to adjust in asana.” Hashtag #TRUTH! The postures of yoga are accessible. The mind is a trickster and our worst critic. It’s amazing how humans can spend our days in constant turmoil of the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. This ruminating thought spiral will only lead to pain. As you probably have felt at one time in your life, when we are off kilter and the body is in flux, we are not aligned, and things can get out of hand. When this happens, it is just plain old, bad news! Our nervous system is not functioning properly, we send erratic messages to our brain, and there is a glitch in the programming. At this point we are either breathing through our mouth or completely holding our breath, stressing out, and activating our body to produce cortisol, the stre =ss hormone. (In women cortisol is a huge reason for ‘muffin top’!) When this happens the body becomes stuck in the lower levels of our neurological system, called the amygdala. We are in our reptilian brain, caught in a loop of fight, flight, and freeze. This is the time to choose. Give up, stay in the negative, and live in a state of anxiety or use the tools of the practice to stop the downward spiral. My suggestion, choose ease. Choose freedom! Realize that you are not the content of your thoughts and learn to condition your body to, “Inhale the good sh*t, exhale the bullsh*t!" Use the practice of yoga to get rid of the suffering and step back, reframe, reboot the body-mind, press play, and begin again.

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Yogis learn how to begin again by engaging in a conscious, active breath in and out of the nostrils. This deep diaphragmatic breath helps to regulate the body and teach emotional stability. The rhythmic response learned in yoga breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps to raise our vibrations from lower level to higher brain functioning. Our body lights up the prefrontal cortex and relaxes the amygdala, creates an automatic relaxation response, calming us down, and increasing the production of serotonin and dopamine, the happy hormones, to be produced. Then we are in proper alignment and we are able to harness the pure potentiality of the breath, integrating the right and left-brain, allowing us to find emotional balance.

Instead of getting triggered and ‘flipping our lid’, the discipline of yoga teaches us to become familiar with the triggers and stop them in their tracks. We learn to understand how our mind works, to see and observe thoughts, and to respond wisely to things rather then reacting blindly. It allows us to be proactive vs. reactive. This skill is important during challenging, stressful times where we need good coping mechanisms to navigate life’s twists and turns. Scientific studies abound that support yoga and mindfulness have very real and measurable positive effects. Every day new research is proving evidence showing the neuroplasticity of the brain, that humans can refine the mind, and that muscle memory is a conditioned response that can be ingrained into our lives.

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People learn all kinds of useful skills - typing, sewing, cooking, reading, writing, and programming - now it is time that we should to add in the skill of yoga. Humans deserve to be taught strategies and tools to focus, combat stress, and easily manage chaotic circumstances so that we do not get swept away in the fluctuations of the mind. The incredible, transformational practice and discipline of yoga is pragmatic resiliency training. It offers tools to create integration within. Then we have space to enjoy every moment and be present, centered, connected, and grounded in our own BE-ing. Though the practice we realize that we have the capacity to be free to rise up to our best self with a tenderness of heart and peace of mind so that our daily experiences will be more blissful and we can lead a fulfilling, joyful life.

Want useful tips & tools on how to make your life experiences positive and fruitful one breath at a time? LE T ’ S CO N N EC T O N I G @S U PE R S TR E TCH YO G A

Breathe, stretch, play. Make namaste a part of every day!

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NOURRIR DIVINE BY VIMA LAMURA

The nature of the divine feminine is living in recognition of true, sacred perfection. Sourcing this recognition is an intimate journey of the heart and soul requiring a quality of valor willing to dismantle, transform and correct our identity from personal to that of the expansive nature of divine existence. Awareness dispels the shackles of illusion as the perfume of remembrance seeps through the cracks creating a renewed foundation of who we are and our true purpose. This profound transformation is a subtle force that supersedes the limitations of mind and distractions of emotions. It becomes the light of truth that flows through our blood and sings through our breath before a word spoken, an undeniable essence experienced through “Being.� Due to millenniums of reconditioning the feminine to fit imposing, concretized paradigms, has left the Divine feminine nature in the dust of time. The remembrance, the ways, the language and consciousness of the Divine has been lost and forgotten. Over time, the sacred power of the feminine has been drowned in the cacophony of unconscious conformity. Feminine identity has become synthesized sexual sensationalism in commercial enterprises of politics, economics, family, cultural identity, beliefs, religion, and social selfishness. Consequently, there exists a loss of morality where the feminine is not recognized as a vital source of our thriving as a species. Feminine sexuality has been bartered and betrayed to the point where many women become complicit in overriding the Divine, even if it feels like a defilement. In that feeling lives a glint of truth that something is deeply wrong. When this sensation occurs, delving within and discovering the feminine as sacred, is a huge step in transformation. In that discovery, seeing what has been acceptable in fractured norms, awakens as unacceptable to the balanced, integrated, self loving, conscious feminine. Thus beliefs and identities dissolve into the strength of the soul, virtues of the heart simultaneously embodying the Divine feminine nature as reality. Shedding the facades of identity oriented from the many influences of conditioning, is an energetic and spiritual journey. These imposing influences has separated the feminine from the spiritual essence of itself, forgetting the true source of power.

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The transcending journey from disenfranchising illusion, simultaneously activates the remembrance of the feminine as sacred. The Divine feminine’s existence is a hologram of many facets as one. The body, emotional energy, brain functioning, sexuality, chemistry of hormonal dynamics have a direct connection to the power of creative consciousness. Archetypes and rituals are portals of wisdom that assist in navigating to the Divine feminine Self. The process of embodying the Divine feminine nature requires blatant honesty, self accountability, discernment and the bravery to feel from the core. Be aware when you define yourself by your history, family, culture, society, and marriage. Remember, grounded spiritual power transcends, mind, beliefs, attitudes and conditioning. Be aware of guilt and shame when you have feelings of emotional expression and expansion.

Remember the Divine feminine power elevates above the identities of culture, guilt and shame, to fully live from the heart of your soul. Be aware when you define yourself by your situation or circumstance. Remember, your creative vision. Remember, you are the embodiment of perfection in the silent power of your knowing that you are a conduit of creative consciousness. Be aware of your sexual energy. Remember it is the life force that brings consciousness to form. Traversing into the Divine Feminine, is a sovereign, individual process without a goal or applause. Dive in the treacherously sweet depths of loving yourself with every breath and the rewards will become evident in your states of freedom, peace and love. As you transform into your Divine famine nature, humanity heals.`

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Š 2016 VIMA LAMURA


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NOURRIR RESIST BY DAMEUN STRANGE

The Phoenix Fire: the art of resistance The Eye of the Storm Mother dear, may I go downtown Instead of out to play, And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today? from Dudley Randall, Ballad of Birmingham from Cities Burning, 1968 You can hear it, smoldering like a deep sorrow welling up inside, that tenor sax bellowing deep moans that could burst into flames at any moment; the treacherous tremolo of the piano vibrating under the incantation, undulating, searching for resonance to bring the whole damn thing down; those towers of deceit, oppression, and outright violence; until the cadence brings resolution, an answer to the chaos, modal relief. And then a return to the cries, cries of “NO MORE,” cries of resistance, a call for our people to take action. The song is John Coltrane’s Alabama, written in response to the KKK’s bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four little Black girls on September 15, 1963. He recorded this piece on November 18, 1963 just a few months later. It was the first jazz song that really grabbed me and there was message I understood without words. John Coltrane was a light bearer, a sower of seeds. ***** One might be hard pressed to find some good in this past election cycle, no matter which side of the political aisle one sits. It may seem like the clouds that had been gathering over the past year or more have finally manifested into some Jupiter-like giant perpetual orange storm. In the days following the election of our potential 45th president, I saw many people in the communities for which I hold a special sort of love distraught, demoralized, and depressed, and paralyzed by that very same depression. I went to bed at about 2 AM Central on November 9th having had this feeling before. For many of us, the election of demagogue Donald Trump came as no surprise. The election proved what we knew and had been saying all along, America is a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic nation...it is founded on these values; they are the flesh and bones of the narratives of the “greatness of America” that the great majority of us learned in school while making whispers of other narratives. So, when Trump proclaimed that he would “Make America Great Again” (a slogan Ronald Reagan once used and we know how that turned out), gone was the dog whistle of bigotry we gained during an era political correctness. He was the pied piper, skipping across the country, calling and bringing the rats out of hiding and back to Hamelin. Election evening I was reminded of Amiri Baraka’s 2001 poem “Somebody Blew Up America” and how I had known the answer to all those “who questions” Amiri posed in that poem: Who make money from war Who make dough from fear and lies Who want the world like it is Who want the world to be ruled by imperialism and national oppression and terror violence, and hunger and poverty.

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I went to bed while the storm gathered and initially had trouble sleeping; feeling that heat, hearing that swirling, howling wind, and watching those early drops of a new stinging deluge of hate. I had great fear that the those who were not prepared for the storm would be paralyzed further, unable to act. I went to bed prepared to face the storm as I had done many nights before wondering who would be joining in the movement now that everything had been revealed to them. I woke up the next morning calm but cautious. I was in the eye of the storm, surprised by the distinct smell of petrichor. There can be something magical in an anxious sleep. I woke up with more resolve, inspired by those who came before me, the soil was ready, seeds could be planted. I’ve known and been inspired by many sowers of seed in my life; Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Ruby Dee, Ozzie Davis, Nikki Giovanni, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Grandmaster

Flash and on and on until the break of dawn. The Dawn breaks and in the eye of the storm, I am inspired to sow seeds. We, the artists are the carriers of seeds. We are the bearers of culture. We hold the narratives, the beautiful pain of our humanity. We are the kaleidoscope twisters, turning our beautiful difference into ordered brilliance. One of my early heroes, former Senator Barbara Jordan once said, “The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. The arts lift us up.” If anytime is ours, it is now. Our many identities are under attack and we must find a way to face this threat together. Together, we can weather the storm.

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Constellations When the sky is falling, it is the artists who create new constellations, road maps and messages to be disseminated among other revolutionaries and resisters. Think of the virtual road maps or instructions deeply coded in the spirituals that my abolitionist ancestors sang: “Follow the drinking gourd” “Now Let Me Fly” “Go Down Moses” “Steal Away” “Wade in the Water”. The anthems of resistance during the Civil Rights Movement gave courage to those that would seek change through nonviolent means via songs like “We Shall Overcome” “We Shall Not Be Moved”. And as time went on, Nina Simone sang “Mississippi Goddamn”, Felu Kuti sang “Zombie”, and artists like Gil Scott-Heron with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, Public Enemy with “Fight the Power” and Rage Against the Machine with “Killing in the Name” were speaking truth to power in a less coded way. They were reaching out across the airwaves, building constellations and providing consolation in the form of information and inspiration for the movements of resistance in the latter part of the 20th Century. And yes, the sky is so big and sometimes it feels like it’s all we have left. But we, the artists, must take those stars; our histories, our narratives and piece together new constellations in the form of messages of hope, resilience and resistance. We must create means by which we can chart new courses towards a future where we can live the lives we are owed. I thought I heard them say, There were lions in the way, I don’t expect to stay, Much longer here. from the spiritual Canaan This time and place in which we find ourselves, it doesn’t have to be forever. IT WILL NOT BE FOREVER. If we are for one another, we shouldn’t expect to stay here much longer.

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The Torch Donald Trump’s would-be chief of staff Steve Bannon said in a recent interview, comparing himself to Dick Cheney, Darth Vader and Satan, that “darkness is good”. Well, I believe the darkness of which he speaks, the obscurity of truth is not good. In times like these, it is the job of the artist, bearing light, to bring the truth from the shadows. It is the job of the artist to hush the cacophony of lies and misinformation. It is the job of the artist to hold culture, to keep our stories, to be a megaphone for narratives that our oppressors try to quiet or silence. German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht once said, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” He saw art as not something to do for the sake of doing it but as a tool to destroy systems of oppression. In times of rising authoritarianism artists can either be used as tools of the oppressors willingly or unwillingly, or light the fire of resistance. We don’t have to look too far back to see embers of the art of the Mexican Revolution, Orozco, Rivera, Kahlo; the Black Arts Movement of Baldwin, Angelou and Lorde. These are the planters of seeds of resistance that are already seen in bloom in the work of Duvernay, Noles and Lamar, and in movies like “Moonlight” and “Firesong”. So as the storm swirls around us, as the sky falls, as the darkness rolls in; we, the artists, can be heroes. Let us take up space—physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Make works of poetry, of theater, of film and of dance. Art helps to heal the battle scars and girds us in times of oppression for the long struggle ahead. Art holds the truth in narratives and preservation of our precious cultures. Art is the torch that lights the phoenix fire as We the People rise again, unified in resistance. You hear it smoldering? Sounds like the start of a new fire.

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32 NOURRIR

NOURRIR HEALTH Mental Illness and Self-care BY KIESHA BAT TLES

April, the war began, the war between heart and mind. The war engulfed a peaceful land with a vengeance. Looking back, several tamed battles were fought for two years, some would say 10 years. What happened? Who’s to blame? Can the problems be fixed? Will the war ever end? What is the problem? “I Love You! Even though you do bad things.” You steal, you lie, you run, and you hide. “But, you’re my sister!” You’re manic, you’re depressed, and you’re high! “I can help you, you’re my sister!” You are addicted and out of control, that’s how I see it. You need help, medicine, diets, yoga, and rest. It is difficult to come to terms with a sibling’s mental illness. At first it was an eye opener, a form of acceptance. “She’s bipolar! That explains it!” It explains the seven car accidents, the two fights; the inability to keep a job, the kleptomania, the five arrests, and the list goes on. I could have helped her but I did not. Life went on, she got a job, was saving money, she had some goals. I knew she could, I love her so! Just like sugar levels can trigger a diabetic or pollen ca flair up allergies, bipolar disorders have triggers. In this case one trigger was time. Six months of peace throughout the land. Friday night, it is date night, movie time for the King and Queen, while the Princes play in the castle. My sister is at work. The phone rings with a local area code, it is a local number, and I answer. Police Officer is on the other line. She has been arrested again. I help bail her out again. She’s charged with a felony and is placed on an electronic monitoring system and given a curfew. She said she did not do it. This time I know it is a lie. But no-one is dead, we can fix this. She is manic again. “Have you been taking your pills?” A week in a mental health care facility with professionals could not fix it. Meeting people whose situations appeared worse that hers did not fix it. The daily visits and calls from mother and sister could not fix it. The pills sat in the bottle and the follow-up visits were missed. The war officially erupted a months later in May. “Call the bondsman immediately!” Her bi-weekly bond payment was past due, payment required or she would go back to jail until her court date. “Where are you going?” “I cut the ankle monitor off, I’m leaving” she said. Confusion, fear, and tears took hold of both of us. Then she was gone. You are my sister. I love you, but I cannot fix this.” Sorrow entered the land. Two days after she left I received a text message from my sister. “I apologize but I cannot change who I am. I will be okay. I will keep in touch. It is not you, you gave me the world. It is me. I can figure it out. I want you to be happy. I need to fix myself.” How do I find balance of my heart and mind? I love her, I hate her! “I need to set boundaries. I love you even though you do bad things.”

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NOURRIR / ISSUE SEVEN


35 NOURRIR

It has been a tragic event for me. Life has changed in so many basic ways. It has been devastating and my anxiety levels have been high. I struggle to deal with the love I feel for my sister, the mental illness that she has, and the problems that she has gotten herself into. I worry about the future and what will happen next. It has been three months since she left. With time I am gaining knowledge and skills to cope with mental illness effectively. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) affirms for me that:

• I cannot cure her mental illness and no one is to blame. • Mental disorders affect more than the person who is ill. It is harder on parents and siblings to accept than others. • It is not ok to be neglected. I have emotional needs and wants too. If I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of others. • It is natural to experience confusing emotions, grief, guilt, fear, anger, sadness, hurt, and confusion. However,

During this time, I recommitted my yoga practice to help me coupe with my internal war. In addition to the physical postures, breathing and relaxation techniques, I observe Satya. Satya is a Sanskrit word, in yoga is defined as truthfulness. Satya is one of the five observances (Yamas) of Yoga. Practicing Satya involved right communication through speech, writings, gestures, and actions. Through my daily yoga practice I have been able to open up my heart and express my feelings. This in turn clears my mind to deal with the chaos and disorder that exists in my world because I choose to accept my sister’s world. The inability to talk about my feelings had left me feeling stuck. I now know that I am not alone. I can share my thoughts and feelings with supportive people. After reoccurring periods of denial, sadness, and anger I have come to a period of acceptance. I am compassionate when I talk about my sister as well as compassionate to myself by speaking my truth. “I love my sister, even though she does bad things!”

NOURRIR / ISSUE SIX


36 NOURRIR

NOURRIR POETRY theimage image search of feminine the search of feminine BY LAURA BUCCIERI

12 tips on how to make you feel more feminine porcelain skin white flower gently pink so much pink sun and hands softly

feminine perfume bottles a gift

gold plated yes a gift

alone hair flowing longer than sweeping the hair out of the way

money without showing money an object always an object

the ultimate guide to being feminine pink against pink alone vomiting flowers onto a white wall nothing that comes out is dirty all sparkles and glitter and yes pink dressed to blend in with the wall floral wall holding gently a pink flower hair is long because feminine lips are dark red because sex is evolution

flowing romantic and feminine a field of wheat no pink here progressive but white white white clouds and alone in the dress again flows white into wheat this is natural right looking back but moving deeper and deeper into the wheat fields luscious hair flowing just like the dress same angles angel yes angel of the blond hair blue eyes protect all girls all girls who look back like you

feminine photography black river white dress wet wet so wet you’ve been submerged underwater quite in theory the dress clings to breasts hair long and dangling into four strings held together by the water you’re held here alone water running past your knees feminine because they’re in this body gender roles water again but this time behind and below sand touching toes out of view unnecessary to femininity arm up above head blood rushing in reverse down down down the arm paler than the rest clad in nude tones a bathing suit too tight for the fall there are stairs behind but you’re smiling body why didn’t you run

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smooth


37 NOURRIR

feminine stock photos pink flowers cut laid rolling no still not found in nature

horizontally pink pearls

white pearls

how to be more feminine lauren conrad

europe’s men are too feminine close shave plucking one eyebrow hair gelled no shit skin sweaty neck veins popping post shower shoulder muscles flexed while holding looking off camera for direction

look natural the tweezer

feminine hygiene white white tight white thong clings to the v shape legs make when crossed over left over right over a white background no face no hands no legs no neck nothing but under wear belly button life right life and the pink again yes the pink flowers laid over the white thong that would never stop the delicate bleeding

discovering the feminine naked naked naked draped

over a tree on the beach

alone long hair covering both of her

eyes

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38 NOURRIR

NOURRIR TABLE Persian Sohan: The Best Honey Brittle you will ever taste

INGREDIENTS 1 cup Sugar 60g unsalted butter, chopped 1/4 cup clear honey 1 cup slivered almonds safron threads soaked in 1 TBSP boiling water 2 Tsp rosewater 1/2 cup pistachios shelled and chopped

INSTRUCTIONS Notes : Resting time 1 hour You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe. Line 2 trays with baking paper and set aside. Place sugar, butter and honey in a deep saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add almonds and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, for 6 minutes or until golden and temperature reaches 140°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat. Immediately add dissolved saffron and water; be careful as the hot caramel will spit. Swirl to combine, then stir in rosewater. Working quickly and carefully using two oiled spoons, spoon mixture onto the lined trays to form 6 cm discs. Scatter with pistachios and set aside for 1 hour to set. Caramels will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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P H O T O C R E D I T: F R I E N D LY I R A N . C O M


40 NOURRIR

FINAL THOUGHTS Following Your Path BY VANESSA FEILS

LET YOUR PAST GO As a divine soul on the planet you have access to reach your highest potential on this journey. You’re an infinite being that is here to dive into the greatness that you were made to deliver. When we access these parts of us everything flows.Think of it as choosing to take the path of least resistance - and not applying any bit of guilt that you could possible be taking the easy way out. Upon accessing your divine magic, a crumbling may occur. The destruction that has to fall away in order to start seeing clearly. The layers that built up from your past conditioning. Your past has allowed you experiences to learn from, but not to carry on with you, dimming your entire life. Chances are, you are here reading this, knowing your life is calling one of greatness. Slipping into action can feel blocked or stuck if you are not aware of the tools or too afraid to explore the experience of letting go of your past.

CHANGE IN DIRECTION Due to our conditioning and past experiences we have stories that play, these stories get reflected when we are triggered. This conditioning can look like control and it grips a hold of us the more power we give it. Prett y soon we discover that we are living out of this control template and it could begin to feel like your dreams and desires would be nearly impossible to achieve. By choosing to step into your power, love yourself and take the path of least resistance – now the Universe (insert your holiness here) can begin working for you.

To ease you into this, I have outlined a simple process: First, become aware of the moments that you feel stressed or triggered. We often miss this step because as soon as we feel stress our mind jumps forward, demanding a quick fix or solution. I suggest taking a week and writing down all of your triggers as you feel them. If you carry a journal write it in there or use the electronic notepad of your closest device. Second, you need to feel. Allow yourself to be in the uncomfortable feelings, without judgment. The next en- counter that brings on stress or anxiety, stop, feel and just be with those feelings. The feeling that may come up first is frustration, because you don’t know how to be with these feelings. So silently or out loud say to yourself; “It’s ok that I feel sad, lonely, frustrated, jealous or angry right now.” Third, flip the lens is your new mantra. Everything that shows up in your life is for you. That’s right, no more blaming. Challenge yourself to stay in the positive and trust that what is showing up for you right now is for “you”. Remember, even in the toughest of times, there is a silver lining. The fourth and final step is experience. There is no magic wand that can be waved over your life. The magic shows up when you do the work. When you take the extra moment to become aware, feel the pain, sadness or joy and then flip the lens, trusting that every situation is for you. Through these experiences you will start to believe, feel whole, make better choices and notice every sweet synchronicity in life.

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41 NOURRIR

“You were created to discover this power and ease. Not to suffer in the state of worship thinking that someone else would need to make all your magical dreams come true.”

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42 NOURRIR

healing the world.

NEW RELATIONSHIP We are in a spiritual revolution on the planet. No longer do we need years to read, comprehend and apply these principles to our lives. We can choose or have an inspirational thought ... and boom, you shifted your dreams and desires into existence. The power that is available on the planet is manifesting quick, right before our eyes. Take all the small day today experiences as the most profound lessons you have ever learned. Why? Because now as you travel forward into your dreams these old stories patterns that are playing are dissolving. Dissolved so simple just like that – through the most profound lesson that just crossed your path. You were created to discover this power and ease. Not to suffer in the state of worship thinking that someone else would need to make all your magical dreams come true. Instead it is a conscious remembering that joy and love is your natural state, this is the frequency you were created out of.

Q&A Q - What are you seeing day today with people that are choosing to say yes to their power? A - They are ready to be activated into their power so they're being nudged at a soul level. That nudge looks like an attraction to an article like this, a podcast, book or meeting with a stranger leading them to the divine tools or direction that is perfect for them. Universal divine guidance comes through people, people show up on our path with words, programs, energy and guidance that begins to create the shift within us. Many of these people are being called to this wake-up, to be aligned with their mission because that is what is

Q - How do we know to trust it? A - It feels so natural and forward moving that there is no resistance. It is like being offered a delicious meal at mealtime. Your intuitive nature kicks in and you are carried forward feeling like you are floating on a cloud. Q - Why is this so important? A- We are in a space in time that this is the answer to - how do we heal the world? We start by healing ourselves, handing over our mission to the divine, accept trust and begin being guided. Our experiences being reflecting and teaching us how to be in the flow … the same way we came into the world. Q - Each individual is so unique, what if I feel like I’m an exception to the rule? A - No such thing. You are divine, so perfectly created and placed to be in the here and now. By just trying on this idea, like a new fashion style, you will quickly start to receive guidance that will assure you you are not separate. It is in the thinking that we are separate that we are not experiencing the flow of oneness and love. By adopting ‘the path of least resistance’ you welcome in all the perfect players to come join and assist you on the journey. Life becomes much more interesting and your reality broadens. No book, motivational speaker or life coach can make this show up in your life ... it isn't until you choose to see it for yourself that you begin to receive your own unique divine guidance. Q - Why do you feel passionate about sharing this knowledge? A - It is not mine. I trust in my divine plan, go into action to show up and say yes. One thing leads to the next thing and the beauty is all of this is that you always

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Can’t get enough of Nourrir? Check out season’s issue. It was a good one.

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Nourrir June 2017 - Issue 11 - Divine Feminine  
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