Tap into Your Extraordinary

November 4, 2012

Your environment matters. If you live in a dark place, chances are you won’t feel as bright as someone who lives under the sun 365 days a year.

The landscape matters. If you are in an urban jungle, you might not feel as consistently grounded as someone who lives amongst the red rock of Sedona, Arizona, for instance.

I had the pleasure of visiting Sedona this week. Known for its vibrating vortexes of energy swirling up from the minerals in the ground, Sedona holds a special kind of vibe I have never experienced in my life. Go there and you will realign with your highest self. That’s all I have to say.

Sedona, power of slow, energy vortex

Sedona, Arizona

Even if you aren’t apt to make your way there, consider where you live as your sacred space. If your office is lifeless, without plants, water or some kind of sunlight, consider placing a portable water fountain on your desk. Place special rocks or other meaningful items around you. They hold positive energy, something everyone could use a little more of!

It is easy to tap into your extraordinary when you have peace of mind. All it requires is a little time to reflect, go inward and really listen to yourself. Take a few breaths, light a special candle, and think about how extraordinary your life is. Every day you get a new chance to live that life to the very best of your ability.

Some times all it takes is a beautiful landscape to set you free. You can create it right where you are. You really can.

The Land of the Lost

August 12, 2012

On days when I lose my keys, I know I have too much on my mind. Misplacing things is a sign of being overwhelmed. But sometimes things lose themselves in an energetic exchange that tells me now is the time to let them go.

Releasing is a spiritual practice because we tend to cling to things. They can be material items, relationships or expectations. There would be no need to release if we were in flow at all times.

My belongings often teach me the power of release by disappearing for a time. My magic necklace once took a six month journey in the pocket of my coat that I swear had been empty all this time. Just as I was searching for something else, it showed up in the moment that I truly needed it. Or my beloved sunglasses that I bought in New York City that I thought I had left on a plane back from the Cannes Film Festival showed up in that same bag (that I swear was empty!) on the way to the airport as I headed back to France.

It is as if these things are telling me “See! Nothing ever gets lost. It merely transforms.”

If you are struggling with loss right now, know that it may be the biggest transformation you get to witness in this lifetime. Energy is shifting into a new form. Sometimes it returns to its original state. Other times it moves into a new shape altogether. When we are in flow with ourselves, it doesn’t matter what shape things are in because we are originating from our truest form. And the energies that swirl about us move in and out freely like water under a bridge.

The coolness of solar energy is not to be underestimated. In the spirit of less is more, I have always admired folks who turn to the sun to serve their power needs. A heavily subsidized industry in Germany, solar power has cropped up on the roofs of many a neighbor over the past nine years we have lived in our tiny town north of Munich.

You could say I’ve experienced slight solar power envy, watching those bluish slabs appear, as if by the hand of magical nocturnal elves, atop the finest constructions across the entire area. Gas stations, clothing stores and even a bathroom fixture company recently raised their panels to the sky. I wanted in. And so did Husband.

Then we purchased a house with East-West roof exposure. It occurred to us (rather late) that most people with solar power had South-facing roofs. Just when I thought our future as fellow solar power users had ended, we learned that we’d only acquire 20% less energy than those positioned to the  South. With a few more panels, we’d even out the difference. And so we signed on the bottom line for 14 panels altogether.

The surplus energy we create gets fed into the power grid. We are rewarded not only financially (we only pay for the night-time electricity), but also emotionally. How noble it feels to see those lovely collectors drinking in the sun rays, even on cloudy days! I am astounded by its beauty and the sudden urge to feel kissed by the sun.

Whilst in the Southwest of the United States last year, I was surprised to see that virtually no one used the power of the sun to generate electricity. In a place like Yuma, Arizona, for instance, where the sun shines 242 days out of the year, it would make sense to generate power  from the sun for all those air conditioners that help you take leave of the very thing that’s keeping you cool in your adobe home. My friend, located in the Northeast, tells me she has plans to place panels on the barn roof…once they have a barn to put it on. Slowly but surely we’re creeping toward a smarter vision in which we use what we have.

Solar power is so hot, and yet sooooo cool!

Interested in solar power? This infographic gives you an idea of how much it would cost, how much you’d save and where you’d get the most bang for your solar buck.

The kitchen emitted an eardrum-splicing pitch.

“The fridge is making weird sounds,” I said to Husband. He grunted. It was early.

Fretting about yet another household item that required repair, I set about my morning in the attempt to surpress the feeling that everything was going on the fritz simultaneously. I trudged the moutain of worry until I put my ear to the fridge door a few hours later.

It sounded like metal vibrating. Taking a deep breath, I entertained the idea that perhaps the sound was coming from a nearby cabinet instead.

It was.

The “fridge sound” was a metal drying rack atop a metal cake form. The refrigerator motor hummed soundlessly. The metal forms did not.

It was nothing really. A mountain that turned into a molehill.

How often do we fret, relentlessly perhaps, about things that are easily prevented? When we rush around without thought, we forget that perhaps the noise we are hearing isn’t what we think. Perhaps it is quite the opposite.

This morning was a lesson in slow. When we take a moment to view the Big Picture, we sometimes find things aren’t always what they seem!

Have you had a mountain-turned-molehill moment lately? Please share!

Hearst Magazines recently released Slow Cooker, Casseroles, Soups & Stews, a special bookazine featuring 105 easy, hearty recipes for simple slow cooker suppers, classic casseroles and savory soups and stews, developed and tested by the editors of Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Country Living. It hit the newsstands nationwide on February 15 and will be on sale until May 17.

Despite the challenge of changing the recipe to the metric system, we enjoyed two of the recipes already: Latin Chicken and Curried Red Lentil Soup. My husband couldn’t resist adding an additional dash of this or that. He is what you would call a bold cook. He considers recipes to merely be the foundation of his own masterpiece.

Lucky for me because I eat like royalty on the weekends.

While the recipes call for slow cooking, they can be easily integrated into your culinary routine with a little foresight. We washed and soaked the black beans overnight, then cooked them slowly for a few hours. With a crock pot, you’d be better off (we don’t have such things in Germany). But not only were the recipes delicious; they also left a lasting flavor of wholesomeness, like we had done something not only good for ourselves, but for the Earth, too. We purchased locally grown ingredients without packaging, lengthy transport, hormones or pesticides. As I told my kids,

“When you eat food, you eat its energy, too. Imagine eating an apple that bobbed across 3,000 miles to get to your door. You’d be eating the pace of that apple. Now imagine eating Slow Food. How does that make you feel?”

Slow cooking resonates beyond your own plate to a whole new world of savory delight. I can’t wait to try out the other recipes this coming weekend. It gives me another reason to look forward to Friday!

About the bookazine:

Slow Cooker highlights hearty dishes and everyday favorites, including barbecued chicken, short ribs, chili, lasagna, tasty mac and cheese, flavorful soups—from old-fashioned vegetable to Thai chicken—as well as classics like Coq au Vin and new ideas such as Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes.  Crisp side salads, like the Healthy Makeover Caesar and Spinach & Nectarine Salad, and fresh-baked breads complete the experience of this special recipe collection.


In addition, the bookazine features expert, step-by-step tips on using your slow cooker for effortless homemade meals, with nutrition information and low-calorie options, as well as a guide to the top kitchen equipment for making soups, stews, and casseroles.


About Hearst Magazines

Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com), one of the nation’s largest diversified communications companies with interests in magazines, newspapers, digital media, business media and television.  As one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, Hearst Magazines publishes nearly 200 editions around the world, including 14 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation (ABC June 2010) and reaches 73 million adults (Spring 2010 MRI).

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All that we’ve ever looked for has been within us all along. That is the lesson of Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist.

In Power of Slow terms you might find this quote to be the same thing. When we love the moment, we unleash exponential possibilities.

Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries. -Corita Kent

How will you love the moment today?

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Go with the flow

June 8, 2010

Slow makes things flow.

Doubt it? Have you ever noticed how traffic patterns are affected by one person going too fast behind you who then has to slam on the brakes because you aren’t going the same speed? Multiply the speed by the distance and the number of cars involved and you could have yourself a mighty fine traffic jam.

Such was my morning. As I gazed over the bridge above the autobahn, Munich-bound, I saw the cars lined up and at a halt. The sign above the bridge told me there was an accident. So I kept going straight, hoping my GPS would catch up. The voice persistently tried to get me to turn around until we got too far from the autobahn entrance. Then it readjusted and smartly got me back on track. I skirted around the traffic jam on backroads, then gracefully (and gratefully) hopped back on the highway. I breathed the slow and trusted in my belief about time abundance. I have more than enough time to do what is required to fulfill my ultimate purpose, I whispered to myself. GPS guy seemed to respond with his consistent voice of reason. “Now turn left.” And so I did.

The Truth Heals author Deborah King, whose book is coming out in German tomorrow, speaks of our chakras much like an autobahn. If our energy is blocked, we are in a jam. Depending on where our energy blockage is stored, we can have any number of health issues related to that blockage. In her book, she speaks about the healing power of truth. Dividing the body into seven power centers or chakras, she talks a lot about illnesses that correspond to that area where our energy is most jammed up.

Energy flow is immensely important for well-being. Much like the traffic example, when we go with the flow in slow style, we get there a lot faster than when we are either racing around or at a stand still.

Distraction or feeling as if you aren’t really here is an expression of our blocked root chakra located at the base of our spine. Our coccyx is what grounds us and connects us to the rest of our body. It connects to our feet, which keep us in the here and now. That energy, which flows from the base of our spine up to our heads, also races through our arms, feeds our brain and controls our attention. In effect, a flowing root chakra allows for slow while a blocked one is often expressed in fast-paced stress and a road to nowhere.

What does your personal highway look like today and how might you find more flow? I took the slow road today and it got me there faster. How about you?


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Slow Food HQ, Bra, Italy
Image by Andy Ciordia via Flickr

As with every year in Central Europe, just as one believes summer will never arrive, it does. We got a glimpse of warmth over the past three days. Although it has cooled today, we know it will be warmer in Italy, where we’re headed in just a few days.

Italy. The birthplace of the Slow Food movement. We’ll be dipping our toes in the Adriatic, watching boats float by with our thoughts. My mom is going with us.

How are you planning to slow down this summer? Taking a trip? Going to the beach? We all know you can’t run fast in loose sand. Try walking a tad slower than usual today. And don’t forget your flip flops, the veritable metronome of summer!


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