Thursday, November 27, 2014

Adventures in Sleepwalking

Photo from Pinterest
Disclaimer: This post has some personal/slightly TMI details in it. If you're not interested, don't read it... but it's pretty damn funny.

I've never been a sleepwalker. I experience night terrors (still) and talk in my sleep, but I've never been a sleepwalker. I find it fascinating/terrifying that people can do things in their sleep, act perfectly normal, but have no memory of it... it's like being blackout drunk without the alcohol.

Anyways, last night I was flippin' exhausted. Not just exhausted, but flippin' exhausted. We went to bed and I fell asleep right away, when all of a sudden I had this "dream". You know, a "dream" where you feel like you're awake, but you're having an internal dialogue with yourself.

My dialogue was as follows...
Brain: "Katherine, get up, you have to go to the bathroom!"
Me: "No. I'm so comfortable and tired."
Brain: "For reals. Get up. Go. To. The. Bathroom. Now."
Me: "Nah. I'll be fine. My bed and I cannot be separated."

I then woke up.... in the bathroom, on the porcelain throne, with a magazine in my hand, light on. With no recollection of how I got there. In my groggy state, thinking I was still in my bed, I thought the following:

Photo from Flickr
But when I fully woke up, I began to feel this feeling of fascination/terror - how the hell can I not remember getting up and going to the bathroom? I felt like I had lost control. I was in severe beta consciousness... like when you get somewhere and you cannot remember how you got there.
Isn't it terrifying?

It got me thinking about consciousness. What made me sleepwalk? I've not done it before. Sure, I sleep-talk nonsense (like asking my husband on numerous nights if he had "talked with the secretary"), but sleepwalking is a whole new frontier for me. 
Was I so exhausted that my body decided to take matters into its own hands and haul my ass (literally) to the bathroom?
Was it because I had gluten and dairy?

Arianna Huffington has this great book, Thrive, that talks a ton about sleep and its importance. But I think that it also sends a huge message about consciousness, and being in control of our brain's health and conscious decisions. When we are mindful and fully present in the moment, we are happier, healthier, and more in control. When we are not, we lose this control over our happiness and, especially, our health.
While this incident is funny, it also stirred something up in me - how can I become more mindful, present, conscious, and in control? I might have to sleep on it.

I'd love to hear any funny sleepwalking, sleeptalking, or other crazy stories that you have experienced or witnessed others experiencing. 


Friday, August 1, 2014

Fantastic "Fish" Sticks

Fish is amazing. Bar none. But, for those of us who have a severe allergy to it, it's not so amazing (though I often dream about a delicious smoked salmon.... ah).
In my cooking, I often try to experiment with the food to make it work for me and what I'm craving... though this hasn't always been successful... but these "fish" sticks really worked. They're great reheated as well. You can substitute chicken for turkey if you prefer; turkey just gives that flakiness that we love from the original fish sticks. Enjoy!
Also, in the spirit of fish sticks, these are fried, but you can also bake them in the oven at 450F for 30 minutes (15 minutes, flip, another 15 minutes)

"Fish" Sticks
2 turkey breasts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Kinnikinnick gluten-free panko style breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp yellow curry

You will need a medium-sized skillet.

In small, shallow bowl, pour in 1/4 cup olive oil for dipping turkey breast. Cut turkey into strips and dip completely in olive oil. On medium-sized plate, combine breadcrumbs and spices. Dip turkey strips and coat completely in breadcrumb mixture.

Heat stove to medium. Pour remaining olive oil into skillet and place turkey strips into skillet. Depending on your stove, turn strips as until they are lightly browned on both sides.

Nommmm :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

In Memoriam...

When Maya Angelou announced that she was visiting Calgary, my mother bought me tickets because she knows how much I love everything Maya Angelou - her poetry, her writings, her as an individual, and her innate wisdom. 
I was intensely saddened when I heard that she had passed away yesterday.
Her soul will live on forever, just like her profound words and ideas, and I am so grateful that I had the chance to hear her speak and be in the brilliance of her presence.

Forever missed, rainbow in our clouds.

Photo from Pinterest

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Is My "Alive"?

Rise Against has this song called Black Masks And Gasoline with the lyrics:
``Simply because you can breathe
Doesn't mean you`re alive
Or that you really live.``

I like the rest of the song, don`t get me wrong, but those lyrics have stuck in my head for my many years of being a Rise Against fan because they speak to me. Yeah, yeah, I know you`re probably imagining me sitting around a camp-fire with a guitar and a tattoo on my wrist that says `John & Yoko 4Ever`, but these lyrics are some of the only words that have stuck so close to me over the years.
I guess it`s fitting as to where I am right now; I'm in a profound transition - a deep metamorphosis - that I cannot control. I've let my inner fire goddess start calling some of the shots and she just goes with no filters, but she gets me what we want: a resolution. It`s hard, and I get in trouble for it... plus my sarcastic side sometimes drowns out the magic of my fire goddess making me seem plain bitchy. Like I said - a transition.
The hardest part about this transition is that I feel as if I am bursting from the seams with life and I'm ready to live. I'm making headway, but, for me, living means getting out there and experiencing the wo
rld beyond money and materials goods and status quos and hypocrisy (though I'll never escape hypocrisy). Calgarians are preoccupied with material goods and money and status - it's sickening. Bigger is better here, unfortunately. Bigger can be better (get your head out of the gutter), but when we're taking about creating unnecessary competition or elitism we're actually setting ourselves back rather than forward. I am lucky to have nice things, I am lucky to be able to have money, but I am starting to transition out of placing such great importance on material goods, status, or money. I just don't care.
This may also stem from my work with Eyes Wide Open Life - through working with this dynamic group of entrepreneurs, I have created in myself a kick-ass entrepreneur building my business around my heart. 
I LOVE to write and, after years of the same old question: "What are you really going to do with an English degree?" and responding: "I don't know"... I'm now saying: "Watch me."
And that's what working for profit is all about, right? You're supposed to enjoy yourself and then be rewarded for it. 
Ah, yes... I hear the laughter and the jeers. And my fire goddess asks: "Why devote yourself to something for life if it does not give you pleasure, enjoyment, and reward in some way?"
Good question! And why do we work in jobs that we hate? Because we are ruled by money, material goods, and status. It's a cyclical thing, and it sucks.

I have no immediate solution to this. I can only follow my heart through this transition and metamorphosis and trust that it will lead me in the right direction and help me to feel even more alive every day.

Namaste, All!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Does anybody else do their best thinking in the shower? I swear it's not just me that solves problems and brainstorms solutions and gets crazy awesome ideas while the water is pouring down from that heavenly shower head. 

Tonight I got into the shower late - around 12:30am - and started thinking about time management and my work habits after a long day (yes, even those of us who work from home have long work days). See, I have a consulting company in which I write creative and business copy, along with providing other services like customer inbox support and social media content creation and management. I work for some incredible, incredible people (and companies) and I truly feel like I'm doing what I LOVE! But, I'm also a full time university student taking much too long to complete my degree, so the time management skill is something I'll admit I severely lack.
This can be a problem and it stresses me out; I know I can do the work, and I know I can do it well, but why am I not DOING IT?!?
We've all been there.
It was during my shower that I started thinking about it: how can I better manage my time? Just one simple thought that inspired a veritable brain stew of juicy personal insights and, ultimately, a metamorphosis. 

So... what's the big deal? Well, I have grown up with the notion that I was a doormat - a person that could not do anything right and was basically walked on by everyone. I was bullied... a lot. I was taunted and teased and I put on the victim hat and wore it very convincingly... I ALLOWED myself to be walked all over by playing the part of what we'll call a "lost girl". I lied to make myself look better and build myself up, and purposely put myself in situations that were just not a good place to be. I did it to myself but I don't regret it... not one bit. Sure, I made SO many mistakes, but learning, growing, and moving on from who I used to be shaped who I am today. I shed that skin and, now, I kinda like me. I kinda like me a lot. 

So, what does this have to do with time management? Well, I realized that my aversion to DOING stemmed from my attitude about myself: the doormat mentality. I will apologize and take on burdens that either are not mine to take on, or simply do not exist. I tend to make a big deal out of nothing and then beat myself to a pulp for doing something wrong or going at a pace that I think that others probably think is too slowly. This makes me not even want to do anything (and may explain why I sleep so much - it's not cause I'm tired, it's cause I'm a professional avoider! I kid, I kid) and, thus, has caused me to have poor time management skills. But this is NOT an excuse... nooo sir. This is an epiphany - a revelation if you will. This may seem like something totally obvious to you, but for me it is going to change everything. 

I am remarkably privileged to work for Eyes Wide Open Life and be a part of the brilliant EWO Collective. I used to think that being surrounded by strong-willed, tenacious women would overwhelm me and squash my voice and personality, so I avoided these women in both my personal and work lives. Boy, was I wrong! I am surrounded by some of the most strong-willed, smart, tenacious, GENIUS women in both aspects of my life and I am thriving! 
These women truly know how to embrace their feminine and have introduced me to a type of sisterhood I thought only existed within the relationship I have with my best friends and actual sister, and I am eternally grateful for it. They nurture and incubate my strengths and voice, and don't blame me, judge, or berate me because of my weaknesses, and I strive to emulate them and study their practices and ideas. They inspire me so whole-heartedly and I have, once again, shed a skin that has become too heavy and worn. 
Because of this inspiration, my lifestyle has changed for the better. I am more outspoken and upfront with what I want and I understand now what my path is and that it can change... and to embrace that change and where it may take me. I do yoga every morning I can with my amazing cousin and her love (check out their FREE yoga program here) and I have more clarity now than I feel I ever have. Sweet, sweet clarity. 

I was watching a webinar that featured some of the on-fire business priestesses I work with at Eyes Wife Open Life: Amrita Khalsa, Kiva Leatherman, and Anne Perry (watch it here - you'll be more than glad you did). They were talking about time management and stopping the overwhelm, and one key idea really stuck out and resonated with me: it's about taking time for yourself, too! 
This seemingly simple idea is, of course, easier said than done, but it is possible and it is REWARDING! Giving yourself some freedom and taking the time to focus on yourself gives you breathing room and energy to get to work when the time comes. 

So now, I'm changing again. I'm shedding the old, tired, worn out skin that was saturated with overwhelm because of mismanaged time and not enough inner peace and dialogue. 
I'm not saying, "I can't do it" anymore; I'm replacing it with "I'm going to get it done" and I'm confident that I will do it. 

Can't wait to see what my next shower brainstorming sesh brings me! Tell me how you make the most of your time in the comments below and what you do to relax. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stop Apologizing For Love!

Love is a force that captures our minds and bodies in the same way fear does. Love is one of the most frequently-used, most-trusted, and most feared words in our vocabularies... and it seems like many people are forced to, or just do, apologize for it.
Love is beautiful and inspiring. And yes, while sometimes it can be overbearing and scary, love is the precursor to new beginnings, to good feelings, and to PEACE. 
So stop apologizing for love. Love fearlessly and always, love until everybody around you can feel it, and love because you want to, not because you need to. It doesn't matter if you are gay or straight or what the colour of your skin is, be accepting of love and let it inspire you - stop resisting it!
A fundamental Kadampa Buddhist teaching is that you should love all others, and recognize that their happiness is more important than yours. This is, of course, not saying that we should abandon self-love, but encouraging self-love and self-improvement so that we can be at our best to help others. So that we can inspire. So that our love is pure. 
So that our positive karmic intentions carry on throughout our world that so desperately needs it (like Pay-It-Forward).

Reflect: how did you LOVE today?

Photo from Pinterest

Daily Dose of... Buddha

Photo from Pinterest



Photo from Pinterest

Perfect Potato Latkes

My husband's mother is a great cook, and she loves to make new things for us when we visit for dinner. A couple of weeks ago, she made these great potato pancakes that I gobbled up (she's great at being mindful of my allergies) and really inspired me to create my own potato latke.
Now, this recipe is pretty standard (I'm guessing), but it is really good and, of course, my own.
My recipe can also be eaten just as a mashed potato recipe, but making them into those latke "pancakes" makes it that much better. I served this with a simple salad and made for four so that there was some left over for lunches, plus a bit more.
As always, you can make it into something that is not gluten or dairy-free, but this is how the gf df peeps do it - what what! ;)

Gluten and Dairy-Free Potato Latkes
5 russet (or yellow) potatoes, peeled
1 cup carrot, grated
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup bacon bits (omit for vegetarians)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup Daiya brand cheddar-style "cheese"
1/2 cup Tofutti "Better Than Cream Cheese" Plain cream cheese
1/4 cup Becel Vegan Margarine
1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened, plain coconut milk
1/8 tsp. basil

olive oil or cooking spray (for frying only)

Place potatoes in large stove-top pot, fill with water so that potatoes are completely covered. Bring water to boil, and cover pot. Once boiled, reduce heat to low-medium and let potatoes sit for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain water.
Melt cream cheese and margarine together until liquid and add milk and basil. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add cream cheese mixture to potatoes and mash until smooth or desired texture is reached.
Add Daiya and remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.
In stove-top pan, heat olive oil or cooking spray over medium heat. Scoop potato mixture into round, pancake-like shapes on pan. Depending on stove, let fry for 5-7 minutes and flip.

Serve hot and enjoy!