Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gather in sisterhood in Costa Rica ~ February 2021

“We’ll walk the paths where the old ones walked And we’ll dance the dances they taught us and we’ll sing the songs the old ones sang for the magic now has caught us” 🎵 woman of the earth by spiral dance

Have you experienced the magic of the ancient ways? Of connecting with the elements and spirits of the land? Have you sat in circle with your sisters and sang the songs that have been recorded into each of our cells? Have you been witnessed by your sisters in your dance of wildness, liberation and ecstasy?

A “new” way of being together in sisterhood requires a remembrance of the ways we have been before. A devotional, mindful way of living in harmony and connection with the earth and her elements as sacred vessels and bridges between heaven and earth.

Inviting you to experience nature and reconnect to her magic… To reconnect to the magic that lives within you and the power of women gathering. We ARE gathering at the Farm of Life in Costa Rica for 8 magical days of Remembrance, Reclamation & Celebration.

February 17th – 24th 2021
Awaken & Restore: Women’s Self Care & Self Discovery Retreat

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RETREAT

Women’s Retreat Costa Rica: The Liberated Woman | January 2020

Rewild 2020

The Liberate Woman Retreat

January 15th – 22nd, 2020

Farm of Life, Costa Rica

Welcome Beautiful Goddess!

You are invited to join me, and a group of wise and divine women, in the Costa Rican jungle for my third retreat at the magical Farm of Life (one of my favorite places in the world!).

ReWild & ReConnect Retreats are created with so much love and intention as a heartfelt invitation for you to come home to nature – Mother Nature and the True Nature of who you are.

e2809cfor-me-to-rewild-means-to-come-back-into-harmony-with-a-natural-harmonious-and-vibrant-way-of-living.-it-is-a-way-of-being-and-flowing-that-recognises-and-respects-our-intimate-con-1.png

The Liberated Woman retreat is specifically created to honour you as a woman during this time of potent transformation on the planet! In safe and sacred space, you will be supported, celebrated and nurtured as you fully explore, remember and embrace the Liberated Woman and Goddess within!

I invite you to acknowledge and reclaim your 

Worth
Power
Wisdom
Voice
Sexuality 
Sovereignty
Sacredness
Peace 
Freedom
… your Self!

I invite you to experience how deeply the world needs you to be authentically YOU!

Honour yourSelf with this gift of Self Discovery, Self Care and Self Love.
Know, in the depth of your Being, that when you put YOU first, you inspire all women around you (and actually give them permission) to do the same.
Together, we can remember our True Essence.
This retreat is being curated with love for 16 women.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Who is the Liberated Woman? 

She is FREE of ALL conditionings and constructs.
She lives from intuition and instinct.

She is FREE of masks and societal pressures.
She lives as her authentic self with integrity.

She is FREE of guilt and shame.
She honours her body as a temple and her sexuality as sacred.

She is FREE of fear.
She trusts life fully. She speaks with courage. She flows with ALL THAT IS.

She is FREE of thinking she should look and act a certain way.
She is wild, natural and in touch with her natural rhythm and cycles.

She is FREE of judgement.
She is compassionate. She loves unconditionally. She lifts other women up.

She is FREE from the limitations of her mind.
She witnesses all of creation as a reflection of herself.

She knows who she is. She knows she was never bound.

She is Life itself.

She is Love.

Can you feel her? Is she alive within you? Do you want to connect with her more deeply and reawaken her into Being?

IMG_2816

Our Sanctuary: Farm of Life

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Farm of Life, nestled in the middle of the jungle at the top of a mountain, makes it the ideal location for our ReWild & ReConnect Retreat (it is literally at the end of the gravel road!). This gem is located in the Southwest coastal region of Costa Rica, near the Pacific Ocean, Dominical beach and the mountain town of San Isidro. During your stay at Finca de Vida, bask in the high vibrational elements of the farm, feel the nourishing tropical breeze, listen to the symphony of innumerable birds & insects, watch the mesmerising dance of the butterflies, dragonflies & hummingbirds.

This magical property bursts with radiant, fragrant flowers and lush gardens, towering ceiba trees, and flowing crystalline waters. Connect with Mother Nature and be nurtured by barefoot walking, sun gazing, breathing in fresh mountain air, hiking through the jungle trail, eating off the land and drinking pure spring water. Witness unforgettable sunsets and the mystical, shapeshifting clouds of the approaching rainy season. Every moment at the Farm, everywhere that you look, all that you hear, touch, taste, & smell is an opportunity to experience pure wonderment and awe of this magical slice of paradise.

All Inclusive Retreat Includes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7 Nights/8 days Accommodation at the Farm of Life.  Choose from semi -private, shared or private cabin. All cabins include balcony with epic view, hammock and ensuite bathroom.

Daily Morning Meditation & Yoga overlooking the jungle and pacific ocean in the distance! The practice is for all levels and includes gentle hatha, chakra flow and restorative yoga.

Daily Transformational Women’s Circle. Each day will have a different theme as we explore, reawaken and welcome home different aspects of the Liberated Woman. Through a variety of practices rooted in ancient feminine womb wisdom, we will be calling upon our inner Wild Woman, and inner Goddess of love, beauty, compassion, strength, wisdom and sensuality. Our circles will also include sacred dance, group sharing, elemental rituals, song circles, mantra & mudra,  and special goddess ceremonies including a cacao ceremony with ecstatic dance and a water ceremony at the beach.

Three Waterfall Hikes including Nayauca Waterfall, peacefalls and the Jewel of the Sun. 

Two Beach Trips including a Sunset Beach Dinner and Special Oceanside Water Ceremony.

Waterfall Spa Day with all natural DIY products.

Jungle Flying Trapeze at Airborne Arts  – Awaken your inner warrior! Watch a video of Lacey at her first trapeze class! (Trapeze is optional. If you choose not to participate in this exhilarating experience, the cost can be used for a 90 minute massage)

Three Delicious Organic Vegan Gluten Free Meals a day including fresh coconut water and medicinal garden tea! The menu is a beautiful blend of raw high vibration foods (think the best tropical fruit and smoothies you’ve ever had and fresh leafy greens from the organic garden!),  and soul nourishing home cooked meals, prepared with ayurvedic principles. Yes, coffee is included with breakfast! 

Farm of Life Medicinal Prana Tour

Campfire with Sound Bath

Sungazing Instruction with Farm of Life Co-Creator, Brian.

Free time to explore the farm, read in a hammock, swim in the natural pool, rest, recharge on the crystal light rack, hit up the “jungle gym,” or unwind with a massage (additional cost).

Group Shuttle Transfer to/from San Jose Airport Hotel

Mid-Week Laundry Service

+

Group Preparation Call before the retreat and Group Integration Call after the retreat

Private Facebook Group for connecting with sisters and sharing resources

Welcome Letter with full details (ie: what to bring, how to prepare, airport hotel listings, Farm of Life Welcome Letter, retreat schedule, etc.)

Not Included

Airfare to San Jose International Airport (San Juan Maria)

Accommodation in San Jose the night before the retreat (January 14th), and the final night of the retreat (January 22nd).

PLEASE NOTE: The retreat beings at 8 am on January 15th in San Jose. All guests are required to arrive  in San Jose at least one day prior. The meeting point in San Jose is at Hotel Aeropuerto. The retreat ends on January 22nd, in San Jose, at 6pm. We suggest spending the night in San Jose and flying out on the 23rd or booking a flight after 9 pm.Upon registration, hotel recommendations will be sent to you. 

Taxi from airport to chosen hotel. Hotel Aeropuerto has a free shuttle.

Massage Therapy & Energy Work ($70)

Staff Gratuities

 Shopping at the beach in Dominical

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Full Retreat Details & Registration


button_accommodation-options-retreat-rates-registration

button_retreat-schedule


ReWild & ReConnect Retreat Sister Praise 

Vegan Food on Koh Phangan & Ubud Bali

5 Delicious Plant Based Meal Ideas … inspired from my travels in Thailand (Koh Phangan Island) and Bali (Ubud) 

 

Teriyaki Tempeh Bowl

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 15.37.39
Terriyaki marinated tempeh, mixed greens, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, caramelized onions and brown rice served with tahini sauce.

Eat. Co Restaurant – Koh Phangan
See the full menu!


Creamy Vegan Caesar Salad

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 15.34.37Mixed greens in a cashew salad dressing, sun dried tomatoes, raw parmesan “cheese,” nutritional yeast, mung bean sprouts and a raw crackers.

Orion Healing Center – Koh Phangan Thailand  

See the full menu

Have you tried my homemade creamy vegan caesar salad dressing yet?


Pumpkin and Black Bean Burrito

served with cashew sour cream and spicy salsa  

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 16.01.43

Karma Kafe Koh Phangan Thailand

Visit their Facebook page 


Design your own vegan pizza 
with homemade cashew cheese and veggies of choice! 

IMG_2722

Organic Love Whole Food Kitchen – Koh Phangan Thailand

Visit their facebook page 


“BLT” Wrap

img_2822.jpg

Grilled tempeh “bacon”, black bean hummus, avocado, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce and hot sauce!

Clear Cafe, Ubud Bali
See the full menu

 

More vegan food in bali coming soon! 

Awaken & Restore: A Self Care Retreat for Women at Shanti Retreat

promo pic

Friday September 6th – Sunday September 8th, 2019

Shanti Retreat, Wolfe Island

Self Care is Self Love. Join Lacey Budge for an inspiring and nourishing weekend retreat to savour the end of summer. Step out of your daily routine, and create space to fill your cup before diving into a busy fall schedule.

Retreat to an Island Getaway! Relax, rejuvenate and unwind at Shanti Retreat located on beautiful Wolfe Island, near Kingston, the gateway to the Thousand Islands. To reach Shanti, board the Wolfe Island Ferry conveniently located in the heart of downtown Kingston. It’s a scenic 20 minute free car ferry ride to this island sanctuary.

Awaken & Restore the inner Goddess with a weekend of yoga (Flow, Hatha & Restorative), meditation, sacred movement to open the body and heart, self care practices, countryside walks, soul nourishing vegetarian cuisine, inspiring gatherings and an evening bonfire. Experience the special energy of the yurt during our daily practices and gatherings.

Choose from semi private, shared or tenting accommodation. You’ll feel at home in Shanti’s spacious century inn and waterside cabins. This beautiful property has stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and sunsets from the waterfront patio are memorable. The inn’s timbered ceilings and wood stove provide a natural country charm.

Your body and soul will be nourished with Shanti’s delicious and nutritious meals. With the utmost love and respect for animals and the earth, vegetarian meals are served. We strive to use locally grown Wolfe Island organic produce whenever possible. Shanti can accommodate a gluten free and vegan diet. See a sample menu!

Reconnect with the beauty, freedom and infinite joy that dwells within. Immerse yourself in Wolfe Island’s natural beauty with time outdoors swimming in the Brown’s Bay, sunbathing, walking the labyrinth, cycling, reading in a hammock, or simply sitting waterside with a journal and herbal tea. You may also choose to book a massage with Jack during the afternoon free time! 

Connect with nature, Self, and sisterhood. All scheduled activities are optional – it’s your retreat!  We will have a magical weekend together, and you will leave feeling reconnected, reawakened and restored.

Retreat Includes :

  • 2 nights accommodation in semi private, shared or tenting
  • All yoga classes, guided meditation, and sacred movement practices guided by Lacey
  • All yoga props. No need to bring your mat, unless you can’t leave home without it!
  • Nourishing afternoon self care practices
  • A magical evening gathering to awaken the Goddess within
  • Welcoming bonfire, drumming and sacred songs
  • 5 Delicious, locally inspired vegetarian meals served buffet style
  • Silent mornings to support relaxation and inner contemplation
  • Use of Shanti’s amenities: infrared sauna, labyrinth, walking routes, canoes & kayaks, hammocks, wifi, wellness tea bar, and slack line
  • Ample time to enjoy the natural surroundings, take a nap, connect with like minded women or book a massage

Retreat Schedule 

Friday
Arrival between 2:00 & 4:30 pm
5:00—6:30 pm Self Care  & Restorative Yoga
6:45 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Welcome Gathering & Bonfire (weather permitting)
with drumming & sacred songs    

Saturday
7:30—8:30 am Silent Self Serve Breakfast
8:30 am Silent Nature Walk
9:30 am Awakening Flow Yoga, Inspiring Movement
& Meditation
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00-4:00 pm Free Time for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sunbathing, reading in a hammock, taking a nap, enjoying the infrared sauna, connecting in sisterhood, or book a massage!

4:00 pm – 6pm Yoga & Nourishing Self Care Practices
6:30pm Dinner
8:00 – 10 pm Evening Gathering

Sunday
Silent Light Breakfast available upon rising
8:00 am Silent Nature Walk
9:00 am Yoga, Inspiring Movement & Closing Circle  
11:00 am Shanti Signature Brunch
12:00 pm Check Out of Rooms. Enjoy the Property Until 2:00pm

Rates

Shared Accommodation (3-4 women per room or cabin) $415  + hst

Semi Private Accommodation (2 share) $465 + hst

Shanti Tent (private) $390 + hst

Personal tent $365 + hst

Registration

To make a booking and reserve your space, please contact Shanti Retreat.

More Useful Links 

About Lacey 

Find Us

FAQ

 

TRAVEL VEGAN IN THE PHILIPPINES

Let me start by saying that travelling as a Vegetarian or Vegan in the Philippines has its challenges, but it is definitely possible! Throughout my 6 weeks here, I have been blessed with finding some very delicious restaurants, colourful fruit and veggie markets/stands along with an abundance of fresh young coconuts!

IMG_0982

Do not let the lack of plant based menu items hold you back from travelling here. The Philippines is one of the least built up places I have travelled to and is home to some of the nicest people in the world. The islands I visited are so incredibly lush and abundant with waterfalls, beaches, secret lagoons and unique mountainous landscapes.  Plus, I can finally check this off my bucket list: staying in a waterfront cottage on private beach…for less than $50 CDN a night!

When my my partner Jack and I decided to take this trip, there were not many online resources on vegan travel in the Philippines. Trusting this inspires you and guides you during a happy, healthy and holistic trip through these incredible Islands.

thumb_DSCN4837_1024

My first tip: Eat a lot more fruit than your used to! For most of our trip we’d wake up and drink a coconut water (mixed with spirulina we brought from Canada) followed by some fresh hydrating fruit like watermelon. In the afternoon, we had a mix of seasonal and local fruit like mangos, bananas, pineapple, papaya, jackfruit,  or chicos (similar to sweet bosc pear, also known as nispero in Central America) or coconut meat! Dinner would be time for the restaurant (and some times a home cooked meal at our airbnb’s). This is such a nourishing and hydrating way of eating. The tropical fruit here are fresh, local and therefore high in nutrients. With the hot weather, it feels so good to eat a more cooling diet. And if you plan to do lots of activity during the day, especially swimming, it’s  nice to feel a bit lighter.

 


CEBU ISLAND

MOALBOAL

Moalboal Fruit Stand

IMG_0794

You can’t miss it. It’s right on the national highway soon as you turn into the city, next to city hall and the round about. There is also a much larger fruit and veggie market just behind the stores on the main road (national highway), but we were quite happy with what we found at the main fruit stand. Epic yellow watermelon (and red too), mango, pineapple, pomelo, jackfruit, soursop, coconuts, you can also find apples and oranges.

Ven’z Kitchen

 

Known as one of the best restaurants in Moalboal, and it has about 8 vegan menu options featuring local veggies like eggplant, carrots, purple sweet potato, okra, pumpkin, peppers and green beans.

What we ordered… Yellow Vegetable Curry w/ rice; Veggies in Peanut Sauce;  the vegan eggplant dish dish.

Tip: portions are small so you may want to order 3 dishes for two people if its for dinner.

+ We absolutely enjoyed playing with all the available board games like scrabble, uno, connect four and jenga while waiting for our meal!

Lantaw

What we ordered...Thai Red Vegetable Curry, Indonesian Yellow Curry, Vegetable Tempura.

IMG_0808

Insider’s scoop:  Great portion sizes! The red curry was very tasty and a perfect balance between sweet and spicy- definitely more flavourful than the yellow. I wouldn’t recommend the tempura it was very oil and was battered really thick, not like the traditional style.

Free-Diving Planet (hostel + free dive training center)

What we ordered...Sweet potato fries and greek inspired quinoa salad, Teriyaki Veggie Noodle Bowl, Superfood Soup with moringa leaves, carrots and pumpkin.

Insider’s scoop: Pretty Plain, but was happy to be eating quinoa. The noodles were delicious. A bit more expensive than other restaurants.


PALAWAN

PUERTO PRINCESA

Lale Indian  & Thai Restaurant 

This was one of the best meals we enjoyed during the trip, we’re probably biased because we LOVE Indian food and hadn’t had any during our trip yet. But really, this was authentic, tasty, Indian Cuisine and very well received by our bellies! It’s a must for any vegan or vegetarian travelling through or to Puerto.

 

 

Tip: Definitely order the naan with chutney. Great price, good portions. nice decor and they do take out! A must for vegans and vegetarians visiting puerto princesa. 

Ima’s Vegetarian Restaurant

What we ordered… Tempeh Fries, Veggie & Rice Jambalaya, Vegan Burritos

 

Insider’s Scoop: The best thing was the tempeh fries! The rest of the meal was decent, but nothing remarkable. I was a bit uninspired by the menu that seemed to use a lot of canned veggies.

Fruit Stands

You can find these pretty much everywhere on the side of the street and they are always abundant. There is also a bigger town market as well. During our time near Puerto Princesa, we did a 6 day self guided silent retreat and fruit cleanse. We had so much fun transporting  our giant fruit haul in the tricycle!

IMG_0863

PORT BARTON

 We found 2 incredible restaurants and stuck to them… Gorgonzola and Mabuti!
#1 Top Restaurant of our trip:… Gorgonzola
This mainly vegetarian restaurant was an incredible treat for us! We enjoyed many vegan, Italian/Spanish inspired dishes, which is not so easy to do when travelling. The taste of a thin crust pizza, cooked in a wood fire oven is priceless, especially with homemade dough, yummy sauce and amazing toppings to choose from. It smells divine in here and the open concept kitchen is so beautifully designed. They are in the middle of expanding so I am sure you can only expect it to get better from here!
IMG_0893
What we ordered…
Wood fire oven, thin crust, vegan pizza with cashew cheese and all our favourite toppings like artichokes, olives, peppers, arugula, avocado, zucchini and eggplant.
Full Protein Salad with leafy green lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mung beans, boiled egg/hummus, turmeric cashew dressing accompanied by homemade bread!

 

All types of toasts served on that delicious bread. We tried the humus and sautéed mushroom.
Oven baked focaccia bread with your choice of dip: hummus, pesto, eggplant, tapenade, or go for the bruschetta.
We didn’t have any, but they also make fresh homemade pasta in house which you can order with your choice of sauce, including pesto, tomato, creamy mushroom and a few others.
Insider’s Scoop: Each table comes with three kinds of homemade, infused olive oils : oregano, garlic and spicy! They are awesome to put on top of the pizza, salad or even the toasts. Its not always easy to come buy quality olive oil while travelling, so we took advantage of it and upped our healthy fat intake!
Tip: Try the ginger-mint lemonade, it’s super refreshing. Made with fresh mint, ginger root and blended in a vitamix with homemade lemonade!
 A sweet, modern, chic yet chill hang out space, with an almost completely vegetarian menu.
What we ordered…Mango-cashew salad with fresh spinach, Mixed greens salad (greek inspired), The best ever Veggie Burger (curry flavoured and served on a homemade bun) which comes with tasty & crispy baked potato wedges, Homemade Quiche with mixed veggie Salad.
IMG_0874
Tip: You’ll love the vegan burger, that’s all we need to say. Order any drink, we recommend the fresh calamansi juice and it comes with  a free bamboo straw.
Yoske’s 
What we ordered … Falafal plate comes with 6 falafels, small Israeli salad,  tahini dip and pita, Hummus and Pita.
Tip: This was quite delicious, although a bit pricey for the portion size. We were okay with it as the owner literally orders so much of his products in from Israel so that they are the most authentic version!
Enjoy a 1km walk from town to this very big outdoor restaurant all with bamboo furniture. This places is more of a bar, and not so much our style. To be honest, they have so many signs posted, we needed to go check it out. The food was perfect for an afternoon snack.
What we ordered… sweet potato fries, tempura olives. They have also have noodle bowls with tahini sauce or peanut sauce, but we were just there to snack and check it out.
note: Our accommodation (EVIO front beach cottage on airbnb) was on a private beach, in a cute little cottage, 30 minutes walking distance from Port Barton, in Pamuyan. The owner, Rosemary, prepared us delicious vegan meals like pumpkin curry, stewed mung beans, vegetable curry, spring rolls, mashed purple sweet potato, coconut rice  and desserts like fried banana! So don’t worry…we didn’t eat Italian every night!
EL NIDO
The only full vegan/veggie place in El Nido which is hard to believe for the number of tourists. This was a fun experience. We got to meet the owner, who is also the chef. He is so inspired by plant based cooking, especially inventing new kinds of burgers. He makes everything from scratch, including the bun which is made with whole wheat. You eat on a little bench in this mini snack bar. The power was out (very common!) when we were there so we enjoyed our burgers with candlelight.
What we ordered…Double decker falafel burger, Sweet potato burger, Fresh Cut Fries
img_0994.jpg
Tip: If you’re really hungry go for the double decker, other go for the other burger patti choices: sweet potato, eggplant, mushroom and corn or potato, all made from a chickpea based + he even does a banana burger!
Happiness Express
 This is more of a bar rather than a restaurant, and a very popular one indeed.  It has a cool vibe and funky decor and seems to be the place to go if you want to have some drinks after a day of touring. We went for the food!
What we ordered… Mediterranean sharing plate with hummus, best ever falafels, spicy tomato dip, tahini, eggplant dip pitas and spicy sauce, The Falafel and Hummus Plate.
Insider’s Scoop: Other delicious items on the menu (and what we saw being ordered around us!) were the home made fries and the shakshuka!
Athena Greek Restaurant 
What we ordered…

Greek Salad (with or without feta cheese), and a lot of other salads to choose from.

…and of course, more mediterranean sharing plates with hummus and babaganoush.
Insider’s Scoop: Very nice location, right on the beach. It gets busy so you may have to make a reservation. They also serve fresh veggies juices here.
On the island hopping tours, as a vegan you can always expect the same cuisine: fresh fruit like bananas, melon and pineapple; the classic marinated vegetable salad with cabbage, carrots and green beans; eggplant salad; rice; and a fresh tomato, cucumber and shredded carrot plate.

CORON (BUSUANGA)

CORON (town proper)

Fruit and Veggie Stands

Walk down to the waterfront, at the end of Don Pedro Street, 2 block to the left, to find lots of fruit and veggie stands and fresh coconuts.

Food Court in the local market (down by the water at the end of Don Pedro Street)

Buzz Express

You have no idea how blessed and lucky we feel to have found “The Harvest Bowl.” This is one of our favourite meals in Canada where we make many versions of this “Buddha Bowl.” This restaurant is probably one of the pricier ones of our trip, but so worth it. We also enjoyed a garden salad that actually included an abundance of fresh leafy lettuce (a rare find that was most welcomed!).

img_1060.jpg

What we ordered…The Harvest Bowl: Served on a bed of brown rice and topped with sprouted mung beans, thinly sliced cucumber and coconut meat, homemade marinated slaw, crunchy chickpeas, cashews and the best ever creamy coconut thai curry sauce; Garden Salad with honey mustard dressing; Calamansi juice with honey.

Insider’s Scoop: The bill adds on an additional, mandatory, 10 % service charge, so be sure to keep this in mind based on your budget.  See the full menu 

Brujita 

This was one of the first restaurants we found online with veggie and vegan options. It offers a variety of choices like curries, pesto pastas, salads, fried rice and canton noodles.

What we ordered (went went here twice!)… Canton Veggie Noodles; Creamy Pumpkin Soup with coconut milk served with a delicious homemade grainy rye bread; Sweet potato chips with homemade salsa and homemade mustard (the best!); Mung Bean and Chickpea Curry with Garlic Rice (our favourite dish).

 

 

Tip: #1. Order the homemade mustard, it will be the best one of your life! #2 Go for an early dinner. There are only a few tables and it gets busy, so to avoid waiting in line go around 5 pm.

Insider’s Scoop: The Canton noodles are quite good and the portion size is massive, but we later found out by reading some packaging in the store that the noodles are made with yellow food colouring, so we avoided them during our 2nd visit.

Muslim Halal Food Stall

What a gem of spicy, flavourful, homemade, cheap food! We seriously spent 150 PHP on dinner for both of us. That is a record, and so was the taste. How lucky we were to find this place. We have been wanting to eat street food our entire trip, but couldn’t find anything vegan other than fried food. We were so pleased to find this delicious jack fruit inspired coconut curry (I still can’t believe it wasn’t meat!)
What we ordered…Jackfruit and coconut Stew (40 php), Vegetable Curry (40 php), and Rice (15 php)

 


SIQUIJOR ISLAND

*This was our first Island visit, and I wasn’t take food photos at the time..sorry!*

SAN JUAN

Mini Fruit Stand 

Where to find it: At the town square (you will see a public pool), Turn right off the main road, at the health clinic, drive along the water for less than a minute – you will pass people doing laundry in a small river, and then you will find the market where you can buy local watermelon, mangoes, pineapple, bananas and veggies.

Restaurants

Baha Bar

This was our go to place on Siquijor….we must have gone at least 6 times during our 10 day stay. They had so many choices, the food is incredible, good portions, above average prices for Siquijor but comparable with the rest of the places we visited, live music, comfy couches, fire dancing night and more!

What we ordered… Singaporian Red Vegetable Curry (daily special), Fresh Rolls, Green Sala, Roasted eggplant in coconut cream, Grilled Veggie Burger (they were out of banana bloom as indicated on the menu), Sweet Potato Wedges.

Tip: Do yourself a favour and order a fresh Pineapple Juice – Probably the only ‘not watered down or blended with ice’ juice/shake we had during our entire trip.

+ You can find a shop, owned by baha bar, across the street selling some fruit and veggies and other staples if you want to cook at your place.

The Mediterranean Restaurant (yep that is what its called)

What we ordered…Hummus, fresh veggies and homemade pita, Absolutely Divine Sautéed Okra served with quality sea salt.

Tip: Super small portions for these 2 dishes, think of them  as appetisers or order one per person.

Saki (part of Hillside Village)

This place is a gem. We came across it when we spent one afternoon driving around most of the island and up into the mountains toward the forest. We absolutely loved doing this and highly recommend it. We found Sake, just past Infinite Heights resort, at the top of a hill with an epic view. This authentic Japanese restaurant had an extensive menu, and quite a few vegetarian options- with the option to make them vegan.

What we ordered…Vegetable Tempura with Moringa, Pumpkin, Jump Oregano Leaves and Eggplant, Green Tea Soba Noodle Soup

Tip: Go for the the panoramic view and the beauty of driving up the mountains! 

Here I go… Into silence and darkness… a 14 day meditation and dark room retreat in Guatemala…time to do “the work.”

the-hermitage-30-day-retreat-with-claud

This is not the time to set goals or intentions, to travel and explore the outer beauty of this Earth, to connect with friends and loved ones,  or to come up with my next inspiring idea.

There is a time for all of that, but this is not it.

This is scheduled time to do absolutely nothing. To travel and explore the inner realm of my Being. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

To sit with myself, for 14 days…without any distraction. No words to be spoken, no facebook, instagram, netflix, emails to answers, friends to connect with, work to be done, meals to prepare, clothing and dishes to wash…

This is the time to surrender into the stillness of my True Nature. To stare out into nature (and in this case out at volcanos on a lake!). To witness the thoughts, emotions, irritations, joy that comes up and not react to it, to identify with it as mine, or do anything with it.  I will watch it all pass through me as a part of my experience and see them as a clouds passing by, and then come back to the blue sky. There is nothing to achieve. No experience to acquire. Nothing to add to my spiritual CV.

the-hermitage-30-day-retreat-with-claud

This is a gift to my highest self. Although every moment is an opportunity to live as Presence or the Witness Consciousness of our human experience, going into retreat really gives you that opportunity to really surrender, be still and be ok with that… (if not you will go crazy!).

Just “being” for 14 days, trusting the process and inviting in whatever wants to arise for me with no where to run, no words to express my drama, no phone to grab…Just “hanging out” with my True Self.

For the past 4 years, I have participated in one silent meditation retreat per year ranging from 6 to ten days. The retreats have had a daily schedule, were done in a group setting and have been guided by teachers. This retreat will be solo, self guided, and therefor calling on an opportunity to cultivate self discipline to sit in meditation for 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours or more a day. I will also do some gentle yoga practices to move my body and take one hour a day to read on various spiritual teachings inspired by the Masters… did I mention i’ll be in a tree house!

unnamed-3

Why do I continue to do this? It is so important for me to challenge myself with this style of retreat to continue to connect with that eternal place in me that is Truth and Love. To continue to remove the layers of masks and societal conditioning that still remain which blind me from living freely and authentically. When teaching yoga and meditation, hosting wellness retreats and holding space in sacred women’s groups, etc, it is crucial that I remain grounded in the Self (vs the ego) and committed to my path.

I can only take people as far as I myself have gone. My true role and purpose is to inspire by living as an example. An example of the teachings and a way of living consciously from the heart.img_5581

This retreat will present a new layer…Kayakalpa, the dark room. I will finish my retreat with 5 days in complete darkness…back to the womb I go! Not only will I be silent, but my sense of sight will also have no distraction. This is going to be an intense time.. both of challenge, perhaps fear, but also of deep deep healing. I have no idea what to expect… I’m surrendering into the Mystery and Trusting Divine Will. I can’t explain to you why I want to do this, but ever since I heard about it 4 years ago, it resonated and I knew the opportunity would unfold in divine timing. Read more about the benefits of a dark room retreat.

Next week, I move into silence in this self guided silent meditation retreat at The Hermitage Retreat Centre nestled on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. I will begin on the full moon, and as the moons wanes (shrinks) back to newness and darkness, I shall do the same. Releasing anything that no longer serves me.

unnamed-2

My past experiences have all been so beautiful in their own way and continue to inspire me to “gift” myself this experience.

If you’re feeling inspired check out Pachamama Intentional Community in Costa Rica, Hridaya Yoga School in Mazunte Mexico and Shanti Retreat on Wolfe Island, Canada.

My Daily Routine: The Divine Light Invocation

Each morning, as soon as I get up, I go stand outside in the grass barefoot. I connect with nature around me, and find a place where I can stand in the light of the sun. Even when it is not sunny out, I use my mind eye to visualize the light. I start each day off with the Divine Light Invocation.

light

I enjoy this practice because it is absolutely incredible to connect with nature first thing each morning. It is also an amazing reminder, that I am not merely this physical body or these thoughts, I am light, a channel of consciousness and that I can use this light to heal myself and others in the world.

I have found this to be a powerful tool for change and spiritual transformation. I use it as one of my daily prayers. It only takes a few minutes and it is a simple way to invoke Spirit into my day.

I was 24 years old when I first experienced living in Community. In the summer of 2011, I spent a few weeks at the Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Lake, BC, as a part of the Young Adult Karma Yoga Program. Karma yoga, or selfless service, is the yoga  of action; taking what you learn on your mat and applying out into the world through service…think Mother Theresa, Gandhi or Martin Luther King..they were karma yogis.

Each day, before completing a new task, we would perform the Divine Light Invocation. The Divine Light invocation was a fundamental practice of the Ashram. It is a beautiful reminder that we are channels or spirit; we are not the doer of the task (as much as we would like to think that). We consecrate the efforts of the task, to the greater good…and see everything as an offering. When we offer it up,  we are not attached to the outcome of the project, we simply do our best, with awareness. We go beyond our personal likes, dislikes, preferences or ego and we offer up the fruit of our action.

Performing the Divine Light Invocation..

You can print the invocation below and read it the first few times until you understand the idea behind it.

Stand erect, feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your breathing, your head, face, and neck. Keep the eyes closed and focus them on the space between the eyebrows.

Picture above you a vast ocean of pure white, colourless Light . . . stretching in all directions, into eternity. Imagine some of that Light pouring down around you, bathing you completely in Light.

Exhale and slowly inhale, lifting your arms above your head as you smoothly and gradually tense the whole body.

Holding your breath, affirm to yourself with all the concentration possible:

I am created by Divine LightI am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light.

 

Exhale, gradually relax, and lower your arms slowly.

Now use your imagination to see yourself standing in a shower of brilliant white Light.

See the Light pouring down upon you, and see a stream of that Light flowing into the body through the top of the head, filling your entire being with Light . . . as if you were a transparent vessel, being filled with liquid Light. 

Maintaining this image, now with the arms at your sides, exhale, inhale and tense your body. Hold the breath and the tension, and again affirm,

I am created by Divine LightI am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light

Slowly exhale and relax.

Concentrate on the feeling of the Light. Feel the warm glow of Divine Light suffuse your entire body, outside as well as inside.

Acknowledge silently to yourself:

“Every cell of this my physical body is filled with Divine Light;Every level of my consciousness is illumined with Divine Light.

The Divine Light penetrates every single cell of my being,

Every level of consciousness.

I have become a channel of pure Light.

I am One with the Light.”

The Divine Light Invocation is an exercise of will, as well as an act of surrender. Be receptive to the Light, and accept that you are now a channel of Divine Light.

Express your gratitude with deep feeling and having a desire to share this gift with someone whom you wish to help, turn your palms forward.

Continuing to see yourself filling and overflowing with Light, mentally open wide the doors of your spiritual heart centre and let the Light stream forth from your heart centre, forming a clockwise spiral before you which reaches up to rejoin the source of Light above.

Into the spiral of Light, place any projects and concerns that you may have. Envision them as you would like to see them, not as you fear they are. See the Light encircle them, enveloping them completely . . . and see the spiral moving high into the sky, taking the images with them. See them merge into the source of Light and become One with the Light, received by Light.

See someone that you would like to help standing before you – or the image of a woman, a man, and a child you don’t know, representing all those in need of Light at this moment – in the spiral of Light. This can be yourself, if you feel in need of Light. See them healthy, happy, whole, and strong.

See the Light stream forth towards the feet of this person. The Light encircles them and spirals upward in a clockwise direction, enveloping the body completely, and filling them with radiant pure white Light. See them filled with Light, wrapped in Light, receiving everything they need from the Light.

See the spiral moving high up into the sky, taking this image along with it. See this person merge into the source of the Light and become One with the Light, blessed by the Light.

Now relax. Bring your hands together at your heart centre in a gesture of deep gratitude for the gift of the Light, and the ability to share it.

Namaste.

Swami Radha says that “Through constant and sincere practice of the Divine Light Invocation, you can come to a greater understanding of your own Divine nature and realize more fully the reality of the Higher Consciousness with in you.”

A simple lesson: fully living in the present moment.. You’ll Never guess what happened! BY LACEY BUDGE

This morning I woke up and decided to go for a walk and take in the beautiful sunshine as well as get some exercise. I’m spending a few days in Toronto, in the annex, and thought id go do some exploring. It was not an area I spent so much time in back when I lived in the city for University.
My intention was to walk to Queen’s Park to be in a green space.

Well instead of taking the linear route of Bloor street, I was guided from within. I just listened to my intuition to see which street was calling me. I had no fear of getting lost so I allowed myself to wander and be curious.

Now here I was, enjoying the beauty of the U of T campus, amidst everything in bloom. The green trees and flowers all coming to life proved that spring is in full swing down south.

  I was no longer thinking of  the park and became fascinated with the cobbstletone pathways, breath taking architecture, secret passage ways, silent courtyards (where I felt such history and powerful meditative energy), and of course the majestic castles. I was in wonderment every step I took, excited to see what came next. I left the hustle and bustle of city life and went back in time.

… I eventually arrived at Queens Park.

Now for the teaching that I received so clearly during this morning jaunt. It’s great to have goals in life (in this case: mission queens park), but let’s not get so focused on those goals that we miss everything that happens in between or don’t allow ourselves to wander from our original plan. When I decided not to take the most direct and quickest path, (and the one I knew best) I allowed space for intuition, adventure and curiosity. My body didn’t feel inspired to walk down those busy streets and guided me through a more natural, quiet path where I was struck by beauty (which is a really great way to get present to what is). If I were so focused on my goal, I would have never enjoyed everything that I experienced around me on the university campus.

And to be honest once I got to queens park, I didn’t feel as close to nature as I thought (or as I did just before). 

Again another lesson… Sometimes we get so focused on our goal and have such an expectation for the outcome that we get brutally disappointed if it’s not what we imagined (on top of missing everything happening in life during those days/months/years of single tunnel vision). 

And yet again, another lesson came to me. I was feeling so inspired from my walk, the teachings and really wanting to be creative and write about it. But no! I’m on a power walk, for exercise, I can’t sit on a park bench and write! Oh yes I can, and I did. Many of us think we’re not artistic or creative, but at the same time, do we ever take time or create space to do that? Morning, for me is such a time of creativity, especially when sitting in a park and listening to the birds, watching people cycling by, feeling the sun on my face. So I sat, and let the words come to me.

  

OK! So no joke I was about to write a final concluding sentence when this happens…and I’m not lying. So sitting on a park bench, writing in my notes on IPhone and a monk, dressed in a grey robe, walks up to me. He passes me a lovely card, places a beautiful red beaded bracelet on my wrist, shakes my hand and gives me a blessing. He then shows me a picture of a temple or monastery in Kathmandu and passes me a book where I can write my name and the value of my donation. Luckily I grabbed some change with the intention of buying a juice on the way home. He spoke no English, only smiled and brought his hands in prayer pose to his heart center, and that was enough. He shook my hand once more and was on his way. 

Now, if I didn’t take time to pause and write, I would have never received this beautiful gift of his presence (or bracelet made with consciousness, love and kindness). The card said “work smoothly, lifetime peace” which was a beautiful reminder for me again, to be present. There is no need to work so hard, such long hours every day so that one day we can enjoy retirement and be happy and “stress free”. Instead, I choose to work smoothly and reap the benefits of a lifetime of peace:)

  

Life is so brilliantly arranged! I got so much more out of this “power walk” then I could have imagined. It became more of an emPOWERment walk. (Love it!) It was another great reminder that we are so much more than our physical body. Yes, it’s important to take care of our temple, but let’s also nourish mind (by taking time to feel the stillness and beauty that surrounds us) and spirit (taking time to feel connected to ourself, those around us and Source!)

Today’s practice: go out for a walk, let the universe guide you, and see what happens!

Beachfront Yoga in Montezuma: beyond the physical asanas by Lacey B

Where: Ylang Ylang Beachfront Resort 

Who: Teacher: Ximena 

When: daily, 8:30 am –  90 minute restorative flow

March 23, 2014

By Lacey B

It was a mini adventure getting there, but the class was definitely worth it! (I think all adventures feel that way). I  left my hostel and began walking -uphill, and in the wrong direction – for about 10 minutes, away from the beach. (Yes I know, not smart thinking for a class advertised as “beachfront yoga.”)

Once I got to the top of about 3 steep hills and realized this, I turned around and got going in the right direction. I passed through Montezuma, and found myself on a narrow dirt road, toward playa grande, which quickly turned into a path that came out onto the white sandy beach. 

So here I am, standing on the most beautiful beach I’ve seen, and at the same time pretty much running to yoga- again not the most ideal situation. I continue walking along the beach thinking maybe I’d see some yogis in downward dog, but not to my luck. At this point I figured I was lost, late and was ok with spending my morning walking oceanside. 

It was at that moment that I came across the hotel (apparently you can’t drive there and actually have to walk the beach to arrive).  Welcomed by the beautiful gardens, I made my way up to the yoga hall. 

  

The space is on the 2nd floor above the restaurant overlooking the ocean and the beach. It’s all made of wood and decorated in a chakra theme. The open window walls allow you to gaze out beyond the tops of the palm trees as far as the eye can see. 

  

Yes, I wasn’t that late… Thank you Costa Rica time! Pura vida! Ximena, the instructor, greeted me with a warm welcome and began the class with a grounding initial relaxation. 

This is exactly what I needed- it allowed me to slow down, let go of the morning rush and even stop sweating! She focused on deep abdominal breathing, filling the entire body with oxygen and letting go. We inhaled for 4 counts and exhaled for 8. This technique of slowing down the exhale truly calmed the nervous system and mind almost immediately. She invited us to breathe into our entire body and accept it the way it is- perfect. 

With each couple of breaths, we focused on our different bodies, moving from the physical, to mental, emotional and spiritual. For me, it was the perfect start and I knew immediately that I would take more than the physical benefits from the class.

Next, we focussed on some gentle warming exercises to stretch the neck, shoulders, wrists, spine and rib cage. It was ideal for anyone who had been traveling or for those on a relaxing vacation away from their busy lives.  

We continued to warm the body with the practice of some classic sun salutations, always with a focus on the breath- especially the exhale.

She reminded us the benefits of inversions and the calming and restorative power of downward dog.

 

  I loved the slower pace of the flowing sequence which really allowed you to keep focus on breath and to stretch into hips and back, all while strengthening with warriors and plank pose.

  

The next portion included a variety of classical asanas: twists, forward folds, balance poses. Throughout the postures, Ximena had a natural way of sharing yogic teachings about staying present, being still and also on the energy of the chakras. She also played some soft music in the background: a mix between flute and mantras. It was a nice touch, and I was happy it wasn’t overpowering the sound of the majestic waves.

I loved gazing out during tree pose as I saw a giant iguana crawling down a palm tree followed by a group of 6 pelicans flying by over the water. We were even graced by some horseback riders passing by. It all made me smile.

The practice was a graceful balance between ease and effort. As a yoga instructor myself, I really felt inspired by Ximena in the way that she presented the class and made it accessible for all levels. Her sweet and playful energy was also a blessing.

The class ended with a brief meditation where she chanted a beautiful mantra before we reclined back for savasana.

  

I felt so much gratitude (well for -actually finding it and making it to class) for the gift to practice above the beach, looking out to mother ocean. I often like to close my eyes when I practice, but I was feeling guided to gaze softly outward. I learned so much in that 90 minutes while watching the waves with so much awareness. I most vividly remember noticing the yin and yang between graceful rolling waves and the powerful crashing  break. It reminded me that our lives are just that, moments where we are flowing with ease and grace, followed by moments of crashing stress or devastation. What I also understood is that we need to honor our softness just as much as our power- we need both, a blend of the heart chakra with Manipura, our inner fire.

  

We think that we need to take an adventure to paradise, in the middle of no where, on a beach… To experience bliss. Don’t get me wrong I am forever grateful for the class and the opportunity to be a student. However,  I truly know that every moment is filled with beauty, wonderment and stillness, I just need to take the time to pause, recognize and remember.

  

Afterward, you can enjoy the same view down at the restaurant and treat yourself to a delicious shake with superfood spirulina! I indulged inan iced chai tea latte sin azucar.

stay tuned: in the flow at Montezuma Yoga