2013 was a very difficult year for me. So many losses, farewells, failures.... dreams lost or abandoned. My body was like a tree and God was the wind... a gusty wind... he moved me this way and that way... and sometimes it felt like Angels bumped heads with each other and their tears ran down my face to join with my own on an almost daily basis. I've described 2013 before as a storm or a roller coaster ride in my life... that it was. So many ups and oh so many downs.
If you have spoken with me recently or follow me on Facebook then you probably know that in the beginning of my most recent heartbreak, I figured that this was it. That this was the last time I'd look at a person with total trust, with an open heart, with complete faith. Since then I've basically lived as a hermit, withdrawing myself emotionally from most everything, including yoga, my books, family, friends, and society. I've discovered that this kind of life is very lonely though. It's not very fulfilling and in fact, can it really be called living? Have you experienced this before?
I've spent so much time experiencing sorrow this past year. I've gone through all the stages of grief: sadness, anger, denial, etc... Tears have been shed on an almost daily basis and then sometimes they stop when I get so angry that I close up and retreat back into my cave... desensitizing... and then they come right back out, as if they had been pooling there within me all along... just waiting for the dam to be lifted...
Until about five days ago.... and then the tears suddenly stopped and it wasn't completely due to anger or frustration... they just stopped. Things became clearer... or maybe I ran out of tears? I don't know, but I do know that tomorrow starts a new chapter in my life. I will venture forth out of my cave and into this world with a new outlook....
It's a wintery Friday today and I am eagerly waiting for my friend Jillian to visit me tomorrow. Her mission = to help me smile again...
Thus my new outlook. A new lesson learned in this roller coaster ride called my life.
I have recently been among the millions of people that decided not to be sensitive anymore. The people that have grown thick skins around themselves just to avoid being hurt by anybody. This comes with a great cost. Nobody can hurt us, but nobody can make us happy either.
So, I've contemplated this now for the past week and figured that when I start becoming open, both things become available: Sometimes it will be cloudy, and sometimes there will be sun. But if I remain closed off in my cave, then there is no cloud and there is no sun either. It is good to come out, to dance with the sun, and yes, sometimes to feel sad with the clouds too... and sometimes it will be very windy. But... When we come out of the cave, all things are possible, and one of the things is that people can hurt us... but that is only one of the things.
There are millions of possibilities; so if you've been here before, let's think of those things instead. If we do this then we will become happier; we will become moreloving. We will be more available, and other people will be more available to us. We will be able to laugh, we will be able to celebrate. There are a thousand and one possibilities. Why choose only one thing, that people may hurt us? I'd rather go on in this new chapter thinking that maybe they will make me smile again instead.
Love, Love, Love you my fellow yogis. ~ Ashley
Juicing away heartaches and losses
If you've been following me on Facebook this past year then you know of my recent losses and heartaches. I won't use this blog for those details however I will use it as a source of inspiration :)
K... *sigh*** What better way to get over heartache and loss then to take delicious care of yourself!!! I'm going to juice these yummy fruits and veggies for my breakfast! Day one of eight of my Blessed Herbs Cleanse. MMM
Quote of the Morning
This turned out to be absolutely delicious. Sometimes my juice can turn out a little bitter, but this time it was just right. If you'd like to make it yourself then follow the ingredients list below. It makes about 2 1/2 glasses. You will need a juicer. Make sure to scrub your produce before juicing. Enjoy!
Ingredients (Organic if possible)
Happiness is your nature...
The trouble is...
How to Make Ghee
Ghee is used widely in Indian cooking. Not only is it deeply flavorful, ghee also has a higher smoke point, so its great for sauteing or frying. Indian herbal medicine (Ayurveda) uses ghee as a base for many of its medications. I spent some time at an Ayurvedic retreat last summer and my detox concoction was ghee based – I’ve never had a tastier medicine!
Making ghee at home is easier than you think. Here is a step by step recipe and tis for home made ghee.
Should you use salted or unsalted butter for ghee?
I’ve used both salted and unsalted butter successfully but I prefer unsalted.
Salted butter will foam more when boiling. So if you are using salted butter to make ghee, make sure you use a pan that’s large enough to accommodate the foaming, and be very careful when the ghee begins to boil. When it foams, gently stirring it with a wooden spoon will help it subside. If the butter foams and spills over, it can be hazardous, be very careful.
The milk solids from salted butter will be very salty. If you are making any of the ‘by product’ recipes, you wont need to add any extra salt.
How to Make this Yummy Ghee
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
Use a medium sized, heavy bottom sauce pan. Make sure it is dry and clean. If water gets into your ghee at any point, it could contaminate it and ruin it. Place the butter in the pan, and cook uncovered on medium heat till all the butter melts.
Continue cooking while stirring occasionally till the butter starts to foam and boil. You will hear crackling, this means the butter is boiling.
Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer the butter until it clarifies – when you part the foam on top, you should see the melted butter getting clear.
Continue to simmer the butter till the crackling subsides, about 10 minutes. How soon the ghee is done will vary depending on the quantity of butter you are using. So use the indicators below.
The ghee is done when
- The crackling subsides. This means most of the moisture has been cooked away.
- The ghee becomes a clear golden yellow liquid (part the foam with a spoon to see the ghee). This means the butter is clarified.
- The milk solids separate and settle in the bottom of the pan and are light brown in color.
Be careful not to over cook the ghee and burn the solids. If the milk solids are dark brown, or if the liquid ghee turns dark brown, you’ve over cooked it.
Let the ghee cool for about 20 minutes. Then strain it though a very fine strainer or 2 layers of muslin cloth. Make sure all the milk solids are strained out; strain the ghee twice if needed.
Store ghee in a clean, dry bottle, but don’t put the lid on until the ghee is fully cooled. Putting the lid on the jar too soon could create condensation = water = contamination.
Ghee can be kept at room temperature for 2 months or more. I've kept it for up to a year... the length of time varies based on who you are speaking to. Refrigerating it wont hurt either
What to do with the milk solids?
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley
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Ashley's Holistic Bookshelf
by Amy Ippoliti
Enlightenment Is Your Nature: The Fundamental Difference Between Psychology, Therapy, and Meditation
❤ WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT ASHLEY CRUZ YOGA ❤
"From Aldea Yanapay (great school of love to children), to the incredible homely hostel la boheme, to the food at mercado san blas and at greenpoint... My 6 weeks in Cusco/Qosqo/centre/gravitational centre were all truly well balanced out by Ashley ● I have been doing yoga for five years in London, Lisbon and NYC and I was wonderfully surprised by the teacher Ashley in Cusco, Peru. From her words, to the sense of opportunity, helping, the pace, the getting everyone's names and brief "why am I here", taste for music and simply those oils... vinyasa gained a new look for me. ● You made me feel so balanced out, just when I needed that push. May your excellent work continue and your knowledge be taken further." ~ Yours, Ana Maria (portugal)
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