From the depths of winter

Indira and I have been sick for over a week now. We’re both feeling a bit better today though still sniffly and not quite ready to face the world full on. Our refrigerator is on the empty side so we decided to make some muffins together. I started with this recipe for Pumpkin Muffins at Smitten Kitchen (whose recipes I LOVE) and took it from there. I used all organic ingredients, used less sugar, added a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup for a more complex flavor, added some ground flax seed, coconut, and raisins. This is what I ended up with and they came out delicious! Not too sweet, super moist, and flavorful.

Pumpkin Muffins with coconut and flax

Pumpkin Muffins with Flaxseed, Raisins, and Coconut

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil (somewhere in between, next time I’ll use applesauce)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice (homemade)
1/2  cups sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 handfuls of unsweetened coconut
raisins (I just poured some in, use as much as you’d like; I prefer less than more)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Oil or spray 12 x muffin pan.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, brown sugar, flax, coconut, raisins, syrup, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups, then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Pull out, set on plate, and enjoy! They are delicious!

This

An oldie but a goodie. I always come back to this. Truths.

The Invitation

by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation

Tough love

Thank you, Rachael Maddox, for this amazing tough love mad-libs of a sort. I needed it. I happened to read this on your site, then the next day saw it on my friend Kerilyn’s site. A sign? Hmmm. Okay, so here goes.

Dear Kyra,

This is a tough love letter. I’m only writing it because I believe in you and your deepest health and happiness so fully, and I know, plain and simple, you could use a kick in the ass right now.

The truth is, the time for wasting time is over. No more dragging your feet. It’s time for action. Like really.

Yes, down time and kid time were important because you’re raising a toddler, but now, you’re ready for your own dreams.

So if you want it, get serious about the shit that’s in the way.

If you want to feel successful you’re going to have to stop stalling. Plain and fucking simple. Instead, make the calls, talk to people.
If you want clients quit hiding already! Start talking.
If you want money then stop procrastinating. Find jobs, instead.

You CAN do this.
You can also enjoy it.
And in case those fall through, you can always wait tables. No, not really. But I’m stuck here.
Whatever it takes for partnerships to be built. Because it’s fucking time. You can’t afford to not make this work anymore. You just CAN’T.

If you keep going down that old road of excuses, poor time management, and flat out ignoring the facts, you’ll probably end up unhappy and bankrupt.

The truth is, you’re meant for designer rockstardom!!!!

Own your part in this process. DO your part. You’ve waited long enough. You’ve paid your dues. It’s time. It’s simply time.

I dare you to just fucking do it.

Crazy love & steadfast belief,
Your inner tough-love mama

Gratitude – Nov. 2

I am thankful for the recent Spirits of Joy I took part of with Hannah Marcotti. It was more than prompts. It was a group of women that came together, shared, expanded, challenged and grew together. We became a community. We are still here together. We are still rocking and exploring and creating. It was eye-opening and a very much needed experience.

Some pages from that came from it:

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Gratitude – Nov. 1

I am so grateful for yoga. Beautiful, centering, strengthening yoga. Sometimes I sway so out of balance. It happens slowly but I feel it so suddenly. I feel it in my body and mind. It envelope me. Then I return to the mat. Even if it’s been weeks. Months. And it’s instant peace. Strength. Balance. Fulfillment. Energy. Expansion.

I did this flow the other day. It was amazing. I’m definitely not done with her routines. I did another the day after and it was different but just as beautiful. Just as unique. Just as empowering and centering.

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Thank you, yoga.

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