Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Note to Self. 40 spins around the sun have taught me this.....




Suddenly it all makes sense.

On the Eve of my 40 cycles around the earth, i felt blessed. I felt tremendous gratitude for my soul to have knocked on my door, and for my inner voice to have answered. I was at the Shivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, at awe, in the realization that my first introduction to Yoga came through the Shivananda Centre in Toronto in 1996, so long ago, and though I have travelled many paths through Yoga, it is here that I was on the eve of my 40th birthday.

As I celebrated 40 spins around the sun, and suddenly it all made sense.  Suddenly, there is a different depth of trust in life's grace and I no longer need to know all the details, of why and how, but rather I feel more at peace with where I am and I feel a more mature level of commitment for my spiritual practice that carries me through, day in and day out.  

Suddenly the voice that struggled for so long to find its path, has quietly found it.  Suddenly the weight of my broken heart has lifted and the veiled of the illusion of separateness has come together to show me that neither time nor space are real boundaries for the heart, and that I am here to experience and learn about love, unconditional love.

Separation found its way to my heart on the summer of 1991, when we immigrated to Canada.  We, my mother, myself and brother, left Venezuela 23 years ago in the midst of very corrupt governments  lack of social conscience, violence, attacks on our personal safety and personal freedoms. We became immigrants in what I thought at the time was a strange country, with a language I did not speak, a culture I couldn't relate to, a winter that chilled my bones, and a one way trip that broke my soul.  Tears rolled down my cheek for 365 days in a row, and every now and then, they still find their way out of the deep layers of my teenage heart onto the face of my 40 year old body.  I guess my scar hasn't fully healed, I guess home is always our first love, and a place no other place can ever replace.  But through these 23 years as an immigrant I began to heal my heart, I began to make it my home, I began to understand and feel the greatness of being where I am, being free to speak my truth, having my rights as a human, as a woman, as a mother, as a daughter, respected and valued. I began to appreciate in my body, the peace that exists around me.  I began to appreciate and become conscious of my freedom.  I began to understand the reasons of why we left, I began to understand that growing up in a beautiful yet violent city, had left a deep imprint of fear, anxiety, and worry within me, but it has also given me one of my most precious gifts: a social conscience. 

This social conscience that feels and sees too much, has led me to interact with the world through the lens of my camera, documenting all sort of stories about the human condition, the journey of social justice and human rights is one close to my heart.  Photographing stories of the human heart, stories of spiritual transformation, stories in places far away and close to home, opened new doors of perspective and awareness onto my journey and allowed me to have exposure to the spiritual ways of different cultures and traditions that otherwise I may not have had the opportunity to bare witness. 

This social conscience is the seed of my dharma, and though the way in which I am engaging with the world is changing, the seed is still the same.

I am and will always be a hope activist at heart. 

Through my healing journey over the last 5 years, I discovered that the road is never straight.  That it's full of wonderful twists and turns, detours, and doorways into the greater brave new worlds.  That it's full of serendipitous meetings that always leave an imprint in our souls.  The more we are able to connect within ourselves with our own sacrednesss we are able to also see the Universe- The Macrocosm symbolically at work within us and through us.

This year in particular I have surrendered to my heart, to the consciousness and the fire that burns within, and the reclaiming of the sacredness that resides deeper beyond the fire in my heart, deeper in the place where silence resides, where I feel most complete, most open, most vulnerable, most peaceful.  That space where I am truly myself, where I feel supported, nurtured and nourished by Spirit. 

Along the process I have tapped into the Ashram within,  the sacred space that has always been with us.  I have choosen to answer, to surrender, to melt away into the wings of consciousness.  In me, it took a healing crisis to take the leap of faith.  In me, it took the realignment of where my body, my heart and my soul needed to go vs where my mind thought it needed to go.  In me, it took the acceptance, that I can choose, not just cope, not just have to, not just carry on, but actually CHOOSE how I deal with what happens and the shifts that ripple out of my choice to align myself ever more deeply with my true self, with my soul and with Spirit.  It's given me great strength, awareness, and a deepening of my purpose.  It has sparked the REVOLUTION WITHIN and defined that what I used to call my creative dragon is the hope activist whithin.  For that I am grateful and I know in my bones that I am exactly where I need to be and where I prayed so long ago that I would be- home within.  

So as I sit on this last day of 2014, I think of all that came to pass, the twists and turns of my healing journey, and I bow into my heart with a big smile on my face and resonating with a big YES!!! and a big THANK YOU!! on my chest for heavy metals are officially OUT! and a new phase begins and the extention of the Revolution Within continues.  I'd like to think of it as a new phase of deeper integration.  And rather than make or think of my 2015 goals as resolutions, I rather think of them as a process of deeper alignment.  What and how do I choose to walk my line? What do I envision to create this year? What are the feelings, the everyday state of being that I wish to live from?  Gratitude, Love and Deep Trust are the first ones to come to mind.  How can I be of service and really, really make a difference in my community, in the world, in my life and yours? 
How can we inspire each other to bring about the best in us, and live, in trust that you will be there for me and that I will be there for you.  How can we create safer communities for our children and how can we teach them to walk their line ethically, carrying honesty and a deep love and respect for the world and the people of the world?

What are you thinking for this next year to come?  Allthough every day is a new opportunity to create shift and change within us and spark our own Revolution Within as we awaken the hope activist that resides in our hearts,  this time of the year gifts us the opportunity to synch into ourselves a little deeper and begin to write a new chapter in our lives.  Time, well, she goes.  We keep spining around the sun.  What have your spins taught you?  What are the dreams you dream as we spin?  When will you start living your dreams, living what you love and in the process spark your own Revolution Within and tap into your own hope activist?

I don't have your answers.  They are only yours to be found, to be lived, to be surrendered to, to be choosen by you and only you.  You know yourself best, and most importantly it's your life.  It's your journey back to you.

On these 40 spins around the sun, and on this last day of 2014, I feel blessed, grateful, hopeful and inspired to dive deeper into the realms of alignment of body, heart, mind and soul.  I feel my compass has been set.  It is driven by my heart and the hope activist within, and it knows only one way forward. So what do you say, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and dive deeper within?



Quote of the day:

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."  Say not, "I have found the path of the soul."  Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."  For the soul walks upon all paths.  The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.  The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.  ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's a date. Saturday Night, you & me and some rawllygood times!

Yes it's True.  Vitality Yoga Lifestyle & Boutique is opening it's doors for a wonderful roll of rawllygood times.  So keep your head high, your eyes open, and your heart full anticipation for the goodness that will soon come to you.  Check it out, pass it on, and come out!



Quote of the Day

"Your have the ability to choose which way you want to go.  You have to believe great things are going to happen in your life.  Do everything you can- prepare, pray and achieve- to make it happen".-
Benjamin Carson


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ready, Set, Come out and Learn! Yes, it's true, rawllygood is coming to you....

Greetings from the North....

Have you heard the news yet? the good news, that is. 

rawllygood is opening it's doors to teach all things true & raw.  It's a dream come true, it's the beginning of a new journey within this brave new world, and it is a time of transition, and further integration. 

So I invite you to come out, be inspired, open up to new perspectives, build your health up wherever you are, find new resolutions, and join me as we gather to support, sustain and regenerate ourselves.  Get your calendars up, and book yourself some time for regeneration!

I will be teaching two classes coming up:


Empower your Health through Raw Foods Workshop 
Date: Saturday November 29th, 5pm-7pm.

In this 2 hour workshop and demonstration you will learn about the power of Living Raw Foods to empower your health, you will learn  why Raw Foods have become so popular, I will demystify raw foods and share with you the principles for a successful raw Raw Food adventure, while tasting delicious health sustaining foods.  You don't have to be 100% raw to enjoy the benefits that adding raw foods to your current diet can provide.  Come out and learn the tips, tricks, tools, the science and the art of Raw Foods.  Food Tasting Included.  Empower yourself ALIVE! Recommended purchase with this workshop:  Empower your health through Raw Foods E-book. (Please email me if you are interested in this E-book).




 Sweet love of mine, Raw desserts that LOVE you back Workshop- new ideas for sweet Holiday Times. 
Date: Saturday December 6th, 5pm-7pm.

In this 2 hour workshop and demonstration you will learn how to integrate nutrient dense foods into the sweetness that we all crave, learn to make gluten free, dairy free, raw desserts that boost your energy and support your body. You will get a chance to taste delicious Raw Food Desserts that everyone will love, and more important that oh so LOVE you back!. Its the perfect inspiration for the Holiday Times! Food Tasting included. Recommended purchase with this workshop: Sweet Love of Mine, Raw desserts that Love you back. E-book. (Please email me if you are interested in this E-book).
To register please visit http://vylb.ca/yoga-schedule-vitality-uxbridge/workshops/


There is more rawllygoodness coming soon, so stay tuned. Yes, I am going to keep you at the edge of your seat for now... in a lovingly kind of way....

Remember, 

LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE,
cause it's all good,
rawllygood!


Quote of the Day
"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself."- Galileo Galilei




Friday, October 10, 2014

Have you been Permacultured yet? well, if you haven't get Permacultured now! The H.O.P.E Permaculture Tour is HERE!



Have you?, no really, have you?  Been permacultured lately??

I can tell you I have, it has stolen my heart, taken my dreams, and tucked them away at the end of the rainbow for me to journey on, quietly walking barefooted on the land, quietly listening to my breath, witnessing what is inside of me and outside.  It has grabbed me by the hand, and shown me a vision of what is possible, a beautiful sustainable future, where individual expression is embedded with social conscience, where compassion is at the core of our hearts, and grace, love and respect for Life rather than fear guide our journeys and our choices.  

Permaculture is a system and a philosophy of creating permanent cultures using ecological design, modelled through the observation of nature, creating long term sustainable eco-systems that can be restorative, rejuvenate and take care of themselves for the most part.  "Permaculture is defined as consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for the provision of local needs.... more precisely I see Permaculture as the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organizing framework for implementing the above vision"- David Holmgren 'Pathways to Sustainability'.

Traditionally Permaculture is used in creating permanent sustainable gardens and farms that nourish us with delicious goodness.  Permaculture goes to great lengths into evaluating and using the relationships already present in the eco-system to their maximum potential for the benefit and sustainability of all. 

But to me, Permaculture is everywhere! As much as it's principles apply to our outer landscape, they can also be used within.  As Ayurveda says, as within so is without, what exists in the Macrocosm, also exists in the Microcosm.  As much as these principles are tools for creating healthy ecosystems, they are also a means to discover and more so recover our deep ecology and our ancestral connection to the spirit of the earth.  True radiant health can only exist within once we begin to choose to create radiant health through our actions and our lives in our immediate and not so immediate environments.

So if you haven't been permacultuted yet, perhaps you will you will consider joining me and 5 others homesteaders who on Saturday October 18 & Sunday October 19th, will be co-hosting the first annual H.O.P.E. Permaculture Tour in the York-Durham Region, Ontario, Canada.  Come out & learn about permaculture design to create your own sustainable oasis!  2 days, 6 stops. 

Over the past few months myself and 5 other Homesteaders in the York- Durham Regions have gotten together recognizing the need to share our experiences, as well as, inspire and provide others with the tools needed to take self responsibility over our health, the food we eat, the importance of our relationship to the earth and our deep ecology, as well as, the importance of increasing our awareness of being local in our choices.  Out of this desire to be of service the Homesteading Organically to Produce Eco-systems (H.O.P.E.) Permaculture Tour was born. 

During this 2-day tour, we will be visiting 6 different homestead properties that have used permaculture principles in their design and the designers of these properties will be travelling around with the participants to answer questions throughout the weekend. A tour of each site and a workshop at each site will take place at all 6 locations. A bus and shuttle services will be provided throughout the tour.  Camping will be available at Foggy River Farm and there are also B&B's available in the area.  Light snacks and handout materials will be provided, but meals are not included. The bus will be stopping for lunch and additional shopping on both days.

For more info and registration see here: http://permaculturetour.eventbrite.com



I encourage you to check it out, come out, join us.  Spread the word, share the event!.  If you live far away, gather with your fellow homesteaders and start a H.O.P.E. Permaculture Tour of your own! It's not just a tour, it's a movement!

Yours Truly,
Your HOPE Activist,
Naty Howard.


QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Permaculture is the art of the possible."- Graham Bell 'The Permaculture Garden'.




Friday, September 5, 2014

Something Old with a New twist.... Sacred Prayer Bundles meet the elements...



Sacred Prayer Bundles hold within themselves the sacred energy of who makes them and the prayers we hold dear to our hearts.  They are the manifestation of our sacred intention and can carry our sacred words of healing, of re-connecting, of our sacred prayers, our heart's desire for peace and harmony to the Great Spirit.  Words have power.  Words hold onto their vibration, which resonates within us and the world around us.  Becoming more and more conscious about our choice of words can bring one too many revelations about our patterns of thought and behaviour.  Tuning into our words and impregnating them with sacred intention, gives the Prayer Bundles sacred powers.


Different traditions guide us in different ways to make the Prayer Bundles.  They are all sacred in their own ways, and most importantly, they are sacred to you in your own unique way.  Anything goes, as long as what you are making/manifesting resonates with you, as long as you take the time to make it sacred and with sacred intentions, as long as you to make it 'yours', and open up your heart, anything goes.

I like combining the elemental tradition of Ayurveda with the Sacred Prayer Bundles.  The 5 elements that make everything that exists in the Universe are: Ether (space/ vibration), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.  Including them within the Sacred Prayer Bundles, for me, makes them that much more powerful.  It connects the Bundle with the rest of the Universe, it connects them to the ancient science of healing: Ayurveda and one of the key concepts, 'our microcosm is a representation of our macrocosm and viceversa', and 'everything affects everything else'.  Because everything is interconnected and because as we are within so are we in the Universe at large, including the elements reminds me, and perhaps you, of the power of our choices, the power of the Universe, the power of Spirit, and the power of our intentions.

How to make a Sacred Prayer Bundle you say?

Basic materials:
* 4x4" square pieces of fabric.  They can be bought, or made.  Using colour to enhance their beauty if you are going to place them somewhere where you will see them is worth the extra thought.
* twine
* scissors
* paper and pen (blue if to be used symbolically for water)
* an open heart

Elements materials:
* Ether- symbolically write down the word OM. Or symbolically listen to drumming music as you are making them or better yet gather in community to make your sacred prayer bundles and create a drumming circle ceremony as part of the making of them.
* Air- symbolically breath deeply into your bundle.  Symbolically included when hanging the prayer bundles from a tree. Use the colour white as one of you fabrics.
* Fire- symbolically anything red, or a small picture of fire, or ashes from a sacred fire. Symbolically this element is included when burning the prayer bundles.
*Water- symbolically anything blue, or a small picture of water.  Symbolically this element is included when throwing the prayer bundle into a river or moving water.
*Earth- symbolically soil, a small stick, a tobacco leaf/ or tobacco (traditionally used in native ceremonies).  Symbolically this element is included when burring the prayer bundle.  Sacred Herbs, corn, sand from a sand mandala, sacred ash that come from the Earth.

First, I like to be very clear with my offering, with my intention and let that sit in my heart. When I am ready to clear the space around me, both physically and energetically, I use smudging.  Smudging consists of burning incense to clear the energetic or physical imprint left upon our bodies, and /or our space.  Traditionally it is done by burning dried sage, or sweet grass.  I like using sage.

Once you feel that you have arrived together with your body, meditate upon your offering and your prayers.  Sit quietly if you can for 5 minutes of more, and bring forth your intention and your prayer.  If you are able to be in nature, gather the 5 elements, Ether (symbolically write down the word OM.  OM is believed to be the original vibration that set the Universe into being), Air (symbolically anything white), Fire (symbolically anything red), Water (symbolically anything blue- blue ink, a small image of water), Earth (symbolically soil, sand, sage, corn, tobacco or a small stick).

Reconnect with your prayer, or your sacred intention for the bundle.  Write it down if you wish, or hold the intention in your mind as you assemble the bundle.  Place the tobacco, sand, sacred ash and/or sage if you have any inside your square piece of fabric.  Continue to place each of the symbolic representations of the 5 elements inside the square piece of fabric. Place your written intention inside the sacred prayer bundle, and fold all four corners of the fabric towards the middle, tie up the top with twine.

You can make one prayer bundle, or you can make a thousand of them. It is believed that if we make more than one, our prayers will be carried that much faster by the winds to the Great Spirit.  Kind of like snail mail vs. instant email request.  I like making a row of them, a row that I can hang on the tree and let the winds of change, of peace, of health and harmony whisper them away (air).

Before I let them be whispered by the winds to the Great Spirit, I smudge one more time.  I smudge over the sacred prayer bundles, over the space that allowed me to create them, over my body, and energetically seal the moment and the commitment my soul has given.

Sacred Rituals are something that most of us have forgotten, or perhaps don't participate in as much as our hearts desire them.  Creating new or reconnecting with old sacred rituals is extremely important as we are multidimensional beings seeking a human experience.  We often forget, assume, we are human being seeking a soul experience.  Either way, connecting with the Sacred allows us to transform, to move energy, to connect to the light of our being, to journey on while connecting with the ancient in our bones.



Upcoming Events


Sunday September 21st, 2014: Rawllygood Potluck Fall Equinox @ The Realign Ranch. 4-7pm.

It's time to gather and share the bounty of the season!
For this very special gathering we will be doing a ceremony in the Mandala Garden, we will be planting our Tree of Life in the middle of the Herb Spiral, which is at the core of the Garden.  We will be doing a short ceremony that I am calling Planting the Soul Dream.  Please take 10 minutes out of your busy lives and come prepare for it.  Find a quiet space and time, sit in meditation and connect deeply with your inner self.  What is it that your soul dreams of manifesting? what is it that your soul's desire? What is your purpose and how do you see it coming forth at this time?  write it all down.  Bring your Soul Dream with you, as we will be planting them underneath the Tree of Life, to nourish, heal and continue to transform the tree and the Mandala Garden.  As I mentioned before the Tree and the Soul Dreams will be planted at the core and energetic centre of the Garden.

If you can not make it to the potluck, but do wish to have your Soul Dream planted, well, send (email) it my way and onto the earth it will go.  If you wish to keep your Soul Dream private, than mail it my way as well, but make sure to do so sooner than later.  Our mailing address is : The Realign Ranch, 8641 Concession 2, Mt Albert, ON, L0G1M0.  Make sure you write Soul Dream on the envelope so that your privacy is respected!

After the ceremony we will gather and feast with a Rawllygood Potluck.  For details of what to bring please check http://rawllygood.blogspot.ca/p/details-of-rawllygood-potluck_7368.html


Saturday October 18th & Sunday October 19th- H.O.P.E. Permaculture Tour!
Welcome to the first Homesteading Organically to Produce Eco-systems Permaculture Tour!

“Learn and be inspired by how we’re doing it!”
Times: 9:00 to 5:00 each day
Location: York & Durham Regions (Lake Simcoe Watershed)
Registration Fee:  Early Bird Special of $125.00 if you register by September 12th
After September 12th  $150.00

2014 Tour Sites:
John’s Garden, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm South, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm North, Uxbridge
Tycoed Restorative Farm, Uxbridge
Mandala Gardens at The Realign Ranch, Mt Albert/Uxbridge
Cavallieiro Farm, Schomberg
We HOPE this tour will inspire you to consider how you are living now and what changes you could potentially make to help create a better ecosystem for the Earth and all living creatures. We will demonstrate and give you experiences of the way this community of homesteaders are using permaculture principles to make changes. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will have discovered unique ways of applying permaculture principles in your immediate environment, from backyard to an operating farm!  Little changes, big changes…all make a difference in your own life and the life of your community.
A shuttle bus will be available for the tour with pick-up at the Uxbridge Train Station (GO Terminus at Railway St. & Spruce St.). If you wish to stay in the area, camping will be available at Foggy River Farm North and there are also Bed and Breakfast places available. Lunch on both days will be available for purchase or you can bring your own.

To register please visit  http://permaculturetour.eventbrite.com/?aff=ReAlignRanch

Please join us!!!

Quote of the day
"You are one thing only.  You are a Divine Being.  An all-powerful Creator.  You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was."- Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide to Your True Destiny.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Building the dream!...creating a Mandala Garden of my own.



Step by step, as we move with integrity to following our dreams, our visions become tools that guide our journey towards the self, and towards a deeper more intimate connection with the Earth and with the Elements that make us who we are and that gave into the manifestation of the world as it exists.

I have been raw now for 5 years, and along the process, something quite magical is happening, step by step, I am getting the opportunity to work towards my dreams and my intuitive visions are guiding the way into the creation of a more solid, beautiful, nourishing & healing ground to stand on.

As I began to align more with the energy and consciousness that comes with eating a raw and clean diet and the pursuit of alignment of body, mind and soul through yoga,  I wanted to learn and become more self sustainable, I wanted to eat local, organic, grown with the awareness of love and the life-force in our foods, I wanted to ground my body with the energy of the Earth and surrender to my heart felt responsibility to be a part of the solution to the problems of  Earth's sustainability we face today.

I started reading all about permaculture, forest gardening, but most importantly I started listening to my heart and to the guidance that comes from it as I sit in meditation.  I had the vision of the Mandala Garden about 3 years ago, but at the time we had just moved into our new space, and I knew the time wasn't right.  I knew I had to get to know the land, before I could help it reveal itself.  I knew I had to observe and witness its charm & its character and allow the dream to unveil.

All sorts of serendipities found their way to me, and great people, teachers, organic farmers are all a part of my new found community that has become so much of my foundation and that has allowed me to follow my intuition on this new path.  Last fall 2013, I started laying down the cardboards for the base of the garden, I started building the soil, making the beds and feeling my way through my Mandala Garden.  I chose to include the 5 Elements that stem from the Ayurveda tradition and the 4 directions that are a part of the Native tradition as essential core principles of the Garden.  I started to sit in meditation with the focused intention to create a place of healing, a place of nourishment, a place of self sustainability, a place of teaching, a place of meditation, a place of realignment, a place of integration, a very special Sanctuary! This spring I had a  serendipitous chance meeting with Phil Collins from Foggy River Farms with whom I collaborated for the final stages of the design and who gave me the final push I needed to make it all happen!

Traditionally the word Mandala comes from the Hindu and Buddhist Traditions and it means "circle", or a geometric figure representing the Universe, even though it may have squares and other geometric shapes in its design, it is a concentric structure.  It offers balance of visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony.  The goal of the Mandala is to serve as a guide on our spiritual journey for completeness and self-unity as it symbolizes cosmic and psychic order.  It is also a tool that serves to quiet the mind in meditation and tune into the wisdom and knowledge that is within ourselves.

Adapting the design principles of the Mandala to create a Mandala Garden, brings all the elements of energy flow, unity, harmony, symbolism, purpose and guidance for the spiritual journey and personal transformation into the garden and it embeds the physical three dimentional space with a healing, supportive, meditative, nourishing vibration as its core.

The inner core of this Mandala Garden is the Herb Spiral (temporary home of the garlic this year) and it is also a circular representation of the Element of Ether, the Original vibration that set all manifestation into being.  Surrounding the Herb Spiral are 4 square raised beds that symbolize the 4 other Elements- Air, Fire, Water and Earth.  Aligned with true North are 4 rectangular raised beds in each of the 4 directions, North, East, South, West.  There are also 4 rectangular raised beds towards the outer layer of the garden, that keep the Elemental raised beds energy within the garden.  All the raised beds are home to Annual vegetables such as kale, green onions, leeks, broccoli, broccoflower, tomatoes, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts.  Surrounding this inner core of the garden are 4 circular beds that keep the energy of the garden within.  There are only 4 - 3 foot wide- entrances to the garden.  On the outer layers of the garden we have made key holes and arches where the perennial plants are- blueberries, strawberries, currants, goji berries, blackberries, rhubarb, raspberries and where the fruit trees will soon find their home.

As I find myself in August already, we have been eating from the bounty of our garden and continue to build beds and prepare the soil for the next phase of planting fruit trees, and more perennials that will continue to sustain us and with whom we look forward to being in relationship with.  It has been a beautiful journey to witness my kids getting involved in the garden, digging, planting, putting mulch, and running to get the first couple of blueberries, or the biggest cucumber or that foot and a half overgrown zucchini that makes great zucchini noodles!

Selfishly I have made the garden for them.  I think their generation and the generations to come are going to HAVE to know how to grow their own food in order to sustain their health.  It is in the spirit of HOPE that going back to the land and to growing Real Foods without the use of animal byproducts, pesticides, herbicides, hormones and the long list of chemicals that is making our bodies, our community and our society sick, we can start rebuilding our selves and our societies and transcend beyond the limitations and crisis we find ourselves in and continue to evolve towards health, towards inner and world peace.  I believe that for there to be peace there has to be health, for there to be health there has to be a greater awareness of what makes our multidimensional being healthy, and out of acting with integrity upon that personal exploration, peace will arise.  Taking it one step further, if we can not make peace with ourselves, if we cannot create peace from within, how can we achieve peace in the world?

So I leave you to ponder.. with images from the creation of the Mandala Gardens at the Realign Ranch.




Upcoming Events

Sunday September 21st, 2014: Rawllygood Potluck Fall Equinox @ The Realign Ranch. 4-7pm.

It's time to gather and share the bounty of the season!
For this very special gathering we will be doing a ceremony in the Mandala Garden, we will be planting our Tree of Life in the middle of the Herb Spiral, which is at the core of the Garden.  We will be doing a short ceremony that I am calling Planting the Soul Dream.  Please take 10 minutes out of your busy lives and come prepare for it.  Find a quiet space and time, sit in meditation and connect deeply with your inner self.  What is it that your soul dreams of manifesting? what is it that your soul's desire? What is your purpose and how do you see it coming forth at this time?  write it all down.  Bring your Soul Dream with you, as we will be planting them underneath the Tree of Life, to nourish, heal and continue to transform the tree and the Mandala Garden.  As I mentioned before the Tree and the Soul Dreams will be planted at the core and energetic centre of the Garden.

If you can not make it to the potluck, but do wish to have your Soul Dream planted, well, send (email) it my way and onto the earth it will go.  If you wish to keep your Soul Dream private, than mail it my way as well, but make sure to do so sooner than later.  Our mailing address is : The Realign Ranch, 8641 Concession 2, Mt Albert, ON, L0G1M0.  Make sure you write Soul Dream on the envelope so that your privacy is respected!


Saturday October 18th & Sunday October 19th- H.O.P.E. Permaculture Tour!
Welcome to the first Homesteading Organically to Produce Eco-systems Permaculture Tour!

“Learn and be inspired by how we’re doing it!”
Times: 9:00 to 5:00 each day
Location: York & Durham Regions (Lake Simcoe Watershed)
Registration Fee:  Early Bird Special of $125.00 if you register by September 12th
After September 12th  $150.00

2014 Tour Sites:
John’s Garden, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm South, Uxbridge
Foggy River Farm North, Uxbridge
Tycoed Restorative Farm, Uxbridge
Mandala Gardens at The Realign Ranch, Mt Albert/Uxbridge
Cavallieiro Farm, Schomberg
We HOPE this tour will inspire you to consider how you are living now and what changes you could potentially make to help create a better ecosystem for the Earth and all living creatures. We will demonstrate and give you experiences of the way this community of homesteaders are using permaculture principles to make changes. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will have discovered unique ways of applying permaculture principles in your immediate environment, from backyard to an operating farm!  Little changes, big changes…all make a difference in your own life and the life of your community.
A shuttle bus will be available for the tour with pick-up at the Uxbridge Train Station (GO Terminus at Railway St. & Spruce St.). If you wish to stay in the area, camping will be available at Foggy River Farm North and there are also Bed and Breakfast places available. Lunch on both days will be available for purchase or you can bring your own.
Please join us!!!


 Quote of the Day
"Teach me to trust my heart,
My mind, my intuition, my inner knowing,
The senses of my body,
The blessings of my spirit,
So that I may entertain sacred space,
And Love beyond my fear
And thus walk in balance
With the passing of each glorious sun.
- Lakota Prayer





















Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Will you stay or will you go? I most sincerely hope that you stay…. 'cause really, it's all Rawllygood!

Dearest World Citizen:

As you may be aware, here in Canada, we have a new anti spam legislation coming into effect July 1, 2014.  It requires online businesses, and pretty much anyone, who contacts and shares info online to confirm/ express their consent to receiving the Rawllygood words, future updates and information. ( a.k.a. being on this blog.)

So it is that I must ask, will you stay or will you go? secretly hoping that you will stay.  If you wish to continue receiving the Rawllygood words, rest assure, you will.  There is nothing else you need to do, your consent will be implied.  But if you rather move on, than simply "unsubscribe".  I wish you well and know that you will be missed!

Best. Always.
'cause really, it's all Rawllygood!

Yours,
Naty Howard

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I invite you to BACKUP & RESTORE!

When was the last time you unplugged, took your shoes off and walked barefooted along a forest path?  yeah, exactly! today's world has a way of spinning faster than before and because we have gotten soo good at multitasking we are usually doing 10 things at once and expecting to get 20 done. Right? Sounds too familiar... we get so busy even backing up our electronic systems and restoring them.. but when was the last time you backed yourself up and restored?

Taking time to back up, to restore, to reconnect is crucial for optimal health.  It is crucial to nurture ourselves and give our selves time to unwind, time to nourish ourselves, and time to connect with what is really important to us, realigning our intentions and the choices we are making towards building and manifesting our meaningful lives.  I am not talking about time to disconnect from it all!, I am talking about time for you away from it all to connect ever so deeply.

I get it, it is easy to get caught up in the midst of the storm, but we must stand tall, feet deeply rooted and breath.

Creating a Spiritual Practice, dedicated to just that, reconnecting with our selves, with our intentions, with our choices brings mindfulness to our days and to our being.  Daily practice is most beneficial as it builds and deepens our trust in our selves and creates that magical space, where our bodies know at a cellular level we are safe, we are connected, we can let go and recalibrate our nervous system, we can be still and seek peace.

A Spiritual Practice is as unique as you are.  There are many tools out there to be used as a spiritual practice, from meditation to yoga, to breath work, to journaling, to sacred dance, to communing with nature, and so on.  Whatever re calibrates your nervous system and allows you to de stress, re connect and realign has the potential to become your spiritual practice.



As you establish your practice, knowing that we have to face our lovely egos and go beyond to where the soul resides will give you the inspiration to carry on and the commitment for long term success.

What does your Spiritual Practice look like?

What would you like it to look like?

Here are some tools or ideas for you to be inspired by, set a few minutes a day, and build on that time,  know that just as the seasons change so will your practice.  Sometimes we need different things in that time, but making sure we leave rejuvenated, grounded and inspired is very important.  On more traditional practices, the movement of the body in encouraged prior to sitting in meditation, it allows us to bring oxygen into our bodies, move the lymph, move the mind, wake up if you will, dance the cosmic dance, in order to settle down for the practice of meditation.

Tools for creating a Spiritual Practice:
*Recognize your needs, write a list down of where you are at, and where you would like to be.  Search for ways to get you there.
*Prioritize your needs and your practice.
*Start small, once you are committed to that and it becomes your routine, expand on it. 5 minutes a day can go a long way!  5 mindful minutes of only meditation consistently will do more of your well being than two hours of it, every two weeks.
*Create a sacred space.  A space you go to for your practice, it can be as simple as a corner in a room, or a room to itself.  Your entire body will soon recognize this place and thank you for showing up to yourself.
*Same place, same time, everyday.  If our practice is something that we do every day, we will reap a whole lot more of its benefits than if it is something that is done occasionally.  Occasionally understanding that you are human, and that your practice may shift for a day or two is ok.
*Being gentle and compassionate with ourselves, remember its a 'practice', perfection lays in its imperfections.
*Express your intention and your offering for the practice and close your practice with gratitude.
*Read inspirational words to start your day
*Journal.  Express yourself!
*Connect with Nature. Get outside. Walk barefooted and ground.

So take those 5 minutes a day, and build on it, back yourself up and restore :)

If you are looking for a day to reconnect with nature, learn about edible gardens, learn about Raw food Nutrition than come on by, Sunday June 8th, 9am-5pm. It will be a jam packed Rawllygood beautiful kind of day!

Events coming up
Sunday June 8th, 9am-5pm, Homesteading for Raw Nutrition-
Presented by Phill Collins owner of Foggy River Farms and co-founder of Fresh City Farms, and myself.

Location: The Realign Ranch. 8641 Concession 2. Mt Albert, On (conveniently located 15 minutes East of Newmarket, or 12 minutes west of Uxbridge).
Investment: individual- $125.00 per person, groups of 2 or more- $110.00 per person.

Join us for this full day combination seminar and hands-on workshop. Learn about the benefits of raw nutrition while Natalie demonstrates how easy it is to create simple nutritious meals for you and your family. Natalie will be demonstrating and talking about the benefits and healing aspects of juicing, smoothies, fermenting, dehydrating, super foods, sprouting and more! Phil will talk about many of the nutritionally dense foods that anyone can grow in their own landscape, tree planting and garden bed preparation, permaculture design elements and principles used to design the Mandala Gardens at the Realign Ranch. Hands on activities include meal preparation, tree planting and garden bed preparation.

We will end the day with a walking meditation.

Included in the workshop are raw breakfast and raw lunch.
Each participant will receive up to 10 select seedlings to start their own garden.
For more information and to register for the full day workshop, please visit http://restorativefarming.com/workshops/may-3rd-raw-nutrition-home-gardening-workshop

Shared by you

video


Quote of the Day
"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

... and then this started to happen... sweet power!

About almost a year ago something quite unique started to happen... hearts and hearts, lots of hearts would magically manifest themselves as I cut into strawberries, melons, radishes, picked up random bread crumbs from my dehydrator, random dehydrated onions... I started seeing them on the leaves on the ground as I would go into the forest, even on the rocks I dag out last week as I prepped the beds of the Mandala Gardens.... and yes yes I know, we choose to see what we want to see, but it happens so often (almost daily now) that I can't help to think that there is magic at work, or at least a message to be recognized.  Even my kids see it now! they come running to me- mom! mom! I found love!, would you believe they used to roll their eyes at me.. not just once but twice!, hand motion and all, every time I said- Hey! look at what came up! ya.. ya... ya..

Truth is in the eye of the beholder.  I believe it.  We choose to see what we want to see.  In my case, my truth is Love.  I choose to see love and I choose to let it infuse my life in every way it knows how! I thank deeply every soul love note that comes my way, as they bring joy and warmth and certainty of being on the right path for me, as the work in progress health journey that I am on.  I think the important words here are 'I choose', I choose to align myself with love, with peace, with gratitude.  'I choose' brings whatever it is 'I want' into my life, it is a process of alignment, it is not to say it will be a simple jolly journey, it might, but most likely, it will be an infusion of our jolly shadow with the jolly rawllygood days we all aspire.  'Wanting something' makes it feel far away in the future, an ever disappearing reality.  'Choosing it', makes it present, it is now a part of my life, even if at times, it seems difficult.  I will act differently knowing my choice and my deeper sense of commitment to that choice.  New habits, new thoughts, new emotions will align themselves through me according to my choices.  Committing to our choices elevates our actions and brings forth the fruits of our new chosen daily habits, thoughts, and actions.  Be inspired by your commitment, and accept the deep nourishment that comes along with it.  Challenges will arise and take us to new levels, we will continue to meet and greet our shadow self, at times not very jolly, but instead of having a head first battle, we just might embrace the challenge with an open heart, shed our tears, and release it from our core, moving on, moving on, until the next time.



When a soul love note comes your way, share it, pass it on, soon those around you may be receiving them too!


I decided to share my soul love notes with my friend Chong and this is what came back my way!  Chong is a multi-disciplined artist working and experimenting with different materials and processes in woodworking, photography, and printmaking.  Very very talented. His work can be seen at http://www.lignoandlux.ca.







Soul Love Note from the Rawllygood Kitchen

My grandmother used to make the best desserts, well, she was queen of her Kitchen, she used to make the best of everything! an interesting mix of eastern european cuisine meets south america, she stayed true to her roots and always delighted us with goodness. She used to make these, baked of course, and I have been craving them, perhaps craving her presence.  So in her honour, I have made a raw version of her recipe. Mmmh, so rawllygood!


Ginger Poppyseed Almond Cookies Recipe
2 cups of raw almonds, soaked
1 cup of chopped pitted dates, or if you don't do well with sugar substitute it for Lakanto or birch derived Xylitol, or stevia.
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp of honey, or more Lakanto, birch derived Xylitol, or stevia
4 tbsp of chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp poppyseeds, soaked for 15min (activate their powers!)
1/2 tsp of allspice, or your very own masala. I like using my Nala Masala.
pinch sea salt



Start by soaking the almonds overnight, the poppy seeds just need 15 minutes or so, so soak them as you start this recipe and they will be ready to add on at the end.  First, place the soaked almonds in the food processor, and process until you have the consistency of flour.  Add the rest of the ingredients until a dough ball forms, you might have to do it in two batches. Once it is all mixed up, get a tablespoon and scoop a tbsp of mixture onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet, gently press down to make the cookies or make a dough and use your cut out shapes.  Have fun with it!.

Dehydrate for 1 hour at 145F, then 5 hr at 105F until firm enough to turn over.  Then turn onto mesh sheets and dehydrate for 4 more hrs at 105F or until desired consistency has been reached.


Events coming up
Sunday June 8th, 9am-5pm, Homesteading for Raw Nutrition-
Presented by Phill Collins owner of Foggy River Farms and co-founder of Fresh City Farms, and myself.

Location: The Realign Ranch. 8641 Concession 2. Mt Albert, On (conveniently located 15 minutes East of Newmarket, or 12 minutes west of Uxbridge).
Investment: individual- $125.00 per person, groups of 2 or more- $110.00 per person.

Join us for this full day combination seminar and hands-on workshop. Learn about the benefits of raw nutrition while Natalie demonstrates how easy it is to create simple nutritious meals for you and your family. Natalie will be demonstrating and talking about the benefits and healing aspects of juicing, smoothies, fermenting, dehydrating, super foods, sprouting and more! Phil will talk about many of the nutritionally dense foods that anyone can grow in their own landscape, tree planting and garden bed preparation, permaculture design elements and principles used to design the Mandala Gardens at the Realign Ranch. Hands on activities include meal preparation, tree planting and garden bed preparation.

We will end the day with a walking meditation.

Included in the workshop are raw breakfast and raw lunch.
Each participant will receive up to 10 select seedlings to start their own garden.
For more information and to register for the full day workshop, please visit http://restorativefarming.com/workshops/may-3rd-raw-nutrition-home-gardening-workshop


Quote of the Day
"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller.