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New Holiday Rituals

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Events, Featured, Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Holiday Rituals

New Holiday Rituals

The prospect of holidays can be dismal for some of us. Especially when we’ve lost someone near and dear to us. This is the situation facing my family and I as we head into December without mom. Our holiday season starts on December 19th which marks the day of the family’s patron saint, St. Nicholas (following the Julian calendar) and it continues through until Christmas Day on January 7th (One could count it even further to the new year marked on the 14th of January). Quite honestly , the holidays always ran a tad overlong for me. I did, however, enjoy cooking with mom and preparing the feast for St. Nicholas as it was a (mostly – fish being permitted) vegan occasion. It began with brainstorming what we wanted to cook as in later years she was quite open to trying new dishes (yay!) instead of simply eliminating the meat and dairy from the usual fare (thereby eliciting complaints and feelings of deprivation from the carnivorous food critics in the clan). Think baked beans and cabbage rolls minus the greasy pork that most claimed was the necessary, and missing, piece. Last year, mom and I left dad at home and did all of our grocery shopping, just the two of us. And for the first time, because she was in pain, she allowed me to do much of the work. When it came time for the meal, she actually sat down with all who had come to join us. This was a first, that she didn’t hover and keep filling plates, and keep working to feed all of her guests. It’s how we all saw that she really wasn’t doing well and that in likelihood she wouldn’t be around next year. And here we are. As I spent the time with her last year, I felt this would be the last time for us and I felt driven to promise silently that I would continue this tradition of cooking on this day and honouring the spirit of her patron saint, whose spirit is one of spreading kindness and generosity. And so, facing the holidays without her, I feel the need to create new rituals to honour and remember her. My sisters and I will gather and craft a simple yet nourishing and inspired meal. We’ll probably make the baked beans, maybe there will be some fish. The key piece will be the cabbage rolls. Mom was an intuitive cook and liked to be spontaneous and in doing so was capable of crafting some truly delicious dishes (and then never be able to recreate them because she couldn’t remember all that had gone into them!). In that spirit, the cabbage rolls will be made and brought to Source Centre to share with all who come. Alongside some other nibbles, apple cider and more. I hope you will be able to join us and share a toast this holiday...

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On Loving the Cold!

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Featured, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on On Loving the Cold!

On Loving the Cold!

(Image: “winter landscape” by dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) As the temperature begins to drop and the days get darker, I begin to hear a lot of complaints about the cold weather and impending winter. Granted, it’s often coming out of my mouth, however certainly not exclusively so. ..( You know who you are. And what are we doing living in Canada anyway if we have a problem with winter ;)) In the spirit of gratitude that we aim to cultivate and grow every day, here are some things that I enjoy about these cooler seasons that I like to remember, and would like to share (so you can remind me when I go off again!): *Persimmons are back, cheap and delicious. If you missed it last year, here is my ode to this delicious fruit. *Now is truly the best time to eat spicy foods. I take this time to enjoy hot spiciness on most everything. Warms you up right from the inside and keeps your nasal passages clear. *Drinking tea especially brewing homemade chai tea right on the stovetop. The intoxicating scent of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom wafting through the house is heavenly. Apple cider and mulled wine is nice too! And what about soup and freshly baked bread? There’s nothing like making your own food and feeling the heat and enjoying the anticipation of a hot, delicious, nourishing meal. Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm! Lest you think all that I enjoy about fall and winter is food, let me tell you about: *Bundling up in the long, precious scarf my mom lovingly knit me, knowing that she spent many hours and put so much care into it to keep me warm. *Snowy nights and the crisp air. How beautiful and peaceful! Consider a winter morning after a snowfall and the beauty of the snow draped branches. *How about slip-sliding on the sidewalk? Snowball fights with friends? One is never too old to toboggan and just get totally dunked and covered in snow, not caring about being dry or dignified.  What of the beauty of rosy cheeks? *How about curling around a fireplace and feeling its light and warmth? How about holidays and parties and red wine and cheese trays (oh, guilty pleasures!)? *Cuddling under warm covers and watching a movie or reading a great book.   I feel the winter is a great time to commit to a lengthy classic. This is how I finally read War and Peace (particularly recommended for those who complain about winter and the cold – get a taste of Russian winter as experienced by the unknowing  troops of Napoleon! BRRRRRR!!!). *How about skiing and snowboarding and skating and hot chocolate?   *How about trying something new? A friend of mine was just talking about her plans to go dog-sledding in Algonquin Park this winter for the second time. She said it was such a rush… You in? How are you making this fall/winter...

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There is Enough

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on There is Enough

There is Enough

Recently, I joined the online traveler’s network, CouchSurfing.com. I was preparing for a trip to London, U.K, a location I had never traveled to, and was therefore lacking contacts in. While browsing the network for available hosts (an activity that felt eerily like creeping an online dating website) I came upon a review for a potential candidate. I was so taken by the reviewer’s warm words, and, upon visiting his page, his fascinating views and interests, that I decided to contact him. Since then, we have become good penpals. I look forward to receiving his emails (he is currently away from his hometown of Seattle, travelling through Europe and full of touching and exciting stories of his travels), and I am moved by how sincerely open we both are, as relative strangers. Now, being hundreds of thousands of miles apart may be just the buffer to enable real openness in a culture that often feels estranged. Indeed, at our nearest in daily life here in Toronto, it seems we are the most alienated (think of a packed subway car at rush hour, and the multitude of averting eyes). And yet, the longing for intimacy is palpable. I am frequently endeared to strangers, but I don’t always reach out to them with a smile or acknowledgement. I often puzzle over this hesitation about the innate desire to connect. It seems that protection is the action fear advises when confronted with intimacy. It is easy to feel safe when distant enough from others to be less than visible. However, the impulses of protection or defensiveness are rooted in the belief that there is not enough within us or for us to be truly seen and received as such. At the heart of the Shambhala tradition, a secular revisioning of the core Tibetan Buddhist teachings evolved by Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche, is the idea of basic goodness; it states that the foundation of everything is a goodness without foil, without opposite. In my experience, committing to this truth is like tapping into a limitless spring; it is about a deep and inalienable knowing that there is enough. If there is anything my own journey has taught me it’s that perspective is key; if we hold to the belief that there is not enough then we will invite and act out that reality. It is truly up to us what kind of world we wish to live in. And we have the power to choose. So, why not choose abundance? Why not choose basic goodness? What if, even in our day-to-day encounters, we could approach each other, and perhaps most importantly ourselves, holding that longing for connection, buoyed by our sense of these innate truths? If I ever meet my penpal face-to-face, I will choose to hold this abundance in my heart. Perhaps the next time you get on the subway, you will choose to share a smile or kind word with a...

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Clear Day Magic

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Events, Featured, Health, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Clear Day Magic

Clear Day Magic

On Saturday October 27th Source Centre co-hosted a Clear Day event with Integrate Chiropractic (Dr. Derek Cain).  All week we have been receiving exceptional feedback from our attendees!  Clear Days are a full day community healing event that Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) chiropractors around the world create to provide a focused and intensified environment for people who have been under NSA care.  At Clear Days we provide 3 powerful entrainments to the participants over the course of the day.  We generally have 4 or 5 NSA chiropractors working side by side during these sessions and with many people receiving entrainments at once a powerful synergy is created.  The 3 entrainments take our participants on a journey through the “Seasons of Wellbeing”: Discover, Transform, and Awaken.  We also provide workshops to deepen the healing process.  This time around we had a Somato Respiratory Integration Workshop with Angie Dairou that left people with a deep knowing that they are “ENOUGH”… just as they are… even though they may have been told otherwise for much of their lives.  We also had Virma take our participants through a Kundalini Yoga workshop which got people moving anger in their bodies and connecting with love in their heart.  Myself and my husband, Dr. Robert Coddington, shared a workshop on understanding masculine and feminine energies within each of us and we experienced how to cultivate more masculine or feminine presence in our bodies.  Included in the day was a truly delicious lunch provided by “Portobello Burger”. I used to be surprised by the magic that would unfold with these healing events.  Nowadays I come to expect it.  This Clear Day did not disappoint.  It is incredible to witness our Practice Members touching deep places within and then being opened up to the magic within their hearts.  I am grateful to the work of Dr. Donald Epstein who has helped us provide such powerful and transformational work to so many people.  I am also grateful to our communities and participants who love this work and keep coming back for more and more depth, healing, and growth.  Here is what one of our participants, who has been to numerous Clear Days, wanted to share with anyone who is interested in participating: “Enter with a heart that is open to yourself, others, and discovery.  Suspend the desire to judge or leave with answers.  Be open.  Then hold the events, feeling, energy of the day in your heart for as long as possible afterwards and you will learn and/or grow from the richness of everyone’s experience.”   Stay tuned for the next Clear Day – set to happen in the spring of...

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‘Dip-Off’ Winning Recipe!

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Featured, Recipes, Uncategorized | Comments Off on ‘Dip-Off’ Winning Recipe!

‘Dip-Off’ Winning Recipe!

(Image: Bowl of Green Olives by adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) We’re pleased to bring you the crowd’s favourite dip from our Source Centre Social ‘Dip-Off’ event. Brought to the Social by Dr. Allison Barriscale and adapted from the Moosewood Resaurant – New Classics, this dip is great served with crackers or crisp toast or your carb of choice. It’s also extremely easy and quick to make. GREEN OLIVE & ARTICHOKE TAMPENADEYields about 3 cupsTotal time: 30 minutes   Ingredients:5 artichoke hearts (14-ounce can, drained)1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped1 cup pitted green or Spanish garlic olives2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (optional) to 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oilcracked or ground black pepper to taste Toast walnuts at 350º in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. In the bowl of a food processor*, whirl the artichoke hearts, walnuts, olives, garlic, parsley, and lemon peel, if using, for a few seconds until everything is uniformly minced. Scrape down the sides if necessary, add the lemon juice and olive oil, and process for a few more seconds until the mixture forms a rough paste (not a smooth puree but a cohesive paste). Season with pepper to taste.  Enjoy! *Can also be done in a blender, if a food processor is unavailable.Tapenade is best served at room temperature and can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week. PER 1-OUNCE SERVIING: 77 CALORIES, 1.4 G PROTEIN, 7.4 G FAT, 2.5 G ARBOHYDRATES, 0.8 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, 0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 241 MG SODIUM, .4 G TOTAL DIETARY...

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Gifts of Life

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Events, Featured, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gifts of Life

Gifts of Life

(Image: Heart Shaped Plumeria Flowers by Witthaya Phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Confession: I’ve never given blood before. In fact, I’m quite squeamish when it came to these sort of things (which is ironic if you know me and my interests). I’ve wanted to give blood, love the idea of sharing a precious resource, giving myself literally and helping others in life and death situations. Because when you think about it, it always is life and death when it comes to blood. But the thought of it has always made me feel faint and slightly nauseated. I had blood drawn once for medical testing and I hated the whole experience. It made me feel weak, weird, swooning. I couldn’t look as it was being done. I swore that far too much blood was drawn and I was left with far too little. This whole thing was not for me, unfortunately. Then in early 2010, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The doctors told her she would be transfusion dependent for the remainder of her life. Over the course of that summer and early fall, she received a few, regular transfusions. She disliked the process but was extremely grateful for the gift of blood, as we all were because it meant she was still with us. As it turns out, her doctor’s pronouncement was wrong. With the help of a new diet and some care, she began regenerating her own blood again (a story for another post) and lived another year and a half until she passed, peacefully, earlier this year. For me, there were so many things to learn in this time and so many feelings to process. One thing that keeps recurring was the need to contribute, in gratitude, and in honour of mom who wouldn’t have had the extra time she had to revisit old friends and old family, to see her youngest daughter married, to impart love and wisdom to her grandchildren without someone’s (and actually many peoples) selfless gift of blood. So, my nervousness remains but it is a slight thing in the face of my commitment. And nothing would please me more than to have You join me and the others at Source Centre in making a donation of blood in our Partners in Life program. In exchange for your gift, we want to offer you thanks with a gift in return. Please click here for more information on how you can join our program and the gifts that await. With love and...

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