Sunday, February 14, 2016

A DIFFERENT LOOK AT LOVE AND WARM OAT CEREAL with medjool dates, Hunza raisins, and Indian spices

Valentine's day is one cloaked in controversy and fluff and expectation. It can be beautiful in it's most humble sense - a day set aside to show those around you how much you care. It can be a day to pause and acknowledge the beautiful person you are. But it can be painful - a reminder of loss or disappointment or what never was.

But today, on this day of love, I wonder if we focus on a bit larger picture.

I love the idea of love God [or Spirit or whatever designation you've bestowed on this essence we understand as larger than ourselves] and love others.

I've found that sinking into this mystery of Spirit, sitting quietly in its presence, has led me into greater compassion for others. Rather than reacting from my own place of hurt, I am slowly learning to see first this light of Spirit we all share. A oneness we can enjoy because we are human and alive and here, on this earth, together. Differences slowly break under the weight of grace. Everything around is alive with a gentle yet powerful pulse.

In this place, wounds can be healed. A larger, more grand view of life set in place.

I don't write this as a theoretical idea - a notion I believe but haven't tested to be true.

Over the last two years I've worked intentionally to heal the brokenness stored deep within the crevices of my body, some a lifetime old. I've delved into yoga as more than a physical practice, but as a way of being. I've critically thought through the faith I was given at birth, wrestled it, and released what needed to go. I've grieved and celebrated and faced down all the fears and emotion I expend so much energy desperately trying to silence. And I've asked all the questions I've been afraid of. I've made space in my life for doubt and confusion and settled into not having the answers to some very big things.

And I've come out of all of this still walking. Still breathing. Still smiling although now in more settled, free, and authentic way.

On this day we call Valentine's, may you sink into whatever discomfort arises. May you equally melt into the joy. May you welcome all of the feelings that rise to the surface and give them a place at your interior table, acknowledging their importance and worth in your life. And then may you embrace the ones that lead you to a deeper sense of loving God and loving others. May you have the courage to go deep within yourself with a powerful sense of curiosity, dig up what lies there, and move into a place so much grander than you could ever imagine.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elizabeth Kubler Ross


This morning I woke up with this intense need for a warm, nourishing, grounding, and balancing breakfast. This recipe is my go to, especially when daybreak presents itself in the single digits. The spices found in the Korma powder are excellent at warming the body from the inside and anchoring the airy, empty feeling that so often comes from eating non-seasonally within the winter season [for example, cold salads and ice cream when the earth is covered in white]. Adding strong spices increases the flavor and satisfaction of the food, thus decreasing the need for excessive sweetener and salt.

Serves 4

1 1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
3 - 4 c. water [adjust to thickness desired, less water will give you a thicker cereal]
1/8 c. chia seeds
2 T. ghee
1 heaping tsp. Korma powder [see recipe below]
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. sea salt
6 - 8 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
1/4 c. Hunza golden raisins

Garnish options: maple syrup or raw honey, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, fresh or frozen berries, cut apple or pear, milk of choice, toasted coconut flakes

Korma Powder Recipe:

1 T. whole coriander seeds
1 T. whole cumin seeds
1 T. whole fennel seeds
1 T. whole mustard seeds
1 T. whole fenugreek seeds
1 T. whole cardamom seeds
1 T. poppy seeds
1 T. whole pepper seeds
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 T. ground ginger
1 T. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cloves

Place all Korma powder ingredients in a spice grinder or Vitamix dry container. Blend on high until a very fine powder is achieved. Transfer to an glass container with tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dark place.

In a medium size sauce pan, combine oats, chia seeds, cardamom, ginger, Korma powder, and sea salt. Add water and ghee and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Once water boils, reduce heat to low, add dates and raisins, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Add more water for a thinner consistency.

Divide into bowls and top with garnishes desired. Serve warm.

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