Monday, 18 November 2013

3 Ways Culinary Lavender Can Help You Find the Love of Your Life

If you are looking for love, or just looking to cook some delicious food, culinary lavender is a definite must.
Taking the proverb 'A way to a man's heart is through his stomach' as inspiration, I have collated my 3 favourite lavender recipes, which was in itself a very tough task, considering the possibilities of culinary lavender in food are almost endless!
Once that special someone gets that first scent of lavender they will be memorised! At the very least you will almost definitely fall in love with culinary lavender.
Culinary Lavender can be added to almost anything, from a thirst quenching lemonade to a light and fluffy lavender, raspberry and blueberry cake.
My top 3 recipes are:-
Lavender Lemonade - Refreshing and floral, this lavender lemonade is the perfect summer beverage.
  • 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 cups water
  1. Combine 2 and a half cups of water, two tablespoons of culinary lavender and half a cup of sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes. Cover the pot and let it stand for at least one hour.
  3. Using a fine sieve, strain the lavender from the liquid. Place the liquid in a large serving jug and discard the lavender.
  4. Juice three lemons into the jug and add an additional two cups of water stirring well to combine.
  5. Chill the lemonade until it is cold and serve with crushed ice and a sprig of Lavender for decoration.
Almond & Lavender Cake - This light, delicious, mouth watering cake will change your life!
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons of Dried Culinary lavender
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup double cream
2-1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons boiling water
3/4 cup icing sugar
Additional dried lavender flowers (optional)
Grease a 10″ pan and sprinkle with sugar; set aside. Place 1/2 cup sugar, almonds and 1 tablespoon lavender in a blender; cover and process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy; beat in almond mixture until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and double cream. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream mixture, beating well after each addition.
Pour the mixture into your greased 10″ pan and bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife is removed cleanly.

Lavender Shortbread - This recipe can be found here along with some other equally delicious recipes. These are just a few of my favourite recipes, but there are countless recipes you can try and half the fun is the trial and error stage, or if you are like me licking the spoon is the ultimate treat!

How to Improve Your Sexual Stamina and Boost Your Love Life?

When it comes to relationships, they say that communication is a big factor. When you and your partner can easily talk about issues like adults, you'll be able to sustain what you have for the long haul. But many people don't talk much about the chemistry the couples share in bed. This is a big factor as well. In fact, sex can make or break a relationship.

When you and your partner first met, you couldn't get enough of each other. In fact, you'd spend waking moment together if this were only possible. Then, the relationship starts to fall into a routine. Sex may still be a big thing for you two, but there also comes a time when you don't have the sexual stamina you once had.

Loss of Libido

Men like to think that their sexual stamina is something to be proud of. You want to please your woman, but sometimes, several things come into play and you start losing the urge to engage in sexual intercourse. This happens for several reasons:

1. Age - The moment you hit 40, your body starts to slow down. In terms of testosterone production, you don't have this so-called sex hormone coursing through your system. As a result, you're unable to sustain longer erections.

2. Stress - Your mind is often on other things. Instead of thinking about the many ways to please your partner, you constantly worry about the pressures you face in your career or in your personal life.

3. Diet - Alcohol and cigarettes speeds up your body's aging process. In fact, alcohol doesn't lower inhibitions; it hinders you from performing well in bed.

4. Health - Certain medicines affect your libido as well. Hence, you need to talk to your doctor about this as soon as you notice some signs.

The sad part is that many of you are too embarrassed to talk about the issue. Instead, you prefer to bear the burden on your own. If you don't do anything about it, your relationship could go downhill quickly.

Ways to Cope

Just know that being unable to perform in bed doesn't make you less of a man. It's all a matter of seeking out the right kind of help. Think about changing some of your habits as well because this could really do wonders with your sexual stamina. Experts suggest that you look into the following solutions:

1. Exercise - Sweating it out allows you to release stress. More importantly, you cleanse your body from harmful toxins when you exercise regularly.

2. Water - Drink more than the recommended 8 glasses a day. Water cleanses your body from chemicals that hinder you from being active.

3. Supplements - Check out your nearest health stores and look into organic supplements that have helped a lot of men regain their desire for sex.

4. Diet - Eat foods that are high in fiber content. Also add more aphrodisiacs into your diet. A few examples are asparagus, avocado, chili, chocolate, oyster, pomegranate, and so many more.

Are You Truly In Love With Life?

Whenever I ask people if they are in love with their life, more often than not I get a look of hesitation that tells me that they don't ask themselves this question much. They have to stop and ponder...
I understand. Life keeps us busy and focused on what we do and the people we interact with-our jobs or businesses, family, relationships, and so on-and a lot of the time it also keeps us disconnected from our feelings. I used to never ask myself that question because I didn't want to hear the answer.

We put a lid on the emotions we don't want or "don't have time" to deal with, and we pretend they're not there, so we can go on with our life. Then the lid comes flying off when we hit a wall or a crisis. That's when we have to acknowledge how unhappy or vulnerable we really feel. Crises are great opportunities for growth, because they usually force us to make the choices we've been trying to avoid.

Now, if we don't honor our feelings and take action accordingly (after all, feelings are meant to be our compass), then we simply deny ourselves that opportunity for growth and we'll probably have to create a new crisis or hit another wall to revisit the same issues again.

The thing is that as we continue to navigate life without being connected with how we feel, we lose our sense of direction and reinforce mental and emotional patterns that hold us in the same place, even though we think we're moving forward. We keep spinning our emotional wheels. Because our perception is an act, and actions accumulate energy and become powerful habits that shape the fabric of our reality. Let me illustrate this with a little story.

Life Is Colored By the Choices You Make

A highly respected swami is invited to a household for a meal. In India, it is customary to feed swamis (renunciates) and holly men. When he is served, he notices that there is bitter gourd on his plate, which he doesn't like at all. He thinks, "If I eat it first, I will be done with it and then I can enjoy the rest of the meal." So he quickly grabs and swallows it.

The housewife, who is eagerly watching him, makes the assumption that he must really like bitter gourd, since it was the first thing he ate. She rapidly puts some more on his plate. The swami wants to be polite, so he eats it again, and as soon as he's done with it, he gets served some more. And on and on...

The story doesn't end there, because other householders want to bring the swami to their home as well, so the housewives talk amongst themselves about what to cook for him. Excitedly, the woman who had recently invited him says, "Oh, he likes bitter gourd: it was the first thing he ate!" So every time he is invited to a household, he is served bitter gourd. Eventually, he gets used to this routine and simply expects the bitter gourd on his plate.

Like the swami, we get used to things we don't like either because they're there or because we don't think we have other choices. We may believe that they're necessary or unavoidable-and yes, some may be, because life puts us where we need to be to learn certain things. But for the most part, we reinforce emotional habits that crystallize in our reality the things we don't enjoy simply because we put aside our feelings and lose our emotional awareness: because we stop making conscious choices.
We rationalize, we make excuses, we pressure ourselves to "get over" uncomfortable feelings, and we end up disconnecting from our true sense of self. Since our emotions color our perception, whether we are aware of them or not, our life ends up reflecting a lot of what we do not like-what causes us pain-because we keep denying our self-expression, thus unconsciously holding on to the same-old-same. Just like the swami, we continue getting the bitter gourds of our life story, over and over.

Choosing Between Your Self-Image and Emotional Honesty 

If you are not living a life that excites you and makes you wake up every morning really looking forward to the unfoldment of your day, then you are probably allowing unconscious choices that become self-sabotage. And my guess is that they have to do with how authentic and honest you are with yourself. Being honest about how you feel is the key to being emotionally free, to accepting who you truly are, no matter what that looks like or what others think, and this is a scary proposition that triggers great resistance.

Do you remember being a teenager-that rebellious know-it-all that had to keep and look cool even though raging hormones were taking you on a roller coaster ride, in all different directions? Well, part of you most likely continues to believe that you have to at least pretend that you have it all figured out.

After all, you are expected to "keep it together" in your job, business, or relationships. If you don't, you secretly feel like a failure and will try to compensate by reinforcing a self-image that allows you to hide behind who-you-think-you-should-be. The problem is that in that process, you may rob yourself of the right to learn and explore and mess up and grieve and express how you really feel and what you really want. That is, you may dampen your own inner voice.

Most of us have experienced this because we didn't feel heard as kids and grew up believing that our voice was worthless-it was actually an inconvenience. We were expected to behave a certain way, according to the needs of our dysfunctional families. So we learned to embody the self-image that fit our role in the family and pretend to be alright. Either that, or we had to pay the consequences of what was considered rebelliousness or defiance, which was simply trying to voice our individual preferences and choices in our process of individuation.

This self-image is particularly restrictive and uncomfortable when we want to be honest and speak our truth, or when we want to take a step toward greater emotional freedom. It quickly invades us with past emotions and makes us feel wrong, vulnerable, weak, selfish, and "exposed," to hold us right where we are. It's a very well designed trap, carefully shaped and maintained by our self-perception.

The Journey Is the Destination

Modern society is very goal-oriented. When we turn five, people start asking us what we want to do when we grow up, and by the time we're in high school, we're supposed to start planning the rest of our life. Then if you make a career choice, you're supposed to stick with it forever. It's the same thing with marriage, so each new relationship is supposed to be "the one" you're going to stick with. The old "till death do us part" seems to apply to everything and you just have to make it work even if it doesn't work and it doesn't make you happy; even if you die a slow emotional death in the process.

In this pursuit of one-track paths to happiness, we forget that our goals and aspirations are but the carrots in front of the donkey that keeps us moving. Because in truth, there is no final destination. Every time we reach a certain point, we have to create a new destination to keep going. That is, until we realize that the journey is the destination because it takes us through the discovery of what we want by recognizing what we don't want or don't like. And it does this one step at a time, so we can actually stop and make adjustments as needed-to make sure that we are really enjoying the ride.

Life crises are meant to show us that perhaps we were headed in one direction out of habit and now we have the opportunity to choose a different path, one that takes us closer to our authentic self. Hopefully, some of those crises will also make you realize that the path, the journey and the destination are really one and the same, and are meant to help you get to know the true YOU. Crises, however, are not the only way to untangle your emotional beliefs and patterns. You can also choose to consciously reshape their energy into something better.

The Power of New Emotional Habits

Every time you do something new, you grow. Even if you just come up with a new move while dancing-something you've never done before-your brain creates a new neurological connection because you plant a seed for a new potential vibrational pattern. It doesn't mean that it will necessarily become a pattern, especially if you go right back to the old, well-known habits, but it opens a new possibility.

To create a new emotional pattern, and the opportunity of a new pathway toward a different life story, you have to shape and energize new emotional habits. It's like watering new vibrational seeds. This requires you to:
  1. See the pattern that no longer serves you;
  2. Unravel the beliefs that support it to be able to recognize them everywhere;
  3. Consciously choose new beliefs that resonate with who you are now;
  4. Train your mind to disengage from past beliefs as they emerge and focus on new ones.
As you go through this re-training process, don't forget to check with your heart and see if you are loving your life or not. Not because everything has to be peachy all the time, but because every day has to have meaning and purpose, take you closer to your inner truth, and strengthen your sense of self.

So if your life (or your business) isn't bringing you joy and you are ready to stop pretending that you have it all together and figured out, contact me to get started on the journey back home-toward the true YOU waiting to hatch with all your potential for success and happiness. Stop self-sabotaging and start falling in love with life again!

Does the Moon Affect Your Love Life?

The moon is a reflection of the spiritual and emotional forces within us. Always shifting, always changing, it reveals who we are and what we are looking for-especially in the realm of love and romance! In fact, understanding our relationship to the moon is a powerful way to bring us closer to the love relationships we seek.

In Western astrology, the Sun represents who we are in the world, the outward projection of our personality, and the mark we wish to make. By contrast, the moon governs our emotions, our primal instincts, and our unconscious mind. It represents a feminine energy, and is often personified as a goddess or mother. In other words, those deep intuitive urges-those passionate feelings we can't quite describe-are embodied in the moon. No wonder so many love poems have been penned under the influence of its rays!

Soul Mates and the Moon

When we think about finding a soul mate, we think of someone who "gets us" on a profound emotional level-someone with whom we can share our darkest secrets, our hopes and dreams. Like a mother goddess, our soul mate accepts us unconditionally. He or she nurtures and loves us no matter what happens. In other words, when we dream of finding a soul mate, we are tuning in to the energy of the Moon!

It makes sense, then, that the most potent example of astrological synastry (harmony between two birth charts) involves contact between one person's Sun and the other person's Moon, or contact between the two Moons. Carl Jung, the renowned Swiss Psychologist, famously conducted a 'marriage experiment' in which he studied the birth charts of over 500 couples. What he found was an unmistakable trend of Sun-Moon contact between partners. To most astrologers, this came as no surprise-it has long been understood that when one person's Moon hits another person's chart in a significant way, there exists a strong possibility of lasting and meaningful romance.

This does not mean that soul mates must always have strong lunar contact in their birth charts. The compatibility between Moon signs is another important factor. Each of the 24 possible combinations (for example, his Leo Moon combined with your Aquarius Moon, or your Virgo Moon combined with his Sagittarius Moon) presents its own emotional chemistry. It's certainly true that compatibility can take many forms. Nevertheless, in determining whether two people are a perfect match, the Moon is one of the first places any good astrologer will look. Beyond just a physical or intellectual attraction, lunar energy signifies a deep and psychic bond between lovers.

Phases and Tides

A strong initial attraction between two people, including the warm glow of new romance, can often arise from heavenly bodies other than the Moon. Chemistry involving fiery planets, such as the Sun or Mars, will often spark a romance-but what makes it truly last?

The Moon represents tides, phases and mysterious rhythms. As you settle into the reality of living and breathing with another person, you begin to feel 'in sync' with them-or perhaps not! If your emotional needs and expressions seem to interact and flow harmoniously as time goes on, you can bet that your lunar energies are connected. If, on the other hand, you find yourself drawing a complete blank as to what your partner is thinking or feeling, then this lunar connection is missing in some way.

Pulling it all together

The good news is, even if you and your partner do not seem connected on a deep psychic level, it's possible to strengthen this aspect of your relationship by studying and understanding your Moon chemistry. Books, astrologers, and most professional psychics can offer key insights into the magic and mystery of the Moon, and how it relates to your love life. Simply being aware of the Moon's phase, and gazing up at the Moon whenever possible, further helps to strengthen your awareness and understanding of its incredible influence.

When the hidden dynamics of the Moon are understood-not only as it appears in the heavens, but as it expresses through us-then lasting love with a committed partner becomes less of a dream and more of a reality.

Live a Life You Love: The KEY to Overcoming the Two Biggest Blocks

What is the key to living a life you love? First, you must know your vision, then you must transform those life-beliefs and patterns which hold you back from realizing that vision. OK, but how do you do that? In three words: CONNECT TO SOURCE. This can be said a plethora of different ways and certainly has been, over thousands and thousands of years. Yet, the message is as pertinent and urgent, perhaps more so, than ever before.

You see, we are born into this world connected to Source, and then over time we lose that connection. It's normal, natural, and divinely designed that way. In our need to integrate successfully into society we have to develop a "self" that is distinct and can interact in healthy ways with other "selves" we find ourselves surrounded by. Some call this process domestication. Through this process we must define who we are as separate from others, as separate from the world; we are developing our personality and our place in the world. With that done, however, the task then becomes to reconnect to the source from which we came. Sadly, many people never achieve this next level of maturation in their experience of being human; they continue on, productively or unproductively, as individual personalities in the sea of life.

However for others, the call of spirit is clear and we must respond. We feel a yearning in our experience that we can't quite explain. Something is missing, and it ain't "out there." This often begins a journey of seeking and exploration. We've got to find something that fills the hole inside, that meets the need of this yearning we are experiencing.

Some turn to drugs, others numb out with TV and distractions, others paste it over with whatever they can, by being busy, busy, busy and pretending all is OK. But in the end, the only thing that will fill that hole and meet that need forever and for good, is Great Spirit, the Source of life, the Unified Field, the Vacuum, your Higher Self. It goes by many names. Ultimately, they are all the same.

Now, you may think I'm starting to sound religious, and this is not a "religious" newsletter, unless you think of religion as I do, which is from the words re and ligous, or re ligament, meaning to re-connect. Yes, under that definition, this is a religious message; I want you to reconnect to the source of life, to that place from which we came and to which we all return.

When we do that (and we do it again and again, and again) our life is exponentially expanded. You are now literally connected to INFINITE intelligence. This infinite intelligence, since it knows all, offers you the highest, best, and most inspiring vision for your life. Anything else comes from small, little, separate you, and because of that is fraught with issues, challenges, and ultimate dissatisfaction. You must connect with your Highest Self to access your vision and purpose for being alive, the vision that has all the power you'll ever need and leads to the fulfillment for which there is no substitute.

So, to get the vision for your life that leads to the fulfillment you desire, you must connect to Source. Now, what about all the limiting beliefs holding you back? The beauty of a Source-inspired vision is that it has all the energy and power within it to pull you through those limiting beliefs. This vision is bigger than you, it's about more than your little separate-self getting things, controlling things, or having some pleasurable moments (all things our fear-based ego wants). This vision is beyond you and will make a positive impact on the planet for many people. Because of that, you'll find that you will have the energy, desire, and capacity to deal with your limiting belief patterns and get on with manifesting your vision.

You see, when a vision comes from our little, separate-self it is "all about us." And, quite frankly, we don't have the energy to clear the belief patterns holding us back when it's all about us. However, when it's about us AND other people, NOW we have the energy to get up off our butts and deal with whatever we have to deal with. While most of us are willing to hurt ourselves (be lazy, not take care of ourselves, and wither away), we would never want to do that to others. Hence, when our vision becomes about other people, we must "take care of our crap" so others can receive the gifts and benefits of our Source-based vision. It's beautiful how it works this way.

To clear the subconscious limiting beliefs you may have to engage various techniques and processes. However, because you have a truly inspiring vision, which positively impacts the lives of others, it will pull you forward. You'll deal with these things and get moving on. So, get connected to Source, outline your vision coming from there, and start walking down the path!

Try this:

On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being no connection, and 10 being deep connection) how connected to Source, the Unified Field, Infinite Intelligence, Great Spirit are you? Take a deep breath and ask inside: "How might I increase my connection?" Write that down and consider taking action on that insight. Then ask: "How Source-inspired is my vision? Am I living the highest, most plugged-in vision, for my life?" Take a deep breath and ask inside: "What is the highest, most plugged-in vision for my life?" Make a note of what comes up and consider shaping your life vision accordingly.

What Do You Love About Your Life?

And by 'LOVE' I do not mean 'like' or 'feel comfortable with'. I mean what aspects of your life or activities in your life do you love to the point where you could not live without them!

I started thinking about this the other day (yes, I know - dangerous at the best of times) and about how I spend my time. What activities do I participate in: big and small, work and play, real and fantasy, and I even included daydreaming! What do I love to do versus what is just okay or even frustrating or stressful?

What shocked me was how few things I could readily and easily think of that I do on a day-to-day basis that I really love doing! Activities that light me up, that create sparks, and multi-colored fireworks, and cause my life to bubble over with enthusiasm and the unconditional unbridled joy usually associated with childhood.

What I realized was that my life was predictable and full of routine. I go to work to a job I like surrounded by people I like, most of the time. I come home to a family I love, most of the time, and spend time on hobbies and activities that I like. But this was all too serious. There was no fun in my life. No sparks! No fireworks! No passion! No play! No adventure! And one of my most treasured personal core values is adventure. What is wrong with this picture?

When did life get so serious?

Why did life remain so serious!?!

So I started making a list of all the things that I love about my life as it is right now, warts and monotones and all. Lists like this can be very informative. I took my time and made the effort to identify the things in my life that I really love!

OK. I'll be the first to admit that the list was not very impressive and tended towards the short side. Even still I was quite surprised to see how many things I actually do love about my life, and the types of things I love about my life. And here I was thinking my life had become an endless stream of monotone so-so yawn inducing activities! Maybe there's still a few sparks and fireworks in my life after all.

I was particularly surprised to notice how many little things there are in my life that I absolutely love! Things that are so much a part of my authentic self that I had taken them for granted. I had failed to notice and appreciate not only how much I love these things about me but how much I love having them in my life. Not everyone makes homemade lemon zucchini bread and tops it with homemade lemon curd but I do, and this is one of the little things that I love about me and my life.

Once I began to notice the little things that I love about my life, I also began to notice that the things that I love about me offer clear glimpses into what my authentic self looks like and feels like. They clearly represent my personal core values in one way or another, reminding me that I am, in many small ways, honor my authentic self every day. For example, one of my personal core values is creativity and baking helps me tap into that part of my authentic self. And this is why I love baking so much and why I can bring sparks and multi-colored fireworks back into my life every time I bake!! Sparks and fireworks and enthusiasm... oh my!! This is what life is all about.

Romance Re-Runs: Are You Sabotaging Your Love Life?

We are programmed from childhood how we want our relationships to be. Happily ever after, no doubt. Problem is, we wind up sabotaging ourselves and partners by comparing our present to the fantasy we created back then. By taking a good look at the movies of our minds, we can make our magical thinking history. Although men too have fantasy "women programming", that's another story. This article is written from a feminine perspective.

Remember reading Cinderella, and later on loving the TV series Sex in the City? These stories promised that one day the prince will come and save us from our mundane or lonely life. Then it happens! He appears. We gladly commit. We buy the dress and think we will live happily ever after... but as time and wishes pass, we find ourselves disappointed and downcast. You'd think we would give up our fairy-tales and chose a more realistic life story to live into. Yet so many of us still suffer over the soap opera we seem to be living. We keep our fantasy reruns playing to rival our reality. It's like having a split screen with two movies running at the same time. One is showing Prince Charming... the one he "should be". The other is The Disenchanting Frog... the one snoring on the sofa.

So Cinderella did NOT get to stay at the ball. And just like in Sex in the City, the pouting protagonist whines about the brevity of romance as she dreams of the "next one". We hardly realize our mind is stationed on an endless loop creating our dreary drama as our magical thinking drons on.

If we're depressed and disillusioned over our unrecognized dreams or romantic expectations, it helps to remember it's our own mind's movie. We're the protagonist, the storyteller and the script writer. We can even direct how to act and re-act in every scene. But it is easier to focus on the Frog. It seems everything we do has payoffs. Focusing on the relationship and our disappointment with the absent "Prince" is a distraction from us operating our own life. The attachment to old reruns keeps us irresponsible and dependent, just like when we were little and wishing for a magic wand or savior to change our life. When our magic wand fails to work, at least we have someone else to blame it on. Hardly a healthy payoff, as doing so prevents us from creating our happiness now.

When stuff happens and people don't behave, we need to write a new script for our mind's myths and stop the repeats of former fixed fantasies. If our Prince Charming is being a Total Toad, we can remember that everything has a shadow, and that it is our adherence to high hopes casting our darkness. We can feel pain or loss in the moment and still choose NOT TO SUFFER, remembering we make up the stories. Loss and pain are part of life, but suffering is optional.

Here are 3 ways to Refresh Romance:

1. Identify the emotions you have been experiencing regarding your relationship. Write them on the left side of the page. (Sad, Scared, Angry, Jealous, Happy, Joyful, etc.)

2. Our beliefs create our emotional states. Write the belief or expectation to the right of the feeling state. Then ask yourself does this belief serve me? If you cannot change your situation, change your mind.

3. We can choose a new story. Give a name/title to the story you are in now. Write it down. If it creates suffering, rewrite it! Make up a new, realistic and happier title.