My Favorite Raw Food Videos!

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Today I was having a conversation with a few friends about how expensive it is to buy raw food at health food stores. I teach raw food classes to empower people to be able to make their own raw food at home for a fraction of the price! So I thought I'd share some of my favorite video's of my favorite RF chefs making "not so difficult" recipes. Please check out the other videos on each chefs page for more inspiring recipes!

Kale chips are a staple in my diet and nearly everyone elses I know but they can be VERY expensive at the market! Here, one of my FAVORITE raw food chefs, Russell James, shows us how to make them at home. 

 

The lovely and extremely talented Elaina Love shows us how to make Raw Coconut Yogurt, which is another staple in my diet and not so easy to find at markets. Raw Coconut Yogurt is such a healthy way to start your day, full of probiotics! 

 

Mimi Kirk is such an amazing chef and her book Live Raw, is full of easy to make recipes as well as beautiful pictures. I got to assist Mimi in the dessert section of the book :) Get familiar with Chia Seeds, you can do so much with them! Again, chia is a food I use nearly every day!  Check out her channel for many more videos. 

 

I was honored to have Jane from Blend It and Mend It, feature the ebook that Ariel Policano and I recently put out. The Carrot Cake Smoothie was a huge success. Jane also featured 20 other recipes from the book, so check them out! See the link below for more info or to order the book. 

 

http://www.womengoraw.com/2011/10/19/avocado-smoothie-with-21-day-power-plan/

And how could I do a blog post on my favorite raw food videos without a Chocolate post OR adding the beautiful Dara to my list of FAV chefs! Learn how to make your own raw chocolate treats and save enough money to put your kids through college! Check out Dara's channel and website for tons of amazing recipes!

 

By empowering yourself to create your own raw food at home, you save money, empower yourself, take control of your diet, are sure what your eating is local or organic and reduce waste from packaging. 

Creating raw food is really an amazing experience! What are YOUR favorite raw food recipes? 

In love and health,

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

Cultivating The Sweet Life!

Excited to feature this extraordinary event with two amazing women! This 28 day in depth online program follows my personal beliefs that there is SO MUCH more to health than just food. If you are ready to go on a journey of self discovery, healing, reclaiming your power, hitting the reset button on you diet and deepening your ability to truly love your self, join Melissa and Natalia in their spring program Cultivating the Sweet Life!  

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Extraordinary lives don’t just happen. They are Cultivated. Crafted. Nourished.

Cultivating the Sweet Life is an in-depth online program for women who are ready to transform their relationship to nourishment in a truly holistic way that addresses both the body and soul. Our course is a combination of inner work, practical skill building and raw food indulgence.

When your body is deeply nourished with living foods, and your soul is cared for with love and respect, you remember what it feels like to shine.  Your life becomes what it was meant to be—a radiant gift to this world.


  • falling back into old, unhealthy patterns when you get stressed
  • feeling like there’s not enough time for yourself
  • choosing foods that numb rather than nourish
  • cycling through phases of feeling overwhelmed, depleted and stretched thin
  • getting overwhelmed by relationship stressself-criticism, and outside pressures
  • losing your connection to your inner strength, purpose & creativity


  • understand how you get hooked into cycles of depletion and overwhelm
  • connect with what truly nourishes, restores and sustains you
  • experience the profound difference that happens when you practice
    restorative self-care and nourish your bodywith foods that are full of vitality
  • stop self-sabotaginggiving your power away, and letting your inner critic run the show
  • regain your center and stay grounded in difficult situations
  • reconnect with your strong, clear inner voice
  • feel a sense of belonging with a like-minded community of visionary women

Together, we set out on a 28 day quest to reignite your radiance on every level.


4 WEEKLY WORKBOOKS with teachings & exercises to facilitate a deep transformational process:

  • Illuminate your blind spots.  Understand and transform the core patterns that keep you from fully realizing your radiance and power
  • Develop self-care practices that keep you feeling truly nourished, cared for and connected to your core essence
  • Set clear boundaries and protect what is sacred to you
  • Develop skillful ways to stay grounded, resourceful and resilient in difficult situations
  • Align your actions with your visions and values
  • Own your power.  Shine your light.  Make your visions real.

4 WEEKLY RECIPE BOOKS by Pure Food Chef Natalia KW to help you:

  • Reignite your vibrant glow
  • Cleanse and detoxify without deprivation
  • Recover your inherent energy and vitality
  • Replace your old cravings with healthy, living comfort food.
    Small changes, big impact.
  • Discover tips and tricks to make raw food preparation easy and sustainable
  • Learn to prepare beautiful, emotionally satisfying, nutrient dense raw meals
    using local, organic, seasonal produce

4 WEEKLY GROUP Q&A SESSIONS with Melissa and Natalia to help you work through specific challenges along the way

EVOLUTIONARY PARTNERSHIPS: the opportunity to work in small groups for support & connection throughout the journey

ACCESS TO OUR PRIVATE ONLINE COMMUNITY where you can connect with a community of visionary women who are on the same journey

Workbooks and recipe books will be delivered to your email weekly and mp3 recordings of the Q&A sessions will be available for download online. Access to our private online community begins on the day before the course.

A SPIRAL-BOUND HARDCOPY OF THE ENTIRE COURSE
which includes all 4 weeks of the teachings, guided exercises and recipes with full-color photos

EMAIL SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE COURSE
to answer all of your individual questions along the way

Pure Pleasures and Cupcake Heaven raw food cookbooks by Natalia KW

+ Bonus PRIVATE COACHING SESSIONS with Melissa or Natalia


Week 1: Preparation

Shining Light in Dark Places

Mapping the Territory
Understanding Patterns & Cycles
Conscious Nourishment
Establishing a Personal Practice

Living Foods for Sacred Bodies: Conscious Comfort 


Week 2: Purification

Awakening and Releasing

Understanding Resistance to Change
Transforming Self-Sabotaging Beliefs & Behaviors
Letting Go of Old Stories & Identities
Protecting What is Sacred

Living Foods for Sacred Bodies: Transitioning to New Traditions 


Week 3: Initiation 

Returning Home to Our Radiant Essence

Coming Home to Yourself
Rewiring for Radiance: The Neurobiology of Transformation
Recovering a Sense of Resilience & Resourcefulness
Cultivating Inner Stability

Living Foods for Sacred Bodies: Eating Light, Shining Bright


Week 4: Integration

Aligning Our Actions With Our Visions and Values

Integration: The Foundation of Integrity
Alignment, Ease & Inner Alchemy
Sustainable Radiance: Shining Your Light Without Burning Out
Actualization: Embodying Your Truth

Living Foods for Sacred Bodies: Sustaining Your Glow

THE CORE PACKAGE

 

  • 4 In-Depth Weekly Workbooks
  • 4 Weekly Recipe Books
  • 4 Weekly Group Q&A Sessions
  • Evolutionary Partnership Groups
  • Access to Our Private Online Community

Core Package: $149

 

Reclaiming your life, a life of passion, being able to be fully self expressed, is truly a life worth living! ~~Lori

 

In love and health, 

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

 

 

Featuring Puma St Angel & Grace Grove Retreat Center

Nestled just outside Sedona, Az, is Grace Grove Retreat Center. This is a beautiful facility with breathtaking views, amazing therapists and healers and an energy beyond compare. Today we have the lovely Puma St Angel sharing her story! Enjoy~ Lori  

 

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What inspired you to create Grace Grove?

Morgan and I saw a great need for an elegantly organic rejuvenation center that had all the amenities for cleansing & detox programs, facilities to rent out to other facilitators so they could feel fully supported while taking their clients through deep processes and we saw the need to grow food and create community. So I would say we were inspired by spirit and it really helped that Morgan and I combined have been in the retreat business for over 35 years. 

Can you tell us a bit about your center? 

Grace Grove offers a variety of retreat packages. Our signature program that we do every month is called The Full Body Rejuvenation Retreat and during this powerful week program we guide people through doing a Liver & Gallbladder cleanse. We offer such a variety of workshops, classes and ceremonies that no matter if people are coming for spiritual, physical or mental reasons the program address all their needs. http://www.gracegrove.com/retreats/liver-gallbladder-detox-retreat/ 

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We also have a Freedom from Meds program which guides people off their medications and teaches them how to create a self care program for continued success. Dr. Dan Engle is a medical doctor and psychiatrist  who lives here at Grace Grove oversees this program and he has to be one of the most amazing doctors I have ever met. It is such an amazing gift to be trained in western medicine and have the MD credentials but to be completely passionate about alternative health and to gracefully incorporate both modalities. He is truly a Medicine Man of the 21st century.

Another aspect of our business is to host other facilitators' retreats. This offers our guests a variety of programs to choose from.

And lastly we offer personal retreats which caters to people's personal needs from get away rejuvenation vacations to people who are trying to heal from all sort of  physical, mental and emotional crisis.   

How did you get involved in cleansing, detox and digestive health?

Honestly I think it was my soul purpose because I certainly didn't learn it from my parents. When I was in college I was mesmerized by every alternative healing modality and in between studying text books I read any alternative health book I could get my hands on and then it was Nov. 1999 when I was working at a health food store I was amazed by how blue and clear the eyes were of two guys working in the produce department and I found out they were raw foodists and from that day forward I was awe struck with the raw food lifestyle. Shortly after that I found my self assisting David Wolfe with running raw food retreats at Eden Hotsprings and then I was running raw food retreats. It was then natural to open my own center.

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How do raw foods fit into your life and center?

Raw foods has taken me on the most incredible journey of my life. I couldn't imagine living a life without an abundance of raw foods. Everyday I seek the right balance of totally raw foods with other foods such as grains, beans and sometimes raw cheese. At this moment I am eating totally raw as I am prepping for a liver flush and then in a few weeks when I have to travel, I will be as prepared as I can be for eating healthy while traveling but not stressing myself out if I can't find the most "perfect" food. I love to say that I am perfectly imperfect all the time!

Here at Grace Grove we are dedicated to eating only whole organic foods and it is mostly raw. Being a health practitioner I greatly understand the immense complexities of a person's digestive system and to create a sustainable health program for people it is sometimes necessary to ease them into a whole foods diet therefore we do a lot of catering to people's needs. Plus a lot of people don't come to Grace Grove because of cleansing or dietary reasons but they come in for example through a business retreat and then they are blown away by the food and they soon realize why they came to Grace Grove.

 

What's the best way for a raw newbie to get into raw or vegan foods? 

After years of guiding people into the world of raw foods the best way to get your feet wet is to go to a raw food restaurant or find a RF potluck in your area and begin trying different recipes. If you don't have a restaurant near you there is no better excuse to go on a trip than to visit a RF restaurant and try all the items on the list. Surrounding yourself with like minded people who also have an interest in eating healthier because this will create a recipe for success when it comes to gradually shifting your lifestyle. Also have fun with it and don't take anything to seriously. Make gradual changes to your lifestyle so that you create patterns that are sustainable. Also pick 1 new recipe a week to make and only make recipes with ingredients that you will buy on a regular basis.

Can you share with us a favorite recipe or dish?

Sauces and salad dressings have to be my favorite because you can eat any amount of vegetables as long as you have a tasty dressing and you can eat the same vegetables all week long as long as you have different salad dressings. I would love to share with you the ingredients of my favorite dressing but the problem with me and recipes is that nothing ever gets measured so I can't give you any measurements.

Puma's Salad Dressing Ingredients: Tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, honey, fresh ginger, red bell pepper, water, salt and then you can add in any kind of herbs you want or things like sundried tomatoes & olives. 

 

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How is your spiritual life in conjunction with the raw/vegan foods lifestyle? 

Everything is spirit and my spiritual practice is creating the experience of walking gracefully on this planet and being of service. Every step I take is a meditation, every colonic I perform is an act of internal baptism, every email I answer is an opportunity to practice communication. Everything I do is an act of spiritualism because I am not separate from spirit. I am spirit at all times and therefore everything I do is spiritual. When I started on the raw food lifestyle it dramatically helped me to connect deeper to my own spirit. When working with people who are going through emotional and spiritual problems it is so important to have them start eating a lot more raw foods because it allows them to hear what their own spirit is asking for. 

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How do you come up with your programs? 

Coming up with our programs was a culmination of years of trial and error. We have a team of excellent therapists & doctors who have all put their input into creating the kind of programs we want to experience. Our team has been leading retreat programs for several years and together we figured out what people need and delivered the goods to satisfy their needs. Notice, we don't satisfy their "wants" but we do fulfill their needs, which then become their wants (after they feel better). Most people "need" to heal their bodies before they want to do something healthy for themselves and that is why most people who come to us are in dire straights, they are at the end of their rope. We always have the small percentage of people who come to our programs to maintain their health but more people come because they are experiencing some kind of symptoms. 

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What's one thing that most people don't know about you? 

Most people don't know how I got my name Puma. There were several factors in the gifting of my name and one of them was because I owned a lion cub when I was 10 years old. My family and I were living in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and my dad gave us a lion cub for Christmas. That was an incredible journey!

Do you think it's vital to be 100% raw or 100% vegan?

I think it is important to go 100% raw vegan for a period of time which could look like a few weeks, months or years in order to really clean out the system and hit the re-boot switch and then begin to add in different foods into the diet to see what the body really thrives on. I believe that raw foods is a cleansing diet but not necessarily a maintenance diet for most people and of course there are always the exceptions.

IF you were to eat any cooked food you wanted what would you eat?

Pizza. I have such an emotional attachment to homemade pizzas. When I was a kid my dad would come home from his restaurant at 2 am (he owns a steak house!) and I would wake up in the middle of the night to watch a movie with him and eat pizza that he would make. It was my special time with my dad, so I have fond memories of eating pizza. I then grew up making home made pizzas. 

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What raw/vegan principles do you personally embrace? 

That is a really hard question to answer- have you ever done something for so long that it becomes a way of life and you don't realize that what you are doing is different? I can't think of any "principles" that I have- it's kind of like the idea that rules are meant to be broken. Principles are too limiting for me. 

Have you experienced any deficiencies on the raw food diet? 

When I was a 100% raw I was in my 20's and very healthy so my body was able to handle deficiencies and as I got older (35) and became more educated I realized that the diet wouldn't sustain me my whole life. I am a very strong believer that we need to listen to what our bodies need and step outside of personal belief systems. The bodies needs aren't controlled by theories that we want to uphold. Just as the seasons change our bodies needs change. At times the body will CRAVE a 100% raw food diet and at times it will need a maintenance diet. 

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What made you go raw or go vegan?

I went vegan probably 13 years ago and about 3 years ago I started allowing some fish and raw goat cheese into my diet. I was at a Rave in the desert one New Year's Eve and I found my self hanging out in this women's tent and she said she was vegan and I asked her why, she said "When you are vegan you just vibrate at a different frequency". I wanted to know what she meant and I decided to go vegan (I was already vegetarian). I took me about a year to ween myself off of dairy. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Now as I allow different foods back into my diet I am very conscious of how much and the quality. If I didn't go vegan I wouldn't be able to have as much self control as I do now.

What are some raw food staples in your current diet? 

Lots of homemade sauerkraut and kim-chi, avocados, all kinds of fresh fruit & veggies (we have an orchard & garden here at Grace Grove)- during the summer I get to graze on all the fresh fruit here like mulberries, blackberries, apples, peaches, plums, quince, pomegranates, and so much more. I also eat a lot of seaweeds and seeds. I am really big into concentrated herbal formulas from Premier Research Labs. I really thrive when I am taking powerful herbal formulas. 

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Are you 100% raw?

I am 100% Puma 100% of the time and I am always in my raw form. I did eat a 100% raw diet for several years and then a few years ago I began to introduce other foods like buckwheat, quinoa, beans, and steamed veggies. I also eat some fish maybe once a month and I've been enjoying some goat cheese. I believe that everything in moderation is good but you MUST moderate your "moderation". I do switch to eating a 100% raw diet at times to do a cleanse and there will be times in my life where I will stick to 100% raw for long periods. But just as the season's change my eating habits will change. 

Not everyone can be a great chef or spend the time preparing. What suggestions would you give for the simple person?

Just learn how to make a few salad dressings (they are so easy after you make a few different recipes) and then you can eat a few salads a day. Anyone can chop some veggies and put dressing on them. Also you can make a salad dressing thicker by adding more seeds or a nut butter and turn it into a dip for veggies (or chips if you are lazy- at least part of your snack is raw).

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What is the last book you read? 

The last book I read was " How to kill parasites naturally" by Dr. Overman and "Deep Truth" by Gregg Braden. A very big part of my practice is helping people eliminate parasitic infections. Most people don't realize that one of the BIGGEST causes of dis-eases are parasites and they aren't easy to eliminate. It has become a passion of mine to help people get to the root cause of an illness in order to treat it in as little time as possible, efficiently and gracefully.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be

I have visions all the time of me laying my hands on people for just a few minutes and all their ailments are gone. In these visions I am about 70 years old (and only look 40) and I am in a small temple like room high up in some mountains and people are making the journey to see me for their life transformations. This is the superhero I will be.

If aliens came by, (ya know the aliens that have "never” been to Earth before), what would you feed them first? I would feed them cherimoyas and cacao. 

 Puma St.Angel

Grace Grove Retreat Center

www.GraceGrove.com

928-649-0456

1280 Willow Point Rd  Cornville, AZ 86325

(928) 649-0456

~~Thanks Puma for sharing with us! I hope you are all inspired to find out more about this amazing center!

In love and health,

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

Stay Healthy While Healing Grief

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When going through a grieving process we often neglect our health. We over eat or have no appetite at all, or we fall into emotional eating patterns making unhealthy choices with food. 

I learned first hand about how diet affects mood while I went through my grieving process. Had I known then what I know now about how food affects mood, I could have moved through it somewhat easier. When I improved my diet, my mood and outlook on life changed drastically. As I began to feel better, my sleep and digestion improved.  

Stress, anxiety, depression, fear and anger deplete nutrients and neurotransmitters in our brain that greatly contribute to our moods. Along with exercise and counseling, diet is important in mood stabilization and healing. 

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So, what nutrients support brain and mood health? 

  • Omega 3’s
  • Tryptophan
  • Vitamin B’s especially B 12
  • A
  • D
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin 

These nutrients are abundant in a raw and plant based diet. Even just a simple increase in nutrient dense, whole foods to your existing diet, along with ridding your diet of simple carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol and caffeine will greatly improve your mood. 

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Food to add:

  • Fresh fruit & veggies
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Avocados
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Fresh green juices
  • Flax seed oil
  • Spirulina
  • Cacao

 

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Quick Avocado Spirulina Snack 

  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup spinach or favorite green, chopped

Mix it all up and enjoy!

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Power Packed Green Smoothie

  • 2-3 Cups of water (add more water if needed)
  • 1 small handful of each: Kale, Spinach, Dandelion
  • 1/2 Banana 
  • 1 Mango
  • 1/2 Cup Papaya 
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Hemp Seeds 
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds 
  • 1 Tablespoon Lecithin (Opt but nice)
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Butter or Oil 

Bland all ingredients together and enjoy!

Getting through grief isn't easy. It's a time to be compassionate and patient with yourself. Try and get out for a walk in the sun, talk to supportive friends, family or a counselor. Try and eat healthy. Remember it takes time, and there is not set time line. It's your time. Remember your loved one is always near. 

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."

 

Shine your love.....

In love and health, 

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/



 

 


Healing with Elaina Love & Her story of her beautiful son Dominic

In the Raw Food community, I had followed Elaina Love, an amazing Raw Food Chef and Cleansing and Detox Goddess, for quite awhile and 2 1/2 years ago when I read that her son Dominic was in treatment with leukemia I was dumb struck. I lost my daughter to leukemia as well. 

I was touched and so deeply moved at Elaina's grace, wisdom and beauty as she moved through this challenging time. When I lost my daughter I was in such a different place and only wish I had the awareness and spirit Elaina had through this ordeal and continues to shine with. I was blessed to have gotten to know Elaina through this journey and she truly has inspired my own deeper healing.  

I'm beyond honored that she has taken the time to write this beautiful story of her journey with Dominic and share her beautiful, loving heart. Thank you Elaina for sharing your heart. I love you. And thanks Dominic for shining your light and beautiful spirit!~~~Lori

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It’s been 2 years since my son Dominic left his earthly body and traveled to what I believe to be a free, and beautiful place . On January 5, 2010 his body, so depleted and consumed by leukemia , shut down for good and released Dominic’s spirit from his heavy, painful existence.

Today, as I sit here 2 years later, typing this, I remember the hospice he died in and all the beautiful wonderful people who surrounded me at that moment. My sister, my parents, my niece and my loving friends Dorothy and Robert were all there to support and love us through our journey, while they experienced their own process. This article is not about the pain I experienced, it is about the joys I experienced and the love that I have for my son.

During the year that he was sick, we tried many things to heal him. Some of them were natural, but most consisted of chemotherapy and drugs. This is the last thing I thought I would ever experience in my personal life since allopathic medicine is something I have eschewed in my own life for 20 plus years.

An interesting thing happens when you have children, and some of you reading this may know what I am talking about. We have to let go of all expectations of how their childhood will be, what we think it should look like and even how we parent. I remember saying many times during my 14 years of motherhood that parenting is a spiritual growth experience, that we need to let go of our expectations and outcome. It was never truer when Dom got leukemia. 

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Suddenly I found myself in the middle of a battle between what I thought was right and what I thought was wrong. At one point, I was fighting so hard, crying so hard and so angry about the fact that Dom was getting standard medical care and not doing what I thought he should be doing (going off of sugar and doing a raw food, wheatgrass diet), that I could see no joy, no optimism and no peace.

Then, one day sitting at my computer (I remember it vividly) a small voice came in and whispered “surrender”. I knew immediately what that meant. Stop the struggle, just love. Love Dom and his dad and everyone involved and just support the process. Be there for him, not antagonizing and struggling, but just loving and supporting. Be there for him in the only way I could, as his mother, as his support and as his friend.

After that moment (about 6 months after his diagnosis) everything got easier. I took him to his regular hospital visits, stayed with him night after night in a hospital room while he was pumped full of chemicals and just breathed and enjoyed every moment I could with him.

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Towards the end of our year journey with leukemia, I asked Dominic, “Do you think you are going to die?”  And he said “No!” I know that may sound like a strange question for a mother to ask her sick child, but it just came out so casually and innocently and he answered back with no charge. It was all in the flow of things. I remember that moment so clearly too, exactly which road we were on and the exact spot even. Interesting which memories stay forever embedded in the mind.

I believe that he was right. He did not die, he is still alive, just in another form. He comes to me often through dreams, thoughts and messages from other people. I have had countless people who are close to me say that Dom gave them a message for me. Maybe because they are easy to access since they have no charge around it. Who knows? One friend who I consider to be very psychically active said she got these messages one day flooding through as she was thinking of me…it was from Dom, He said, “Don’t worry mom, I am so free!”

The gifts I received from Dominic in our 14 years together are beyond words. His kind, loving heart, his soft, gentle nature, his great sense of humor all contributed so much to my life and the lives of those around us. I remember so often saying often to people that Dominic was an angel in a body. I can’t even remember how many times I said that. And it turned out to be true.

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Having reflected on Dom’s life for the past 2 years, I have come to the conclusion that Dominic’s life was not cut short at all. It was the perfect life and the perfect length for him. If the universe is a friendly place, then what could be good about Dominic dying, or transcending as I like to think of it? 

  • The amount of people in my raw food community that reached out and supported me both financially and energetically was astounding. The love I received was so beautiful and touching and heart opening.
  • Dom’s father and I had been friendly but not close after our divorce (10 years earlier) and we became really close again being a support system for each other. He was at the top of my call list. Dominic got to see his parents together again, treating each other with love, respect and kindness.
  • Dominic’s loving heart has been immortalized, and because of his illness I was as close with him as any mother would ever want to be with her child. Our last year together was beautiful, fun and memorable. We played hooky from school, went to movies, had a lot of fun together and did most of the things on his bucket list.
  • I remember him telling me during his last year in his body that he felt he had the best life ever, that he was happy and felt so lucky to be living this life.
  • He never complained (not even once) about his treatments, his hair loss, his nausea, his extreme pain as the leukemia took over his legs…never said “Why me?” This was a beautiful and great reminder to me whenever I feel sorry for myself. If a 14 year old boy could be so brave and so strong, how can I complain about anything?
  • My family and I grew closer as a result of Dom’s illness and death. We have been there for each other in a much deeper way since then.
  • I get to remember the perfect boy that I loved and who loved me before he became a teen …LOL!
  • I have become a stronger, more determined woman. I am teaching people how to keep their bodies and their children’s bodies healthy through cleansing and eating a raw, vegan diet.
  • My future center in the Phoenix area will include a raw food Academy, a restaurant, a gym and a healing center…this will be dedicated to Dominic and will help thousands of people transform their lives.

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Thank you Dominic! Thank you for your life, thank you for all that you taught me and thank you for being such a beautiful example of love, kindness and strength.

May we all be blessed with such a beautiful example in our lives and may our experiences make us stronger and more of who we desire to be.

In love and peace,

Elaina Love

I hope this inspires you as much as it does me. 

To learn more about Elaina and the amazing work she does, please visit her website: http://www.purejoyplanet.com/

In love and health, 

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

 

Healing Grief Through Yoga

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 "Life is eternal and love is immortal; And death is only a horizon, And a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." - Rossiter W. Raymond 

Death is the physical dropping of the body. It is a returning home for the soul. But for those of us left behind, the pain can be unbearable We miss the presence of that person in our lives. This causes a great deal of stress in our bodies. Our sleep, eating habits, immune system, balance, thinking and breathing are all affected. 

Grief affects us on every level, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Thankfully, so does yoga. Yoga literally means “to yoke” or unifying, to join the breath and the body, or body, mind and spirit. 

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"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." - Rabindranath Tagore 

Healing grief can be a challenging path to wander. If we can find a way to stay balanced and connected to our breath and hearts we CAN wander the path with a bit more ease. We will always hold the person in our hearts, but finding a way to stand in our grace, find acceptance and stay healthy can help us navigate the terrain with more self compassion.

Patanjali defines Yoga as “Citta Vrtti Nirodha”, translated as the suppression or calming of the mind's fluctuations. We can use the poses in yoga to bring balance, focus, concentration and stability to our lives. We can use the breath, pranayama, to calm us, reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression and help us sleep. Breath moves us into stillness and helps to bring us into the moment. Studies have actually shown that yogic style breath work has a 73% higher recovery rate than medications. 

 

"Your job is not to STOP mourning, but to stop ONLY mourning. It’s OK  to take a break and celebrate what is good.”  Scott Friedman

When you block your emotions, particularly the need to cry, you block the throat chakra, the chakra that governs the ability to speak your truth, speak up for yourself or just speak up. While going through grieving it’s important to be able to give a voice to your feelings.

 "Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. lf you can cry, with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.”  Swami Kripaulu

When grieving we also often shut down our heart chakra. The heart chakra is, as you would guess,is the love center. Shutting this chakra down can lead to feeling lonely, withdrawn, isolated and unable to be intimate. Closing this chakra can also lead to shallow breathing, which exacerbates sadness and depression. 

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In yoga, focus on a well rounded practice with a strong focus on throat and heart openers and breath work. Imagine movement and breath as a prayer, a surrender, a dedication. 

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As you flow into your healing yoga practice, let your inhale be a prayer and your exhale be a letting go of sorrow. Here's a beautiful prayer to use in your practice.

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

~Rabindranath Tagore 

Breathe in love, peace and stillness, Breathe out pain, loneliness and all that doesn't serve your bliss...

In Love and Health,

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

 

Healing Grief & Love Dedication

This Friday would have been my daughter, Brittany’s , 26th birthday. She left Earth at 5 years old due to complications from chemotherapy and leukemia. She fought a good fight and after a very short, 2 month long battle, we had to make a painful decision to not put her on life support. That was the hardest decision I will ever have to make in my life. It was also the most compassionate choice. 

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Brittany and Baby Erik

This week I've chosen to blog about Healing Grief and Trauma with the “5 Stages of Grief” which was coined in 1969 by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in honor of my daughter and to everyone anywhere who has lost a loved one. Chances are, if you are on the planet right now, you have lost a loved one, and if you haven’t, at some point you will. For more on the 5 Stages of Grief see the website:  http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

I’m hoping to hear your stories as well. I believe that through sharing our stories we help each other heal and come together in community. Community = To Come In Unity, together we support each other, together we heal. We are one after all. 

The 5 Stages of Healing are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

“ They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order.” 

 

 

 

Sadly, I never went through counseling. I blundered my way though a “burying process” of all feelings and pain, in fear that, should I allow feelings to come up I would simply go insane and never recover. I tried to stop feeling. I tried to become strong. Tried.....

Now, 21 years later, I have begun to allow my healing to come up, knowing that I will NOT go insane, although at times, it may feel like it. Allowing the feelings to come up will allow transformation of the pain of the loss, into the healing of the heart. 

I recently watched the movie Finding Joe about Joseph Campbell and what he calls The Hero’s Journey. This was a very moving and inspirational movie that I highly recommend if you are going through a loss of any kind and especially a loss of a loved one.

I can finally see my “Hero’s Journey” and I’m grateful to be on the heart healing path, the "Return". 

 

I have posted “my story” before here on this blog, http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/2012/02/my-heart-opening-journey.html But, the short story is that I did not go through the grief process very well or with any grace. But, I DID go through the 5 Stages of grief without being aware of it. It was a pretty messy and very untidy journey.  

Denial

Remembering the first few weeks and months, I see how much in Denial I was. I was in total shock, numb, disconnected and did not feel I was even in my body at all. I had a fantasy going on in my head that she was “just gone” for a while and that this was just not happening. Although there was a great deal of alcohol involved, I sort of slipped into the “life goes on as normal” role while everyone around me watched in pain and horror.

The denial process did serve as somewhat of a buffer from shear gut wrenching agony in the beginning.

Remember, it’s ok to be in denial. Let it serve you.

Anger

After the major part of the denial started to fall away, I was SO angry. I lashed out at everyone I could. Especially God. I lost all faith I had ever had. I screamed at God, cursed at God. I drank more. I hated myself and my life. I started being very destructive to myself. I directed the anger at everyone around me as well. I felt as though God had abandoned and betrayed me. I felt that no one in my life cared enough and every word of attempted comfort was taken by me as insincere. 

Remember it’s ok to be angry. Let anger be your support. 

Bargaining

The bargaining process for me was gut wrenching and raw. It began before she passed. I pleaded with God. I begged that if he would only spare her, heal her, I would do whatever I had to. I asked for him to take my life instead. Made a deal to be of service to people for the rest of my life, if he would just not take her from me. 

After she passed, it continued. I asked for her to be brought back. I asked that if she was brought back we would go to a new place to live so no one would know. It was an elaborate plan. 

Remember, it’s ok to bargain. Let bargaining keep you moving forward.

Depression

Once the realization set in that the baragining wasn’t going to happen, the depression came in and took hold of my life and didn’t fully let go for nearly 20 years. I wondered if life would ever be happy again. I also didn’t feel I had a right to be happy. 

Letting go of the notion that we have to be sad forever can be difficult. It can feel as if you are betraying your loved one. It was hard for me to take my son out to experience fun things because the thought that my daughter didn’t get to have the experience left me with a great deal of guilt. I had to do quite a bit of work to move through that. 

Remember that it’s ok to be depressed... Move through it with courage and self compassion.

Acceptance

As time went by I gradually moved into an acceptance of the situation. I did have to reorganize my thoughts of what acceptance meant. At first it felt that if I “accepted” it, I was saying it was “ok” and that I was “moving on” and forgetting her. It wasn’t any of that at all. 

I had to realize that acceptance for me, was just realizing that it had happened, that I couldn’t change it, that life WAS going to continue and I had to find a way to move on with life and take each day at a time. I had to be ok with not always being ok. It had to be ok to feel pain and sadness. I created ways to honor her. I still buy Christmas ornaments for her. For her birthday I find ways to do something special in her honor like taking blankets or stuffed animals to a children's hospital or donating to a cause. 

My Mother, has courageously been healing her heart by writing a beautiful book of our journey through this loss. The book will go to the publisher in a few weeks and is titled "Brittanys Rose". 

Remember that it IS ok to accept the loss and keep living. After all, isn’t that what your loved one would want for you?

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My Beautiful Mom and Me 

When you lose a loved one, your life really will never be the same. Learning to live your life without them isn’t easy. I highly recommend going to some kind of counseling and finding as much support as you can in the early stages of healing. 

We are all affected by loss and trauma at some point. We are living in times that seem to be desensitized to healing grief and trauma. The more we can open our hearts and recognize the pain each of us may be carrying and learn to love each other the more transformation and healing will take place in the world. 

In the comment section, I’d love for you to share a story or leave a love dedication in honor of someone you have lost and how you celebrate their lives....

In love and Health, 

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

 

Featuring Omar & Rawtopia in Salt Lake City!

Three years ago I took a trip from So Cal to Utah. I had looked up raw food restaurants in Utah and found one, Omar's Rawtopia ( http://www.omarsrawtopia.com/ ) in Salt Lake City's quaint Sugarhouse area. So, I was on a mission to get there. I've eaten at many, many raw food places all over the west and wondered what I would find in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have to tell you that I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Rawtopia is one of THE best raw food restaurants I've EVER eaten at!

I have since moved to Salt Lake City and I live barely one mile from Rawtopia! Yeah for me and my tummy!

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The Culinary Guru of Rawtopia, Omar Abou-Ismail, has got to be one of the most love filled, authentic, spiritual and simply beautiful people I have EVER met! His food is amazingly delish and his hugs are the sweetest ever. He RADIATES peace and love! 

I have such a challenge deciding what to order because everything is so amazing! But, a few of my favorites are the Sweet Basil Salad, Raw Pizza and the Bean Burrito. I ALWAYS get a Ginger Aid, which is the yummiest drink on the planet, lemon blended with ginger, goji berries and cayenne. And then, because my down fall is raw desserts, I ALWAYS order dessert. 

As you read the interview with Omar, you can see what a beautiful and special person he is and can get a sense that all the food that is created here is filled with love. 

So, with that said, meet Omar of Rawtopia..... 

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What made you go raw?

I felt inspired by a lady that taught meditation and only ate raw food.  She looked really vibrant and told me that our diet is linked to our body and spirit.  I also read John Robbin’s book, a diet for a new America and The Food Revolution.  Then, after being Vegan, I got really sick one day and decided that I needed to go raw for the ultimate benefit of nutrition.  

What are some raw food staples in your current diet?

Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, irish moss, bee pollen, all veggies, kimchi or other fermented foods, most fruit such as berries, mango, grapefruit, Utah summer fruits (apples, pears, peaches, apricot, plums…), raw cultured butter from grass fed sheep/goat/cow, herbal teas and chinese medicinal mushrooms, chaga mushroom…  

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Are you 100% raw?

I was from 2004-2012, however, now I don’t like to identify or label myself as 100% raw.  I felt like I was just too extreme and had some sort of complex about food if it wasn’t raw or vegan.  I’ve managed to get out of that label.  I now don’t say I’m vegan, raw, or vegetarian, nor do I say I’m an omnivore, herbivore, or carnivore.  I am a human, and I’m a conscious eater, I love eating live foods, and I respect and honor all traditions.  I am not better than anyone, or healthier, I am in tune with my body and what the Universe provides me, as long as my food carries a healthy energy (sustainable, organic, loved) I shall partake.  

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What inspired you to create Rawtopia?

It’s sort of a long story, but I can summarize…   I graduated as a geophysicist 2002, worked for 3 years as a geoscientist, then I was planning to go back to school and get my masters…  However, my dad got ill with cancer (2004), and so I took care of him, and after he passed away (2004) I was convinced that I needed to be out there teaching people how to eat consciously and setting a great example through myself and my restaurant.  So I opened in 2005, and it just happened, it was like the universe made it happen, I am just an instrument..  http://www.omarsrawtopia.com/

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What's the best way for a raw newbie to get into raw foods?

Well, I say just start by making morning smoothies, with apple, pear, seeded orange, kale, chard, mustard, dandelion or whatever greens you’ve got, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella, maca and water…   and end your day with a nice big salad and a yummy dressing…  

Can you share with us a favorite recipe or dish? 

My favorite recipe probably is making a walnut pate…  2 cup walnut (soaked or dry, your choice) 1 red bellpepper, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ tsp salt (or more if you like salty), ½ tsp cumin, and optional: cayenne pepper, and/or (¼ onion, 1 garlic (if you are into onion and garlic like I am)) and a little water to puree, food processor them and then put on cabbage with some diced tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, Yummy, easy and delicious…  I sometimes eat it with collards…  or both : )

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How is your spiritual life in conjunction with the raw foods lifestyle? How does it all relate for you?

So my thing is to feel connected to thyself, and to be connected to thyself it is important to be connected to the earth, and to be connected to the earth, it is important to eat of her food without the processing and fabrication of her food so that you are eating her living pure energy with all her magic, color and wonder.  Then walk barefoot when you can, breath deeply, love truly, dance freely, hike/swim/bike/ski/be active in nature/ and star gaze…  Meditate and Do Yoga!  All this helps awaken our senses, oh and have intimacy with lovers, listen to audio tapes like The Power of Now, New Earth, The Four Agreement (so important), Deepak Chopra stuff, and all the cool positive stuff… 

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How do you come up with a recipe?

I just do, it’s like life just happens, flowers just bloom, creativity just flows…

What's one thing that most people don't know about you? 

I love myself so much, so I can love you so much, so you can love you so much, so you can start loving me : )   

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Do you think it's vital to be 100% raw?

No, it’s vital to love, it’s vital to exercise, it’s vital to eat consciously and listen to your body, it’s vital to eat your fruit and veggies, fermented foods, do cleanses such as liver cleanse, colon cleanse, kidney, fasting…  It’s vital to get sunlight, gaze at sunset, breathe breathe and breathe, stretch, dance, play, have fun, be the amazing creature that we are, cooperate with everyone, hold hands, we are all one, be free in your mind and body, pray for & love your enemies, pray for thyself…

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If you were to eat any cooked food you wanted what do you think you would eat? 

Eggplants, lentils, beans, quinoa, and wild rice, and medicinal mushrooms…

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What raw principles do you personally embrace?

I love that raw food means living foods…  And living foods generate life in our living body…  Living foods for the living Body, yeah!

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Have you experienced any deficiencies on the raw food diet? What does the optimum raw diet consist of and do you take any supplements?

Umm, not really, I mean if you read above what I eat, I cover a lot of foods I eat, so I feel great.  Sometimes I’ll eat local eggs in the summer time when chickens are laying a lot of eggs for extra protein and B12…  I experiment with fish oils as well for proper omegas….  But all this is really random and rare, I do it to be on the safe side and give my body what the Universe presents me with…  I think the optimal raw food diet should consist of all seeded, unhybridized fruits, all vegetables that are edible to humans, wild food, wild greens, including fermented foods such as kimchi….

Do you ever get sick?

Very rarely, and when I do I’m better in a couple of days, but never been so sick that I can’t do my normal activities like working, working out, and what I normally do.  A slight runny nose or a little throat congestion, but never serious at all…  I remember before I started to eat consciously I would get really sick and it was painful, never could go out of the house…  But I’ve never been down like that since I’ve been eating consciously and working out and being positive… 

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Not everyone can be a great chef or spend the time as preparing. What suggestions would you give for the simple person?

Think of what you love to eat, get the spices and herbs used in that dish, and try to create it raw.  Instead of cheese, use cashews, instead of chicken/meat us mushrooms like crimini, or portabello, marinate things over several hours the veggies will soak up stuff and soften.  Look on line, you tube, for recipes, books, and just follow your intuition or what you are feeling like and recreate it in a healthy way…

What is the last book you read?

Shaman Way of Bees

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If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I already am a superhero, my superpower is Love : )  mwa thank you!

 

Yes, Omar, you ARE definitely a Superhero! Thanks Omar for the amazing interview!~~~Lori 

Rawtopia is located at 2148 S Highland Drive Salt Lake City, Utah 84106

801-486-0332 

http://www.omarsrawtopia.com/

I hope you all get a chance to experience Omar's Rawtopia! It's WELL worth the trip. And if you DO, let me know and I'll meet you for lunch! 

In Love and Health,

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

Just A Few Of My Favorite Books!

I am obsessed with books. I am obsessed with learning. (I am also obsessed with yellow highlighters.) So, I wanted to share a FEW of my favorite books with you. I’d also love to hear from you....what are YOUR favorite books? 

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Just one of my bookcases......

My professional life is so diverse...I’m a massage therapist, holistic health counselor, yoga instructor, watsu therapist and raw foods instructor....so, I am always reading a variety of books to stay up to date and to be able to offer my clients and students new and inspiring information. 

I’m also in LOVE with inspirational and self development books. The Human Spirit living fully self expressed, on fire and passionately alive really turns me on!

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So, I’m sharing with you 5 of my favorites here. It was pretty hard to narrow it down!

For my favorite Raw Food Prep book, I have to say Mimi Kirk’s, Live Raw is hands down my favorite. The recipes are divinely delish, the pictures are amazing, each page is just beautiful to look at. Although I’m slightly biased, as I was fortunate enough to actually assist Mimi in working on her dessert section (I actually constructed the peach dessert featured on the cover), the quality of every aspect of this book is outstanding in every way. Mimi herself is a jewel in this community as well!

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I love to know the science behind nutrition. (Yes, I'm a little geeky with my glasses and yellow highlighter). And when it comes to the science of raw food nutrition, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Molina are the experts in the field. They have two books out that I love, one on raw food, Becoming Raw and one one vegan food (cooked) Becoming Vegan

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I highly recommend that if you are raw or considering a raw diet, that you check out Becoming Raw. It’s important to understand how to create a balanced diet and ensure you are getting the proper nutrients into your body. For me, I follow the science over the Raw Food “Guru’s” who are selling exotic “super foods” that claim to heal everything from foot fungus to dandruff. 

So, check out the science behind raw food from registered dietitians. Brenda and Vesanto Molina also work with The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, the leading raw foods school in Northern California.

Along the same lines of science, I adore the Dr Oz and Dr Michael Roizens, “You” book series. I believe that, especially in the times we are living in now, we need to educate ourselves to be able to be our own health care advocates. They bring an amazing sense of fun and humor to science and are easy to read and understand. 

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In the self enlightenment section I have a hard time picking my favorites. But, what I’m reading at the moment is an amazing book called Psycho-Pictography, by Vernon Howard. I love this book. It is a serious paradigm shifter. It cuts through the limitations we have created for ourselves due to our limited beliefs and thought patterns to create powerful new ways of being and showing up in our lives. 

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Here are a few of my favorite concepts in the book:

“Our growth into full personal power is basically a process of discard.... Discard what? 

Unrealistic beliefs

Unworkable assumptions

Painful imaginations

False Illusions

Impulsive decisions

Hazy Judgments”

“Why is it so hard for me to change my attitudes? Because you identify with them, you think you ARE your attitudes. You think that if you abandon these attitudes you will be left empty, without support” When you drop these false attitudes you are able to find your true self with its genuine virtues.....”

“Moving from one corner of a stalled elevator to the other does not carry you upwards, Make sure you are using genuine principles of progress, such as self honesty and sincere intention. Upward movement can be felt, there is no mistaking it.”

Oh..I could go on and on... Definitely on my top 10 list of incredible books of self transformation!

Another favorite inspirational book that I often carry with me, is A Daily Dose of Inspiration, by Alan Cohen. This is a nice little book of short stories, quotes, affirmations and questions for the reader to ponder and reflect on. It is usually in my car or bag so that if I have a few minutes of down time I can read a story or to that gives my soul a pick me up, recharge and uplift. It is also a favorite on my gift list! 

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Also, check out yesterdays post on Brian Johnson and the Philosophers Notes http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/2012/02/brian-johnson-and-the-philosophers-notes.html for a list of over 100 of the most amazing inspirational and transformative books out there!

 

So, what are YOU reading now? What are your all time favorites and why?? Share it!

In Love and Health,

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/

 

 

 

 

Brian Johnson and The Philosophers Notes

I thought I would start sharing some books that have been especially inspiring to me on the blog and realized that some of the MOST inspiring information has come from an AMAZING guy who has taken the most AMAZING books and come up with an AMAZING way to share the info. 

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So,If you have never heard of Philosophers Notes http://philosophersnotes.com/why or Brian Johnson then, please, make a cup of tea, take a seat and check out todays blog. You will be very glad you did.

Brian Johnson is the master mind of the Philosophers Notes, which are essentially the Cliff Notes of personal growth books. He shares these in Mp3 files that also have an accompanying PDF file that highlight the “Big Ideas” and “Quotes” from the books for those of us, like me, who need a visual, a place to write thoughts and highlight.

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I have a ritual now that I nearly always start my day off with one of the Philosophers Notes as I get ready for my day or as I go for a walk with my iPod. It really sets the tone of my day and always leaves me excited! Each Mp3 is only about 20 minutes long but is JAMMED packed with one “AH HA” after the next! Brian has a fun, laid back style and a great sense of humor that makes it all the more fun to listen to the notes. 

The “Notes” are a collection of over 100 Mp3 files with some of the most inspirational books around! A few of my favorite are Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Courage to Create by Rollo May... Really, there’s not one that isn’t my favorite!  

Brian also does mini versions of the Mp3’s on Youtube. Here are a few of my favorites! 

   

 

 

 

Brian, along with his equally amazing wife Alexandra, have created en*theos academy http://entheosAcademy.com/#2 that is delivering awesome online courses from the top leaders in nutrition, relationships, positive psychology and more! 

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Check it out!

 

 

Brian is also featured in the inspiring movie, Finding Joe....

 

 

I hope you go check out Brian's website for more amazing and juicy tid bits of information! Also.....Go to the website for 3 FR*EE notes! 

Live the good life! Live the INSPIRED life! 

In Love and Health, 

Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC

http://www.pureblisshealth.com/