Tales From the Cafe.

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Some desserts are worth writing about.  Luckily, for me…that’s most desserts.  Although lately it’s been slim pickings.  Which leads me to become, dare I say, a repeat offender to many of my standard go-to’s.

One of my favorite spots located just skips from my home is Burns Court Cafe.  A host to local artistry, smooth Italian coffee, pastries, etc.  My day began in work but has ended, midday, with a treat of the blackberry persuasion.  I’m not really sure if this constitutes as a “torte” but for writing sake, it shall be.  Although slightly annoying, picking the blackberry seeds from my dental nooks is sign that this decadency is far from artificial.  It’s warm, not overly sweet and bursting with berries.

When I find myself lost in the day, embraced in the oddly cold weather of Florida, this is where I run…sometimes walk.  Tales from the cafe, enjoy.

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It Was Written In My Latte, One Day

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I’ve noticed when listening to music, currently Hammock, in all their instrumental glory…I’m more open to my horoscope reading. It has nothing to do with the espresso or blueberry turnover. It’s the sound, man.

Some hard hitters this read? Friends that support our flaws and encourage our delusion. And acting on that which is beneath us. Here comes the…honesty.

Some patterns in my life I am not proud of. I see them and feel them, creeping in at just the right time. My blame finger (right index to be exact) received a tremendous workout during most of my youth. I find confusion and fear at a young age can do that.

Growing, turning away from that which no longer serves us, whether it be friends or are own patterns, can be difficult. Turnovers help but are not a guarantee to get you anywhere (except on the scale saying “shit” way too early in the morning).

I received that latte on a morning where if I could have written my name in the sky I would have. Enter bit o’ clarity. I can walk on air and pick flowers from the trees. I can recover from a soul muddying experience and I can admit when I’m wrong (most of the time).

I like my name written in coffee. I like giving myself a break in saying, “I’m not perfect.” I like standing in my truth even if that means I stand alone. I like reading horoscopes that keep my ego in check or that pet my authentic self like a newborn kitten enjoying a mid-day purrrrrfest.

Today I encourage you to say hello to everything that you are…or at least 10 if everything scares you. Admit your flaws and stand in your greatness. Even if only for the day.

Leafy Greens, In All Their Glory

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In all my traveling/field trip glory that was…this past Wednesday.  I stumbled upon (completely on purpose) a quaint little spot named Leafy Greens, located in St. Petersburg FL.  I’ll go ahead and throw it out there, it’s Raw and Oh So Vegan…which, I happen to be neither one of those.  The lifestyle appeals to me, it’s healthy, animal conscious and healthy.

I walked in and was immediately comforted by it’s small size.  Two tables were occupied. I found my corner space, placed my book and iPhone on the table and prepared for one raw experience.

First, I ordered the Lemon Cloud Tea.  A nifty little contraption where all you do is place the steeper atop the mug and the tea magically pours, effortlessly.  Immediately amused.  The tea was cloud-like.  Smooth, hints of vanilla (not to citrusized).

 

Second, the main course…their famously delicious Veggie Burger.  Portobello mushrooms, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red onion & nama shoyu.  Trimmings galore, raw ketchup, the best mustard (ever), guacamole, cucumbers topped with sweet baby peppers and vegan chipotle sauce.  I thoroughly enjoyed this; as did my digestive system (two thumbs up on the romaine lettuce serving as a bun).

Third.  Simple and spiced raw Apple Cobbler.  The beginnings of an apple pie dusted with a light crumble and fresh strawberries.  I sat, I ate…I read my book and caught a word or two of other diners commenting on plates and other orderings.  We chatted and smiled amongst each other, in the company of deliciousness.

This was but the middle of my day and quite firmly the middle of my personal retreat week.  A week dedicated to gifting myself time and love.

Late Night Baking in Blueberries

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Feeding myself in more ways than just baking this week…although baking has been quite popular. No bigs.

Was I aware that tonight, in order to make efing blueberry muffins, I would be traveling to the grocery store three times due to my inability to check my ingredients? Nah. But by the third time I was knee deep in and found myself too pissed off not to make them.

I had to replace half the called for spoonage of vanilla extract with imitation rum. Stupidly added frozen blueberries to the batter which contained beautifully warmed coconut oil. Was I distracted? Yes.

Typical me. Thinking of the outcome and not the steps needed to get there. Although people that know me would think differently. I must admit I view my new exercise routine the same way…enter muffins stage left.

I’m looking for a true commitment to better my body. Paid for and presented by my own self. The muffin disaster was just a lil wink. Tighten it up Angela, read the damn directions and take inventory of what you already possess.

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The Mornings Are For Waking Up

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My breakfast ideas use to be bigger than this.  My hopes of an authentic being were barely formed.  Though, breakfast was always a delightful break in the bullshit of a day that I knew was coming like a semi down I-75.  What happened to my taking pleasure in beginning my day?  Is it my ill-tolerance for bread that shot me down?  Perhaps I began valuing sleep more than culinary creative expression.  If I just gained more sleep I would…I would…eventually feel more tired and fatigued throughout the day (blah).  Let’s be real.  If I can no longer find excitement in my breakfast, then what will the rest of my day be like?

I’m reading my Simple Abundance almost religiously.  I’ve noticed I read it, set it down and barely think about its meditations or contemplations.  How can I focus when I have so many other useless things scratching at my attention?  How can I authentically dig toward who I am when I have the ghosts of behaviors past drenching me in “repeat”?

The revelation or authenticity is the acknowledgement.  Sadness may come from many things but for me, recently, it’s been in acknowledging what no longer serves me in my life.  Even after ridiculous behavior and repeat offender type action, this is my lesson.  Usually in the morning with my big bowl of cold cereal, Oliver (my cat) attempts to reach his hair-between-his-toes paw into said bowl.  I playfully tap his paw away as if he were a little child.  This is the voice I sometimes hear when I’m repeating what I know is not “good”.  “Stop that” the voice says…the voice that I don’t hear very often NOR respond to out loud.  I can almost see someone shaking their head at the same time.

I know this is not meant to shame me into correct behavior, it’s a nudge.  A nudge from the person I tend to ignore most days.  The gut feeling, the pause in thought where the truth seeps in for one second then is sucked into some type of ignorant vortex.  Wake up.

Wake up.  Make your eggs with spinach on toast with a side of freshly squeezed orange juice and Greek yogurt with agave and sesame seeds!  How does your day look, now?

In The Ways of Reflection

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Did I want to walk in the water? Yes. Did I perhaps want to catch a really great shot of my reflection in the water? Why yes, I did. Did the water contain all that is dark and eery and full of bacteria and slippery, slimy things? Hell.yes!

End of story. Angela is not going in the water. Moving on. Have you ever stood in a place where the power of reflection was so apparent and strong it began to tug at your heart strings a lil? This standing body of water provided such a glimpse into depth. Perception of depth, perception of self (maybe)….depth of field, depth of decisions.

One side solid and sure, the other side open to manipulation and change…obviously welcoming such movement with it’s natural undeniable element, water. Which side was I? Am I a balance of both? (I wish). I couldn’t look away yet instantly wary of goin all Harry Potter with his Pensieve on the situation. Except, instead of seeing memories I would catch a parasite.

Perhaps yesterday was an earthly nudged reminder. To embrace both sides. To move…but be strong, to discover…but not go so deep I drown. To reflect…and know tomorrow is a new day and that change is growth. These were my lessons after much contemplation and wonderment.

Maybe one day (with deep sea fishing wear) I’ll walk in the water.

This New Year Is All New To Me

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I’m editing and writing to avoid reaching (yet again) into my compact refrigerator and snagging (yet another) Russian dumpling. Hello New Year’s Intention…FAIL. The Christmas tree is still up but everything else is proudly put away, making it’s humble slumber until next time.

My holiday was spent in glorious North Carolina, unfortunately I was housed up in a live petri dish of the stomach bug. Luckily, I was clear the whole trip until I returned home. Then all gloves were off and it was go time. I see it as fasting completely against my will.

So…naturally, as soon as my gut was up and running, I took full advantage and have been ever since. A story that melts right into my 2012 insights and suggestions.

Upon my reading the Simple I have decided on a couple of things, one being a gratitude journal. To list all that I am grateful for even when the crap pile on my day is pretty tight and tall. In doing so, the inner flow will summon the outer flow…and we’ll go skipping down the river like two best friends on a summer day in upstate NY.

Secondly. Let’s go within. My going within equals me organizing my efing closet. I always thought managing my living quarters was an unfortunate outcome of living with my mother for too long. But no! It’s actually my attempt to create order and clarity within my heart, home and mind. Try using someone else’s kitchen and it’s like navigating around their brain.

The simple is just that, simple. Not doing or going without, just to gain fullness in our every day, taking in the little things. If my gratitude and awareness weigh out my normal huffing and puffing, imagine all that I leave room for. This is all I hope my year to be.

Bottles Up

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Thoughts to action. As quickly as a polaroid is produced…the manifestation of thought equals happenings. A combination of focus, will and want. What if we don’t feel like focusing? We can fill our bottles with nonsense just to stray away from focus. My focus has been…on a little vacation. “I asked for a mai tai and they brought me a pina colada…” ~Office Space circa 1999.

Let us fill our bottles with creativity. Let us be mindful enough to meditate and be open to the rich sinful filling that is our hearts center. Find an object in your home or specific room that brings “the peace”…not to be confused with “da’funk” or “da’noise.” Settle…sink in…stay a while. You can color your self in peace as easily as I do my windowsills with button flowers. Choose carefully, that which fills your bottle. Namaste.

A Heart of Holiday

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With the new and final month of the year, a couple of changes hath swept in the door as well.  First and foremost after four years of “willing” I have finally acquired the iPhone. I should add by “willing” I mean it’s a 4 month early birthday gift to myself.  First of all, this whole “Instagram” movement leaves me feeling empty and not so connected to what I’m taking pictures of.  It’s like the first time I took my car to the local car wash where they do everything for you.  I got in my car and felt…strange.  The car is clean and I took no part in the process, something is wrong.  Instagram, I raise a brow to you. Still learning.

How is everyone doing?!  I tell ya, I haven’t felt this much holiday cheer in years!  I’ve already been to the Singing Christmas Tree, watched The Grinch and so desperately want to see The Christmas Story musical.  Strange, I never tire of it’s marathon run on Christmas Day…ever.  It’s like a song I rarely hear and when I do, I play it until I’m sick of it.  The end.

This year, my sister has given strict instruction on sticking to our “pulling of names” for the holiday.  Which she personally rigged (slightly).  So I, in true fashion, hath strayed (slightly).  I can’t help it, when I’m out and about something catches my eye and I receive a name.  Like a little message or form of brain-mail.  I’m not saying everyone in my family is getting an iPad…these are small tokens of my thoughts and love.  Of course, these tokens are given out for free most of the year.  Just sayin.

Ya see, life is funny.  Let us give thanks, let us give thanks every day for lessons, the heart opening, compassion giving moments we encounter and self.  Even the bad stuff, after it’s done ripping and tearing, is a’ thankful.

Give to the ones you love and even the ones you don’t.  From a warm hand to a hearty hug, all that is free in me is free in you.

Growing From Here To There

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Oh God…I’m having one of those moments where I’m actually funneling into my brain, trying to find the breeding ground of my advice giving thoughts.  After one tremendously open and honest conversation with a long distance friend I began thinking…where in the hell do these thoughts come from?  I’m not even sure how to answer this when asked by those I am guiding or questioning on their specific situation.

I don’t know where it comes from, no…that’s a lie.  I want to say it comes from my personal choices to learn, learn, b**** slap my ego and grow.  Shedding the anger, fear and the ever so popular “blame game” behavior.  Been there, done that…feels and smells like what I tend to extract from Oliver’s litter box.  Smelly ish.

Is it a channeling experience?  Where am I pulling from?  Where, exactly?

I thought about this as I was working with pounds of melted chocolate and toffee this afternoon.  Absolutely ideal.  What I concluded is that I can’t pinpoint the place of origin.  It really doesn’t matter.  I value that it exists.

Oh, the moral of the story is I’m not really sure.  Does this photo directly relate to what I’m saying…visually and spiritually? I’m sure, it does.  Because it speaks softly, standing in stillness.  Which is how I get from here to there.