Top 10 Steps to Optimal Health: Go With Your Gut!

This is an evidence based, excellent resource for understanding the importance of diet and how to effectively heal your gut!

Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen

If you feel less than awesome in your body at this very moment, keep reading. What I’m sharing today could literally change your life!

Today, we’re talking about a topic that is near and dear to me because of my personal healing journey to identify food sensitivities, get myself off of a chronic disease medication, and heal my body.

What I’ve learned about this system and its role in keeping me healthy has transformed my life.

I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my body and almost never get sick. But for the longest time, I felt like what I was dealing with was “normal” because it was all I’d ever known.

On an almost daily basis I either hear stories about, talk to people dealing with or read about frustrating struggles with health issues that SEEM to be “normal” because they are common.

Normal Commong

From indigestion, migraines, asthma, acne, irritable…

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A Recovering Innocent

“A serious person can never be innocent and and innocent person can never be serious” Osho. I surrender my seriousness and reclaim my innocence! Chery

Source Reflections

Innocence & Wasp Flyby         Innocence & Wasp

A Recovering Innocent

“The essential self is Innocent, and when it tastes its own Innocence knows that it lives for ever.”[1]

I am a late bloomer.  I have always felt like I am walking at the back of the parade.  I believe that when I was born, it took me a while to fully enter this dimension of reality.  With one foot in this world, and one in the realm of Spirit I had just left, I had an initial experience of Innocence, my natural state of being.  Innocence felt simple, trusting, pure, and had a sense of incorruptibility.  Actions had a sense of ease and effortlessness.

In this life, this experience of my body and the perception of duality that comes with it, Innocence was easily lost.  I have been wandering through life believing in the perception of good and evil and with that…

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Celebration of Life 65

Sun Salute in Sedona
Mountain Valley Retreat has been welcoming guests for one year.                                             Only a few hours ago we all were here…
Sharing our words, our hugs, our laughter, our tears…
Friends coming together to Connect
For our Celebration of Life 65.

My local tribe from Borrego Springs, Manzanita Village, Ramona, Sunshine Summit, Warner Springs, Lake Henshaw, Ranchita and Haiku, our Resident thru-hiker from the PCT
Came together like a giant constellation of stars
Inter-connecting with my Kindred Spirits from far away as if
We have always known each other.

HoJo and Richard created a Sound-scape of Magical Music
While we ate… oh, the Food!
And drank…oh, the Champagne!
While we laughed and talked and hugged and danced.

Chris & Cristina serenaded us with poignant songs of life.
The Grandmother Drum called to us to let our
Wild Souls Out
And we drummed and danced until at last
We fell gently into a puppy pile
Resting our bodies against each other
Feeling the strength of our connection
The power of our love.

And I am only 65 today.
I have 35 more years to live and play
In this beautiful body,
On this beautiful earth,
With these beautiful people.



“Who Am I Without My Story?”
I cut the barbed wire stretched taught between two sturdy old fence posts,                          first at one end and then the other.
Tossing it away,  I pushed on the posts, each in turn.
They loosened easily from the ground.
Lifting them free, I threw them aside, away from my body.
Lying back, I viewed the scene without them.

I saw a flawless field of blue sky and green pasture untouched by human invention.
Again came the words that had been moving through my mind, like a mantra,          endlessly asking,
“Who am I without my story?”

I looked into the scene produced within and saw now the fullness of nature revealed.
Three wild Indian ponies galloped into the pasture of my body
and I saw them as me.
Body, Mind and Spirit.

This is who I am without my story.
I am wild and free, uninhibited by custom or convention.
I know not my past and care not my future.
I am here now. This is all there is.

In this moment, I dance myself into existence and awareness flows along each breath.
I continuously unfold.

I am neither nefarious nor reputable.
I am either the falsehood of my story or the truth of my being.

I cannot be both.three wild horses

La Pachamama

I am at Esalen, the unique community perched on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur, California.

Esalen  was established to create an atmosphere of acceptance and freedom to explore the depths of the human experience.  It encourages each individual to dive deep into the darkest corners of their inner life and uncover those parts of themselves that are hidden.  Esalen is the home of the Human Potential Movement.  It aspires to help individuals achieve their own highest potential. 

For the past decade, I have been spending several weeks every year at Esalen attempting to become transparent to myself and developing the courage to be transparent to others.  What if the parts of ourselves we bury and hide are actually the most endearing, the most lovable, the most creative aspects of ourselves?  How will we ever know if we don’t open ourselves to discovery?

Each time I arrive the first few days are spent in transition from my outside “ordinary” life to the non-ordinary life of Esalen.  Part of that transition is the awareness of my “theme.”  A “theme” emerges in those opening days and it sets the tone for my experience.  Yesterday, the word for my theme came to me.  It is La Pachamama, the Andean word for Earth Goddess and when you say La Pachamama it means Mother Earth signifying the Goddess’ connection to Nature.

When I visited Peru a couple of years ago I spent time with several Andean Shamans and participated in their ceremonies.  I learned the meaning of the word Pachamama and my experiences there have influenced my life and choices since.  I am feeling honored that the days that are to come will be spent in further exploration of what this word means to me.  I started this morning with a poem.

LaPachamama pachamama

Pachamama is the gift of my life.

I seek to honor her with every breath breathed, every word spoken, every step taken.

I see Pachamama in the waves of the ocean, I feel her in the touch of the breeze on my skin.

She is the in the solid feeling of the earth beneath my feet.

It is Pachamama who is warming my face when I walk in the sunlight and activating my senses when I lie under the stars and gaze up at the full moon.

Pachamama is the rhythms of nature.

She releases the leaves from the trees and the raindrops from the thunderheads.

She pushes the baby bud from the protective cover of its seed and the chick out of its eggshell.

She whispers to me, teaching me the magical secrets of my Universe.

It is when I am still and turn my attention inward that I feel her.

It is when I am in wonder and awe of life that I sense her strongly.

It is when the complexities of my life reduce down to one simple knowing…then I am hearing her clearly and I understand.