Lavender Fudge Cheesecake

2015-07-19 14.43.06Limitations. They can be fantastic when they are real and accepting them puts you in a better place. Accepting the reality of an injury and the time needed to heal, has been a nourishing limitation for me. And I’m generally better off when I accept my body’s regenerative need for sleep, in the spite of the fact that I’m feeling inspired and would like to stay up all night being creative.

But then there are those pesky pretend limitations that go around masquerading as real limitations, creating walls inside our mind that we project out into the world in the form of obstacles that simply don’t need to be there. I wonder how many hurdles spook us because they seem higher than they really are? Some perceived hurdles are just smoke and mirrors, all bluff and hot air, invented by fears and beliefs inside us that we are barely aware of.

I was asked to make a magic cake last night, by my spirit guides, whom I refer to collectively as ‘Spirit’. They love dancing around in the kitchen with me and tossing magic about; a pinch of this, a cup of that and a powerful sprinkle of higher healing intentions for good measure. For me, the kitchen is one of my creative playgrounds*, and I love inviting my magical inner child to play in this sacred space with me.

“What is this cake for?”, I asked them.

To clear limitations, they replied.

“Tell me more”, I asked them, like a child nestling in front of a warm fire, waiting for a particularly good story to spill forth from a loved ones lips. Except in this case, my nestling was actually more like rummaging, as I happily explored the deepest, darkest corners of my kitchen pantry in search of inspiring ingredients. It’s incredibly liberating, after a back injury, to be able to do this without help.

As far as ingredients went, Spirit had only given me two firm instructions: Lavender and Sesame Seeds. The rest of it I could make up as I went along. Sesame seeds just reek of wonder and magic don’t they? I mean, seeds on their own do, because they are these intense, tiny little packages of potential, packed tight with super-charged nutrients for the sudden beginning of new growth, new beginnings. Like a suitcase packed full of goodies, hidden under the bed, just waiting for the right moment for a new adventure to be unleashed.

But it’s not just the seed part that makes sesame seeds glow in the eyes of my magical inner child: it’s the ‘Open Sesame’ story-connotations from the tale of Aladdin’s magic lamp. My inner child sees sesame seeds as keys to unlock surprises, gifts, treasure…. all of which is hidden within me. A way to unlock the wall of my own perceived limitations so I can reach past them and unleash the sleeping light in my shadows.

This cake will help you see through mountains, because these mountains are actually molehills in disguise. The lavender will clear your third eye so you can see clearly again. Your mind has become lost in a maze of tangled thoughts, creating complexity that blinds you to the underlying simplicity. We seek to liberate this creative simplicity from within you so that you may be free to express your deepest truths in beautiful, pure, joyful ways. Blessed Be.

Ohhhh, that sounds like fun! Sure enough, I had a startlingly lucid, simple idea last night after making this cake and I hadn’t even eaten it yet! I hesitate to say “brilliant” idea because you might laugh at me and call me arrogant, but if I let that fear hold me back, I won’t have as much fun in life, so I think I’ll let the fear go. Besides, the idea was brilliant: that doesn’t mean I am! haha!

By the way, I had three crystal spirits hovering around in the kitchen while making this cake, helping to weave the magic: Blue Agate, Pink Agate and the Picasso Stone. I’ll write about these soon


RECIPE (delectably scrumptious and magi-licious)

BASE

1 cup macedamia nuts

1/4 cup toasted buckwheat groats

1 tablespoon of unhulled tahini

8 pitted medjool dates

Put all of these ingredients in your food processor and crush/blend until the mix looks like cooked cake crumble or fresh bread crumbs. To check whether you need more dates, pinch some of the mix between your fingers to see if it squeezes together and holds together if you roll it into a ball in your hand. A taste test at this stage helps too! Is it sweet enough for you? If your base chakra is balanced, you will balance excessive sweetness and sweet-indulgence with healthy limits, self-discipline and an ability to nourish yourself from within. 

“Why do they have to be medjool dates?” my husband asks.

“Because they are THE dates. The manna from heaven!”, I replied. They aren’t just sweet, they make everything stick together. It’s got to be sticky enough to firm a fairly firm base in the bottom of your dessert dish, without being too sweet. Add coconut oil or prunes for extra moisture if your food processor isn’t powerful enough to pull this off. Not water- that makes the cakes icy instead of creamy. These are freezer cakes, so keep in mind that they won’t shrink and pop neatly out of a cake tin when you turn it upside down, so be clever about the dish you choose to put your mix into. 

MIDDLE

(This is so much fun! Are your fingers twitching yet!?)

1/2 – 1 *banana

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of cashews

12 pitted medjool dates

Vanilla essence or seeds (a splash or 1-2 seedpods)

*Bananas are surprisingly strong in aroma and taste, so their use needs to be careful, if you don’t want it to over-power other flavours, but they do give you more bulk without needing extra nuts. If you don’t like the taste of banana in this cake, replace the banana with another cup of nuts

Blend everything in the food processor. Keep going until it clumps together and becomes fairly smooth. I actually prefer texture in most of my meals/dishes, so I don’t make it completely smooth. More moisture does help with smoothness so if you prefer your cakes this way, add coconut oil or use cashew butter instead of cashews. 

Remove 1/4 of the mix and put it aside (in the freezer) to use as the base for the ‘icing’ (the top layer). It’s important to have some icing on your cake sometimes because it makes you feel special and pampered. 

Now add 1 tablespoon of cocoa or cacao powder to the remaining mix and blend again. (Use even more if you really love chocolate and your food processor is tough!) Yum! Spread this mix over the base layer and put your dish into the freezer. 

TOP

1 tablespoon of melted cacao butter

1 tablespoon or more of lavender flowers

You can adjust the lavender quantity and add more, but lavender is powerful, so a little bit goes a long way. Stir these ingredients into the 1/4 mix you had set aside in the freezer. If you want some more vibrant colour in this layer, mash/stir/blend in some blueberries.

Spread this mix over the middle layer of your cake and your cake is finished! Put your cake in the freezer over-night and serve the next day. These cakes can last months in the freezer, but do keep them covered. 

My daughter (the tea-tasting expert) suggests having a cup of lavender or cocoa husk tea with this cake. We love cake with tea! The flavour balancing is so much fun!

Enjoy

Love Om (and Spirit)


*I sometimes wonder if my love for sacred play and the way I weave my interests in psychology, neuroscience and neurotheology throughout this play, is a family trait. How lovely to discover one of my father’s sisters has been cut from the same divine cloth! My auntie Kay has a beautiful healing approach based on a blend of healing, psychology, philosophy, mindfulness, performance improvisation and the playful wonder of possibilities….

Berry Bliss Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made this cake to align my heart chakra, third eye and base chakras.

I am calling forth deep passion stirring in my heart, awaiting rebirth, like a flower bulb hidden under layers of snow in the winter, waiting for spring to come. I feel this passion grow legs, beautiful anchoring lines that guide my path forwards.

I see with the eyes of my heart, a single thread of passion cast forth like a beam of light from my third eye into the unknown, seeking what will nourish the growth in my heart.

I feel a deep strength rising up from my base, like a foal who suddenly finds her legs and unfolds upwards to stand tall, gazing at me unflinchingly.

I call forth horse energy to guide and nourish me. I see myself walking down an ancient pathway into a place of gathering. There are many others. We sing as we walk. Bowls are balanced on our heads, filled with water and flowers for blessing. We wash each other’s faces clean from the dust of travel. We cleanse our third eyes and the backs of our necks and we offer this old energy to the stars, that it might be made new again.

Now we stand in a circle and pray to the heavens. A child is born amongst us, at the centre of the circle in a flash of star-light. She is horse energy and she is me. We run alongside each other, we pace, we step, we nudge, we glide…..

I feel a deep patience and knowing welling inside me. I feel stillness that runs deep; stillness full of potency and grace.

We are One.


If you would like the recipe for this cake, visit my vegan site.

The Super Hero

I had had a lovely morning talking with my daughter and she has inspired some blogs. Here’s the first one, before I forget everything she told me!

“I don’t understand. You get these people who go vegan, but they haven’t done their research and they aren’t eating properly, and they get sick, and then instead of fixing up their diet, they just decide veganism is bad for them and they stop altogether. Where’s the sense in that?

It’s like being a super hero and burning out because you are saving too many people and doing it all night when you should be sleeping. So you go to the doctor and you ask him for advice and he says ‘Oh you should stop being a super hero, it’s bad for you’.

If you really loved helping and saving people, you wouldn’t accept a lame kind of response like that. You’d think ‘This doctor is useless. If he was a decent doctor, he’d say ‘Let me help you organise your time and energy better, and set some limits on how much work you do and when, so that you can keep doing what you love’.”

I love my daughter’s analogy because it fits in so beautifully with the messages I have been giving my community, my clients and myself, regarding the art of giving, caring and achieving without burning out.

Just yesterday I was explaining to one of my clients why it’s okay to take the time to look after herself, and to accept help from others.

“I am capable of seeing 6-8 clients a day, but I don’t. I might make lots of money seeing that many people but is that what really matters? I could sustain that load for a few months, but I would eventually would burn out and have a health crash. Then I wouldn’t be able to see anyone at all and it might take months to recover.  In the meantime, I would have no energy for friendship and family, and no time to do what I love.”

I knew my client, as a practitioner herself, was completely fixated on being in service to others, so I had to come at it from another angle. It’s the same thing I have to do with mothers; quite often they won’t engage in healing themselves for their own sake, but if I remind them that their unresolved issues are creating unhealthy behaviours they are role-modelling for their children, they are suddenly all ears; they won’t engage in self-care for themselves, but they will do it for their children. Practitioners in the helping industry are much the same; they won’t engage in self-care for themselves but they will do it for their clients.

“By seeing less clients and looking after myself well, I can consistently provide a very high quality of service. In order to be at my best for my clients, I need to look after myself. I need to make sure I get enough sleep and rest, that I eat well and that I don’t abuse myself with addictions and self-destructive behaviour. If I don’t look after myself I am being unprofessional.”

Finally I saw a little glimmer of something register in her eyes. She heard me.

In this past week, I have had to have similar conversations with clients who are highly ambitious and reaching for goals that demand continuous striving. Many of them are surrounded by sales industry hype, encouraging them to push harder, reach further, stay up later… and then when they inevitably crash in a heap, they feel as though they have failed. We have to set boundaries and listen to our body. The best chance of success in any long-term endeavour comes from self-assessing, knowing your limits and pacing yourself.

If you have career goals but you get sick, or you fail to meet a set deadline, or you lose money in a venture…does that mean you will always fail, you don’t have what it takes and you should just give up? No. Just take a breath. Have a rest and reassess. I sincerely believe that a good business person has the capacity to take lemons and turn them into lemonade. If you hit a roadblock, sit back for a moment and consider your options. Be creative and innovative. Be daring and wise.

If helping others really matters to you, learn how to do it without burning out. Believe me, I know how it can feel after a nasty crash: you wonder if you are insane. Should you just walk away altogether because you aren’t cut out for it? No. Don’t turn your back on who you are, just find more sane and well-managed ways to do it.

If a vegan diet isn’t working for you, educate yourself, adjust the diet, be kinder to yourself and perhaps back off a little until you find your feet but don’t run away and give up altogether if it really matters to you.

All of these situations are learning opportunities. Burn-out is a learning opportunity. Do it often enough while paying attention to the causes and you will learn how to avoid it altogether. And avoiding it is wise, because it can turn you off your your dreams and values altogether. Burn out exhausts our capacity to care and strive, so it should be handled with extreme care. If possible, always take a break when suffering from burn out, because decisions made during this time will be coloured by cynicism and a lack of caring. It’s only after you have recharged your batteries that you will be able to really trust what your heart is telling you once more.

The secret to doing what you love long term: pace yourself and care for yourself along the way. You don’t have to be a machine pumping out achievement and/or service to others on a non-stop basis. You don’t have to conquer the world in a day, save everyone or be perfect. Real accomplishments take time and involve set backs and mistakes. Go slowly and cherish the journey. Keep your batteries charged and you won’t burn out.

The Forgiveness Cake

Fiona 11-11-14 138Yesterday a friend and her daughter came over for lunch, and they brought with them a few slices of this beautiful cake. It not only looked amazing, it tasted incredible too. I really loved the magic in this cake and could feel its effects on me even before it arrived, while it was being dreamt up and concocted over the weekend. I also felt a beautiful connection with the sacred geometry work incorporated into the cake, taught to my friend by a lovely lady named Starina.

I asked Fiona if she would mind if we created a blog to share with others, featuring the cake, her recipe and a link to Starina’s star symbols, and she said yes! So here is a story from Fiona, with photos scattered throughout, and a link to Starina’s work at the bottom. Fiona’s journey has very much mirrored my own this year, and it has been such a gift to receive this cake and the symbol embedded within, at the perfect moment, from two such beautiful women. This has transformed my heart.  Continue reading

Wholesome Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the first ‘magic’ cake I have made in months. It was a bit tricky finding the resources I needed while travelling throughout Europe, so for the most part I just surrendered and went with the flow. And when I first came home, my sciatic injury, which had flared up due to travel, drained me of any spare energy I might have had for creating magic in the kitchen. I eased my way in slowly, first with some tahini ice-cream biscuits, then some vegan cheese and finally this, a return to form with a new creation.

“What shall I make it for?”, I asked my husband. Sometimes, when I make desserts, they are just desserts. But I was in the mood for a little kitchen spell-craft.

“Structure. Support.”, he replied.

“Do you mean physically, on a musculoskeletal level?”, I asked, “For my hip injury?”

“Yes. A healing cake.”

I agreed, and set this intention as I gathered the ingredients, but as I went along, it felt like there were other layers or aspects to this cake. It needed to be simple and humble. It needed to be wholesome and to feel like comfort food. It also needed to have a light-hearted, uplifting mood to it, something that gave me hope.

I like the word wholesome. It seems innocent and mature at the same time, full and round without being pretentious or too self-conscious, luscious without being cheap and tacky, simple yet satisfying.

When I eat this cake, I feel like I am reconnecting with the simple things in life, as though I am following a trail of crumbs back into my centre, back into the warm light within that sustains me.

When I made it, I used brazil nuts for the base because they are so solid and strong. This seemed to match nicely with my husbands ‘structure and support’ intention. While making it, I visualised my auric field and my musculoskeletal system realigning themselves.

I pre-soaked the dates. This is the first time I have soaked anything. I instinctively felt as though I needed the softness of the water and I loved the way the dates swelled in the water, like an oasis in the desert drinking in nourishment. When I de-pipped the soaked dates, the flesh parted gently in my hands, as though I were peeling back layers of the aura and removing blockages with great ease. I kept the bulk of the soaked dates for the body of the cake, which needed to be softer, smoother and more moist, but I added three of them to the base to tie it all together.

If you would like the recipe for this cake, please visit my vegan site. 

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I have been having a love affair with bananas lately, so they had to be in the cake. They fit the brief: simple, wholesome, light-hearted and nourishing!

There is something almost buttery or pancake batterish about this mix. I really enjoyed licking the bowl afterwards! The sunflower seeds are the really special ingredient here. They added a chewiness and body to the cake that it might not otherwise have had. Sunflower seeds full of sunlight to go with my yellow bananas. Delicious. As with the brazil nuts in the base, this ingredient is honouring the ‘structure and support’ intention for this cake. When I was a child, we had giant sunflowers in the garden and I loved harvesting the seeds.

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Mango Banana Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a cake I’ve made for a friend. She LOVES macca so I thought I’d make her a macca cake. I don’t know much about it and it took me a while to track some down. Got some from Greenies, Rapid Creek Darwin, in powder form. It’s one of these faddy Peruvian foods. I wonder if these food exports help or hinder the Peruvians? I wonder how it affects the land? A research project for another day, perhaps. Nope, strike that, I’m searching for it now- burning question, needs answering.

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Mocha chocha zebra cake

When I’m not inventing cakes, I’m making variations on Emily von Euw’s cakes. I consider her my cake teacher! This is a cake I made using one of her recipes. It’s a favourite of ours; probably the most more-ish recipe I’ve found so far (so I don’t make it too often because we might eat too much and then it wouldn’t be incredible any more.) I used stevia as the sweetener, and organic decaff. I love the marbled pattern it got this time. Usually, the idea is to put the cake in the freezer to harden a little before you add the last layer. It’s actually more fun when you don’t, because they mix together in interesting ways, hence my zebra pattern! I love zebras. If you like the look of this recipe, you might want to buy Emily’s book, Rawsome Vegan Baking. Or you could come eat some for free at my clinic while attending one of my ‘Cowspiracy: the sustainability secret’ private screenings. Yes, I’m bribing you with cake. It’s shameless isn’t it?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Passion Cake

I’ve just made a new cake!

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This one is gorgeous. It’s a passion cake, stirring fire in the belly and raising it to the heart chakra. This cakes ignite passion in the following ways:

Aphrodisiacal, sexual passion

I made sure this cake connects the base and heart chakra together, so I doubt it would stir sexual fire without there already being an existing love between two parties. The base chakra is lots of fun but personally, I think it’s fire is more balanced when it’s connected with the heart chakra. It can be a little heart-breaking, as a practitioner, listening to the following stories from clients about disconnection between the heart and base chakra:

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The Chill-out Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a calming down cake. It helps you feel really easy going and relaxed about things without being a push-over. And it’s especially good for helping us let go of anger and frustration. You can learn more about Lavender and the aura frequency of the cake by reading an earlier blog called Lavender and the Watchful Blue aura.

The recipe is on my vegan site. 

Creative projects

This blog is like a dear diary stocktake. I have so many different projects happening at the moment that I feel like I need to list them to remind myself what they all are, just in case one slips down the rabbit hole. I love having lots of different projects happening at the same time because it means I can float at whim between them.

I’m creating an On-line Distance Course for people who want to read and heal the aura. This is level 1 and I have a handful of lovely students supporting me with this, giving me feedback and encouragement. Level 1 has 8 units and I’m currently writing unit 4, but I am lagging. I was hoping to have this everything done before I leave to go overseas, but other projects are snavelling my attention. What I’ve loved about creating this course is that it opened my world up to video as a form of tutorial. One of my students has asked me to create a mail-out version of the course though, because downloading isn’t something she can get her head around. That will be fun! But it could take a while. One of my other students said: “I NEVER realized that the psychic ability is so closely linked to imagination. That was a big revelation for me! Thank you!”

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