Sacred Journey

A Prada hippie's travels, obsessions and boundless search for MORE JOY!

Friends make the world go round.

Feeding My Spirit With Food, Laughter and Friendship

Having a “community” or a close network of friends has always been very important to me. It feels good, and the nurturing of my friendships fed my spirit—little did I know and would later find out, there is actually scientific evidence of the medical benefits of having a community!

My daily agenda of a fun and spirit filled week:

Sunday: Padma, Trish, Andrea and I went to Zumba class and then enjoyed delicious smoothies at Lanikai Juice afterward.

Monday: Went to Ani’s Ashtanga yoga class followed by lunch at Hale Vietnam.

Tuesday: Ani and I went to Padma’s invigorating Anusara yoga class; afterwards the three of us went to the Counter intending to eat “healthy salads”; we let our joy and appetites prevail and went for it, pigging out on sweet potato fries and milk shakes too!

Wednesday: Ani, Cyra, Padma and I shake it and dance in Zumba class followed by pancakes at Jack’s.

Thursday: Padma, Suzana, Andrea, Jen and I went to Ani’s for a delectable dinner: samosas, quiche, artisan bread with olive tapenade and cheese, jasmine rice, dahl, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate and chocolate/peanut butter bliss ice cream.

Friday: Ani, Andrea and I attend Padma’s Anusara yoga class again, and we finish it off with smoothies at the Healthy Bar.

Saturday: I honor myself with a little break to go within.

Sunday: Andrea and I finish the fun-filled week with an amazing Zumba class (I pass on the bra shopping and lunch afterward)

Our Full Moon gathering at Ani’s on Thursday night was so fabulously fun! We were all starving, so we did not even bother to heat up the food and dove into dinner as soon as all the goddesses arrived. During dinner, Jen mentioned that during shoulder-stand pose, she suffocates because of her well-endowed chest. While Ani and Padma commiserated with her, I piped in and asked them to stop bragging. Of course, this started our usual debate over the positives and negatives of having and not having a large chest. Padma said she could never wear what Suzana and I were wearing because her chest would not be supported which I simply took as more BRAGGING! I wish I had something to support! We discussed booster tapes to gel packs and I shared with everyone that I had on little pedal stickies instead of a bra. Ani had never see one (duh why am I not surprised miss 32D!) One of my pedals would look like a grain of sand on her. After further discussion and a lot of advice, Jen realized that she has been wearing the wrong size bra her entire life!

As part of my gratitude for her hospitality, I had gotten Ani a little hostess gift of “Believe” cards. We all picked a card and believe it or not, the card’s inspirational messages were perfect and what each one of us needed to hear at that exact moment. Andrea got out her pendulum and gave everyone mini-readings. We thought all of our party guides were going to come forth and actually the first guide that came forth was Padma’s grandfather (who made moon shine in his day). My “experiential” guide came to speak to me and his name was “JOY.” He said I am to experience seeing the world on a magic carpet. Also, that I should not worry— A Chocoholic’s Sacred Journey will be published around the end of March 2011 and that I need to be “patient” (who is he kidding) because it is a process that I need to go through to really experience and appreciate the full manifestation of writing and publishing a book. Suzana was the last one to get her reading and while she was receiving it, Padma, Ani and Jen went off to Ani’s room to try on bras. Some heart challenging messages were delivered to Suzana and Andrea and I stayed in the dining room to be there for Suzana while she processed. The girls bounded or shall I say, “bounced” back to the dining room and Jen modeled her perfectly fitting bra that Ani had gifted her.

Needing some moon energy, we traipsed outside to soak up the full moon and Jen brought up the book The Red Tent. Andrea, Suzana and I had never heard of it.

The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing,  menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider’s look at the daily  life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob’s daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah—all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves,   artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery. –Amazon.com Review

I went home and downloaded it onto my kindle. (As I type I am already half way through the book and LOVE IT!) The night ended up with us all of us lounging on Ani’s big pune outside on her patio and I asked everyone to take a turn and say something that they loved about themselves. It was so illuminating; Padma loves her feet and Suzana her smile. For round two, we all said something that we loved about each person. It was a loving, empowering exercise and to hear what your friends love about you is the most beautiful gift you could ever receive.

So yes, maybe it might seem that all I did this week was play with my friends and EAT! WRONG! I spent my entire week: nurturing my spirit, being connected to source, and playing in my vortex. The positive manifestations of vibrating at such a joyful level were amazing, from getting premium parking stalls wherever I went, to finding items on my shopping list on super sale, to obtaining the pre-sale code to order tickets for Robin Williams concert the day before the tickets went on sale for the public, to everyone I came across treating me with kindness with big smiles on their faces. Life this week was seemingly effortless without a single bump. A pretty cool formula for nurturing my spirit: chocolate, pancakes, french fries, Zumba, Yoga, Laughter and FRIENDS!

In case you still think that I all I did was eat and play this week, you need to read an e-mail that Jen sent me on Wednesday:

I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection—the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality  “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going.  Jobs? Yes.  Sports? Yes.  Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting and golf?  Yes. But their feelings? Rarely. Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, and evidently that is very good for our health. He  said that spending time
 with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged. This is not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as
 dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So every time you hang out with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health!  We are indeed very, very lucky. So let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends.

Thank you my beautiful yogini friends for co-creating an amazing week of grace and joy for me. I am forever grateful – Namaste

8 comments on “Feeding My Spirit With Food, Laughter and Friendship”

    1. Sweetie, your baking and cooking ROCKS! I am just glad you brought two plates full on thursday! Thank you for not setting down the cookies by me, even after I begged you…….Cookie Monster girl can get a little out of control! Love ya

  1. Thanks for telling me about this site. I loved reading about your week. I am feeling very liberated about food since
    I read an article that said women over 65 should not try to lose weight because it tends to weaken their bones!
    Ah, at last, a benefit of being old! Yeah me!!

  2. An awesome inaugural entry to what I know is an awesome blog by an awesome Goddess writer woman. . . and what a great validation of the significance of girl friend time!!! Thanks for sharing your joy as always, and please keep the blog overflowing with your joy + love + good stuff! peace out

  3. oh how i miss you ladies!!! mandy- sounds like a perfect week. i love your blogging and miss your presence. sending lots of love to you all. btw…i am falling in love with anusara. xo

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