On my early morning walk today I listened to the SuperSoul Conversation Podcast in which Oprah and Agape International Spiritual Center Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith explore manisfesting the life of your dreams. This is such a popular topic now as new age and spiritual awakening guides determine that if we can just get out of our own way, we can then be open to the possibilities and potentials of our souls.

Is it really that simple? According to Dr. Beckwith, it is about having intentions that align with our personal purpose.  In requesting a tangible explanation  about his assumptions, Oprah, fittingly, brings it back to soup. Tomato soup actually. She was working in her garden and thinking about how she would love a bowl of fresh tomato soup. She let that thought go, and shortly after, her neighbor appeared with a pot of tomato soup! How many times have we thought about someone and they called or we ran into them unexpectedly? While these are fun examples of intuition and serendipity, Dr. Beckwith explains that stating intentions isn’t about asking for things, but about being open to the discovery and acceptance of our personal purpose.

So, with that to mull over on this gorgeous Sunday morning, I am re-visiting one of my favorite ‘fresh from the garden’ soup recipes. Tomato, of course!

Here’s to another slurpy spoonful of SuperSoul Sunday Conversations! Link to the podcast is below the tomato soup recipe.

GO TEAM!

Tomato Soupfor you or your neighbor to make! – Non-Dairy, Vegan

 

Ingredients

Fresh Tomatoes – vine ripened, any variety will do! – cut in half. I usually use at least 6.

Garlic – 2 cloves chopped (or more if you love garlic)

Salt, Pepper

Sugar – white sugar, just a touch, but not absolutely necessary

White Onion – 1, sliced

Celery – 4 stalks or more, cut in chunks

Vegetable Broth – 1 carton, more or less

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – as much as you need

There are two secrets to the success of this recipe – using fresh ingredients and then roasting the vegetables first!

Making the Soup

Step 1. Roast the tomatoes (sliced in half) the chopped celery, onion, and garlic, drizzled with EVOO, at a 425 degree oven, for 30 minutes.

Step 2. Let the vegetables cool slightly and, if you aren’t keen on the look/texture of tomato skins, remove some of them. They will separate easily from the tomato. I happen to like the char taste and in a later step, the skins are dealt with!

Step 3. Heat some EVOO in the bottom of a pot, over medium heat.

Step 4. Add the roasted vegetables with the juices from the roasting pan to the soup pot, along with just enough vegetable broth to cover. Salt and Pepper to taste, plus a light dusting of sugar if you choose.

Step 5. Heat until it boils. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. (The longer it simmers, the more delish it is!)

Step 6. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then either put it in the blender or use your hand held blender/emusifier, and puree the soup. This will give it a lovely creamy texture, without adding dairy.

Step 7. Return to the pot, add more vegetable broth if it is too thick. At this point, you can also add dairy or almond milk/cream if you want a creamier, richer tasting version. Heat to delicious tasting temperature.

Step 8. Ladle a good portion of the soup into a container, and walk it over to your neighbor. You never know, you might be the answer to their prayers!

 

 

kidsHome grown superheroes are those whose actions improve the life of one person, the community, the world. While not likely hit by lightening, bitten by a spider or hurled to earth from a far distant galaxy, the home grown superhero has some other motivation to act with consideration of others. They inspire, nurture and build a better place for the rest of us. Our Super Powers manifest in the most extraordinary ways! If you know someone whose small gesture made a huge difference or whose idea or invention made you happy then we want to know about it! What is YOUR Super Power? Please add your story, photo, link as a comment here or on our Facebook page. We want to celebrate the homegrown superheroes!

Since early in the New Year I have been awoken almost every night, with terrible nightmares – vivid, violent, anger filled, not my typical sleep pattern. The final and most jarring was  a couple of weeks ago.

I was sitting on a moss-covered rock surrounded by a metre wide swath of water that was rushing towards a waterfall in front of me. It was dusk and getting darker. I looked up to see hundreds of thousands of forms falling from the sky. As they fell closer they began to take shape – looking almost human.  Were they aliens? Spirits? They landed on the ground on the other side of the water, on top of each, more and more, falling and falling. Not humans, not aliens, but locusts. Hundreds of thousands of locusts. Dark grey grasshoppers with big eyes, that now sat poised and waiting. I was freaked out and woke out of breath. What was going on? Why was I continuing to have these very unsettling dreams?

Needing some sort of clarity, I researched the elements of my dream knowing already information about water, rocks, waterfalls: it was the plague of locusts that I was most curious and unsure about.  With great relief my research on locusts/grasshoppers as totems revealed that the beliefs say they are a very positive message to be receiving. And should I be surprised to learn that their message is ‘leap of faith’… OK, wait a minute. Have I not been pondering and writing about leaps of faith for the past 6 months? Am I not getting the message, or am I fooling myself into thinking that my present state of living is the leap?

A week ago I attended the  wackiest wedding in gorgeous Myrtle Beach SC. The weekend of miscommunication, no wedding rehearsal, and all around hilarity culminated in half of the guests, the groom, and the groom’s family, arriving one hour late to the evening beach wedding.  (Note to those heading to the altar – GPS without a proper address will not work, most especially for a beach wedding) The convoy of cars arrived in a frantic state rushing to park, calm the frazzled nerves of the bride, everyone doing their best to keep it all together. We traipsed over the dunes arriving at the most extraordinary  setting; the ocean and grey soft sand, framed by the bluest of skies with the moon already in orb above. As the officiate spoke in calm meaningful tones, I drew closer to listen to the exchanging of vows. All the rushing ended. There was a ‘pause’ in the comedy of errors that had defined the weekend, as the waves rolled, children kicked up sand, guests laughed and the couple kissed.  It struck me, yes their wedding had the craziest ride to get to this moment, but then, so did their relationship and why should I have expected anything different? With the same abandonment and carefree spirit that had defined their life, together they took perhaps the biggest leap of faith possible. (God love them!) Seriously though I am lucky that I got to witness that moment when saner heads did not prevail.

I suppose that leaps of faith shouldn’t really be measured by anything other than what it means personally. Each leap leads to the next, and while perhaps my leaps in contrast to this crazy couple, are baby steps, they’ve given me a bit more courage to each time,  jump again. Not because they turned out as I expected, but because I leapt, landed and lived to tell the tale!

Leaps of faith have been my focus for a few months. I’m looking forward to a new perspective – perhaps it will be ‘the view from mid-leap’ or ‘I’ve leapt and landed, let the games begin!’… time will tell, but what I do know is that I am eager to see what unfolds. I’m taking my cue from two nutty newlyweds who live moment to moment without much of a plan. I will still be my same disciplined self – there are some things that just can’t be changed, but there will most definitely be times when I will lighten up and just go with it.

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith’ (Margaret Shepherd).  Six months ago when the seemingly far off time of my children leaving home to pursue their big bold lives actually arrived, the exciting next phases of my big bold life were revealed. Work, life, relationships, travel… Following the paths of possibility meant giving up my grounding to jump into the unknown in much the same way I was encouraging my university aged kids to.

In what seemed to many an extreme series of decisions, I gave up my residence, packed my life into storage and bought  plane, train, and bus tickets that took me to locales across North America. The idea of being so free of stuff made me giddy! Keeping my laptop always within reach I was able to work from (almost) anywhere, although not always with the gracefulness I would have liked.  Truthfully, the first week was hell. I was uneasy, nervous, a tad nauseous, as I tried not to fret about how this new phase was going to unfold. The second week was incredible – lighter, clearer, slightly more trusting, it was surprising how accustomed I was becoming to the reality of being untethered.

Since I was unsure as to what my final destination was, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to find it and then get there. Sure the travel tickets meant I was constantly ‘on the go’ but was I actually headed somewhere? What I did know was that by staying where I was I wasn’t going anywhere. So, I leapt. I held tight to the thin bumper of my faith in myself, and went for it… Crazy!

Not surprising, a few realizations have surfaced along this journey.  It turns out that my leap wasn’t without many nets as encouraging friends were prepared to help me land wherever that turned out to be. I don’t know if I would have truly realized the extensive network of love I have around me, if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone. Work continues as it alway has, only richer from the advantage of looking through new perspectives. What a gift – I wish this experience for everyone.

The most unexpected result has been the new found trust in myself. Turns out that a) you can’t trust everyone, and that’s not your fault; b) you can trust yourself and that is your fault; c) if you are prepared to truly believe in yourself, to be mindful of the lessons you have learned, to acknowledge that ultimately the only control you have comes down to how you handle the moments of your life as they unfold, then having a life comprised of leaps of faith is not only viable, it may be all you need.

My recent collaboration with Canadian author Susan Swan has reminded me of the importance of conversation in all stages of creativity – and frankly, in life! Susan and I sat down one snowy February afternoon, to videotape a series of scripted pod casts discussing her process as a writer; what transpired was the most delicious conversation that went ‘off book’ (as we say in this ‘business we call show’ – thank you Deb Filler for that quote!). The path we set out for ourselves, the expectations we have for how that path will unfold, the assumptions we have about where we will end up, are so much better served when tossed into the compost pile! Creativity seeded with the true intention to grow then blossom in its most natural and profound beauty should be the only expectation. Sure, this needs to be managed, with the wisdom we’ve gained from our experiences and the knowledge we bring to the choices we make along the way. But to determine early on that the end result is rooted in a fixed manner, in my experience has discounted the extraordinary possibilities that will arise. Fear of this unknown, which is also about trusting oneself, has certainly seen me holding on for dear life to a result I thought was the only positive outcome. When I released that old intention from my white knuckled grip, the most incredible things happened – experiences occured that I could not have imagined! Because what I saw down that long path, was based on a familiar conversation with myself. Talking, sharing, listening – communicating! In every aspect of my life, not just my creative pursuits, when I trust in myself and those I love; when I am brave enough to both share and listen; this is when all that I imagine for my work, my life, my future, are revealed in the most extraordinary and exhilarating ways! It never fails.  The magic of discovery is profound! Have you had a similar experience? What are your white knuckle triggers? I’d like to share in that conversation with you! And in the spirit of sharing, here is a link to the conversational pod casts with Susan Swan – 3 have been uploaded (see  Podcast #3 link below) the rest to be shared in the coming weeks. And I encourage you to visit Susan’s website at www.susanswanonline.com!