Visiting the West Coast!

Rosemary Bush_NaturalSelfGoddess

Rosemary Bush (Rosemarinus)  – (the largest I’ve seen ever in Oregon). Rosemary bushes are on so many lawns and parks! There are at least close to a dozen species in Portland.)

The last time I was on the West Coast was during Katrina in August of 2005. I visited Arizona on a few dreams I had following a young Native girl and my Aunt Tiye who would climb Red Earth mesas and fly to the next while I would climb in arms reach before their next leap. At that time, I was discovering the Sun and her children, the tribes of the Sun scattered from the Yucatan into old Mexican Arizona. At that time I had no idea the inclusive history of indigenous and native peoples on this planet.

IMG_2758_Frontier_Travel_East2WestCoast_tag

Frontier Airlines, Winter 2019, East Coast (Ronald Reagan National Airport) to Denver Airport

I was also heavily writing, dancing, performing spoken word and dabbling in teaching to elementary children about indigenous culture and our environment. Still a practicing vegetarian, I was getting extreme downloads from the Earth (cosmos) from the Divine Feminine realm. In fact, I had journals filled with messages from The Goddess and as I sat in the lotus position or in pigeon pose I began to see the beauty of Tantra everywhere and in everything. This was the East coast, the hemisphere of my birthplace on this planet and yet I still had this weird connection to the West coast! At least in Arizona where I felt more at home than almost anywhere I’d been (apart from Guadeloupe).

IMG_2763_tag_airport_beerfood

Between flights (starving). Airport breather: food (Asian salmon salad), beer, a little writing 😉

 

IMG_2883_tag_

Mount Hood at Rocky Butte Natural Park at the top of Joseph Wood Hill Park where you can see Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Hood (pictured above), Mt. Helen’s, and the Columbia River gorge and Washington State’s Vancouver

 

 

But here I am on the West Coast, discovering none other than Oregon. Back home on the East coast the words “Portland” and “Oregon” made my black coworkers pause with side-eyed glares and ask almost offensively, “Why Portland?” As if my black card would be revoked by our imaginary world-wide black card institute.

IMG_2884_Passport_travel_tag

Their conjectures almost had me convinced until walking through the neighborhood and seeing others with my skin tone assuring me “there’s ‘naga’s’  here!” with a sigh of relief. Still I get the unusual looks or loud “Hi, how you doing?” It’s definitely a mixed bag. But beyond the looks — and maybe its my wild unruly “braid locs,” turquoise, and shoulder length feathers in my ears, I know there’s something super “magical” about this region I am only beginning to discover.

IMG_2904_Ria_Sweetraw_02_01_19

 

IMG_2860_Herbarium_Feather_Sage_tag

Clary Sage Herbarium: organic dried herbs, teas, herbal extracts, therapeutic organic & food grade essential oils, flower essences, magical intention candles, smudging herbs and woods, cleansing sprays, crystals, natural incense, artisanal natural soaps & body care and more.

The trees alone have much to tell – and I’ve never been anywhere where trees and shrubs are as diverse as they are here in Portland. Gigantic mature Rosemary bushes are aligned with rose bushes, sage, and pine yards away from bamboo, ferns, and pacific mandrones (one of the prettiest unusual trees I’ve seen). There are palm varieties with algae, lichen and moss grown on the trunks and trees of pine and oak (noted to have over 700 varieties of moss in Portland!) I’ve even seen cacti and succulents! Why? Portland is a rain forest! The only American rain forest in the North America and Oregon is one of the states (including California, and Washington State) of the Pacific Northwest to house its unique temperate climate and home to the colossal red woods which are still part of ancient Mayan lore to date. But these tree varieties sometimes leave me feeling as if Ive walked into some far away faerie gnome village with the later I’m still trying to figure out and define. Still, I admit Portland is by far a very mystical forest region Ive only begun to discover! 🙂

IMG_2861_Herbaricum_PNW_Book_Tag

IMG_2789_organiccoop_redconvos_tag

Many people in Portland look as if they are ready to climb mountains, win the iron man (or gender-neutral equivalent), homestead (Macgyver style), and Natarajasana  (yoga cosmic dancer pose) without missing a heart beat. There is a true love for nature in these parts! So much so that my first trip to the local grocery store, the cashier hesitated packing my items thinking i’d walk out in hand or had a personal recycled (preferably hemp) bag in my pocket! He gave me a side-eyed stare when i insisted on a paper bag and my paper receipt which is probably recycled on the spot. The truth is the ONLY plastic bag I gathered in my few weeks here was the one I brought with me from Virginia!!! Recycling here is not some feel good chat, it’s a religion and way of life that shocked even myself.

IMG_2793_organic-coop_peppers_tag

IMG_2791_orgcoop_handling_purplekale_tag

The grocery stores have some amazing local markets fresh produce that I was equally amazed to see and taste! The Alberta Coop was one of the first stores I walked in and was happy to see such gorgeous veggies, mushroom, fruits, roots, and greens! Plus the cashier informed me I could ‘purchase’ or own part of the coop which really got my attention, but more on that in the Spring! For now, I will say there is a huge vegetarian and vegan health conscious population residing here.  And i cant wait to explore the food agriculture here both personally and academically.

IMG_2788_organiccoop_greens_tag

IMG_2786_blog_carrots_02-01-19_tag

For now I will end with thankfulness and anticipation of new journeys, awakenings, and empowerment of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding!

 

Always Love!

daria_gold_bee

Ria


Resources: 

https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/AboutODF/NativeTreesPlants.pdf

Advertisements

MY COMING OUT, FINDING BALANCE, LISTENING TO YOUR BODY

WHERE HAS RIA BEEN?

You probably think I jumped off the face of the earth but I was  recovering from  a serious bout of Anemia and had to take a break from weight training lifting and exercise. It was awful! I had extreme guilt, shame and was in denial. For years I bragged about my almost perfect health and going Vegan was something I aspired to become to prove to myself and the world that it was ‘better’ more spiritual and optimal for health even in extreme fitness. What I was shown was something quite the contrary. I turned the shame and isolation into a time of deeper spiritual innerstanding of peer acceptance, self acceptance, food and nutrition and personal dietary needs to obtain balance, wellness and fitness.

whereisria_fitness_riasweetraw

BEAST MODE THEN WHAT?

whereisria_fitness_riasweetraw2It’s true when I’m into my fitness I go hard and had no idea that according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) some Spleen meridian issues (pathologies) causing Anemia and other heavy blood flow can be aggravated by intense and excessive exercise! My almost 2 hour workouts with heavy weights and cardio didnt seem to help my situation at all.
I was absolutely floored when my medical doctor insisted I have a blood transfusion (?) huh, is this that serious I thought and no I would not place some random persons blood into my system. I’ve suffered from Anemia for many years, especially as a vegetarian. This time being Vegan proved to be stressful on my body producing allergies I’ve never had like cashew and other fickle bouts of allergic reactions. This time my usual period of ‘cleansing’ felt more like a nightmare. I was literally sick and could not understand why.

FOODPICS_RIASWEETRAWFor over 20 years, being Vegetarian and Pescatarian  was my way of life, this time going back to Vegan proved too much for my body and my emotions.  It was as if I was being initiated at yet another level of what reality is, should be or can be. That ‘it’ (in my case ‘diet/nutrition’) was absolutely ‘factual’ on an individual intimate level that can not be judged or validated by anyone other than my self. And that true ‘enlightment’ would prove that all things are both light and dark having their sun and moon, good and bad, what was seen as medicine could in deed be poison if taken in excess and without a balanced approach.  Although, this all seemed very logical AND spiritual simultaneously I suffered with this resolution  and my actions emotionally and spiritually.

In my personal evolution, I no longer over emphasize or stress about my weight (well not that much) in fact I’ve pretty much given up the dogma I had about every little thing I eat or don’t eat.  I eat what I want (within reason) with no guilt or stress and ironically I weigh less than I did when I was on a strict diet! I have turned away from replacing ‘religious’ attitude and behavior with the “Raw Food Movement” or “Vegan” ideology. haha I can even laugh about it now. I was so obsessed!

But two months ago, I was really quite devastated when I was diagnosed with severe anemia I felt great guilt and bewilderment. I thought me being Vegan as the socially accepted eco-friendly super-conscious movement stamped me as spiritually acceptable and within the social guidelines of my peers and the gurus I worshiped.

Anything but VEGAN for me was unacceptable and yet my body was rejecting this way of eating and seeing it as an imbalance rather than balance! WTF! I was embarrassed and felt like a fraud for having this dis-ease, symptom, imbalance. The whole ordeal became  quite personal and intimate. In secret, I was in a kind of spiritual-emotional anguish and had a hard time admitting that I was somehow different from the pack. I had to find out that there is no cookie cutter way or answer for the “All” and that “Some” are just plain different requiring whatever the body, mind and spirit sought as balancing chemistry to properly function in her immediate environment. That environment has everything to do with food choices, that these variables and  adjustments should be carefully taken into consideration. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ stamp on my nutrition simply what works best for my constitution in the environment which I reside, the work I do,  my emotional space, home life, etc., is my ‘right’ way and path.

If I was residing in a warm tropical climate, my food choices would better be suited and reflect that temperate climate, amount of Sun, melanin chemistry and molecular food choices, just as certain American climates and geography warrant a varied array of food choices, herbs, seeds, roots, etc.  These variables seemed to propose very real and factual  variables in my health and in my final choices.

What I had preached and followed for so many years was leaving me exhausted, lifeless, debilitated, and imbalanced. What once felt rejuvenating, refreshing, and whole had none of the effects they once had on my constitution. I was a very different person at a very different time, place and space and needed very different variables to balance my life and produce the wellness I deserved.

PERSONAL JOURNEY TO BALANCE, COMING OUT! 

I am not ashamed that I eat small amounts of organic, free-range meat and poultry on occasion. My body seems to have adjusted to the chemistry and my anemic symptoms (Spleen meridian pathologies, according to TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine) have vanished. Of course other areas of my life have also healed in the process of me moving forward both on a psychological and emotional level as all things are connected fundamentally.

46BD_PICS_RIASWEETRAW

I embrace the many changes in my personal life and have left my past to it’s past forging ahead in a very newly rebirthed Body, Mind and Spirit! People are still amazed when I say I am 46 and I no longer hide the fact that my age is just a number that has produced wisdom and strength in this incarnation.

I am so ready to get back into the gym, train, finish my new certifications in Personal Training,  Fitness Nutrition (NASM) and Wellness Coaching (ACE) courses and get back into the best shape of my life! I really do love athletic BEAST MODE along with some dance, yoga and meditation! 
~ with Love, Light and Ascension Ria, December 7, 2015