So, here we are in February & what better month to invite a namaste heart?! February boasts a multitude of heart centered holidays and is considered national heart health month, creative romance month and wedding month.  Valentine’s day, random acts of kindness day, love your pet day, be humble day and send a card to a friend day are just some of the ways we can honor each other’s hearts this month. 

My husband and I recently traveled to India in celebration of both our birthdays in January and our 20 year anniversary this year! It was magical, enriching, loving and super inspiring to be traveling again with my life partner. We enjoyed the most incredibly complex, delicious, nourishing food, beautiful beaches, busy cities and warm, friendly people everywhere we went. The experience has left us feeling grand hope and optimism for the years ahead and a present sense of everyday namaste. Litereally translated, namaste is; “I bow to you” & I believe the feeling it evokes, with it’s accompanying mudra-hands to heart- honors our own hearts and in turn, our shared human experience.

In India, we received Namaste as a deeply felt greeting with the undeniable shared experience of the heart. It’s a greeting like nothing we commonly use here because it suggests that the person offering it truly sees you, and you them. Namaste not only honors and acknowledges our shared humanity, it also asks for nothing in return. It’s profound in its simplicity and it’s one of the things that created an immediately warm sense of welcome throughout India last month.  

Part of staying heart-healthy is bringing that old friend, the observer, or awareness, to our hearts on the daily.

Our essence, all of us, is divine love, but sometimes the complicated world of living shields us from remembering this simple fact. For a myriad of reasons, our hearts can close throughout the day and these brief, or prolonged closings, shut us off from our potential to grow, learn from our unpleasant experiences as it blocks our energy from receiving that openhearted joy we crave.

Part of staying heart-healthy is bringing that old friend, the observer, or awareness, to our hearts on the daily.

The whole of our heartspace can become blocked, tight or heavy by habitual holding patterns, called Samskaras. These are old habits (and new) we have of shutting down; they’re patterns of thought, and physical & emotional reactions. When we allow our hearts to close, it doesn’t protect us from anything, it just cuts us off from our source of energy and keeps us locked inside. We begin to build muscle memory around the heart and in the ribcage the more often we close. Not healthy for our hearts.

How many times a day do you notice your heart close? And open?  And what are your triggers for both?

That holding and constriction is always a choice & we can choose to release it every time we notice- because we can’t be receptive with our hearts closed. 

What if we set new patterns (samskaras) for opening the heart when we notice it beginning to cut us off from connection and flow?  It could be as simple as noticing some form of beauty around us, or shutting the eyes and saying a mantra or a devotion.  Ask yourself: What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?

Or stop, breathe deep and do a a couple yoga poses to shift your physical perception and think about what it’s like to feel inspiration and enthusiasm pour from your heart. Think about what it’s like to feel energy well up in your heart, making you confident and strong. Think about what it’s like to feel your heart bursting with love.

Letting go & releasing the grip is always an option, and when we choose it, the relief is felt in every cell as the nervous system relaxes and finds ease.

Live with power and love.


Now, for a heart healthy recipe made with love and wholesome, organic, plant based ingredients and served at tomorrow’s Heart-Centered Deep Dive 2/10/19 Sunday 12:30-2:30

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Serves 2-4 Cooking time about 45 mins oven temp 375

1 butternut squash. Top removed, halved, seeds & pulp removed

3tsp olive oil

1/2 cup quinoa (red, white or tricolor)

1/4 cup orange lentils (or any quick cook lentil bean variety)

2 Cups water

1 onion diced

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1/2 bunch of kale (any kind) de-spined and finely chopped

1 carrot grated

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cumin seed

1/4 tsp ground corriander 

1/4 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp chopped fresh mint

1/2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbls toasted pumpkin seeds or halved pistachio nuts

Dash of salt and pepper

Drizzle of chili oil *optional

Course sea salt or Kosher *optional

Brushing both halves of the squash with about 1 tsp olive oil, then salt and pepper then place on a parchment lined baking sheet face up for about 45 mins or until tender when pierced with a fork.

While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling:

Add quinoa, lentils and water to a saucepan and cook according to quinoa package’s instructions.

While quinoa/lentil is cooking, prepare the veggies, then sautée the cumin seeds, onions & garlic in hot olive oil (about 2 tsp) until translucent, then turn down the heat and add all the spices and stir.  Add the kale and carrot and turn the heat back up and cook until kale & carrots soften. This should only take about 5-7 mins before you remove from heat. (You don’t want to overcook because they’ll keep cooking once you add to the cooked grain mix.) Once the quinoa and lentils are cooked, fluff them up with a fork and let sit for about 5 mins. Add the veggie mix to the cooked quinoa/lentils & mix it all together. Let this sit while you chop the fresh herbs.

When the squash comes out of the oven, scoop some of the flesh out. Mash it a little and gently add it to your grain/veg mixture, then simply scoop the grain/veg mixture into the squash ‘bowl’ . Sprinkle the fresh herbs & seeds/nuts on top, season to taste with course or Kosher salt and perhaps add a few drizzles of chili oil over the dish.

Enjoy Friends! And please comment and share this post :))

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