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Welcome to Praise Seitan! Food, Beer & Travel From the Heart of Seattle. It's a food, beverage and travel blog that combines recipes and globetrotting tales with personal stories about my journey of healing and self-discovery.

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Lessons From Paris: Denouement / Mother's Day 2019

Lessons From Paris: Denouement / Mother's Day 2019

One year ago, my mom and I took the most transformational trip of our lives to date — and so it is only fitting that as I accidentally marked the occasion with a trip to New York City, I was followed by Paris everywhere. More on that trip forthcoming; for now, I realized that I never even finished uploading the photos from last year. Funny how life sneaks up on you that way.

This seems like the perfect time to do so: for Mother’s Day, to honor she who gave me life, and who has helped me find it again, in every sense of the word, every time I’ve stumbled off the path. That trip was such an incredible time for us together: mother and daughter, connecting our history, repairing so much damaged ancestral lineage and generations of passed-down trauma, bringing light to the shadow with our zest and bubbling excitement and fifth-dimensional Love.

We found so many symbols of strong women on the trip to inspire us. We saw art that brought tears to our eyes and we found beauty everywhere: the willow trees and brilliant blooms of Monet’s garden; the fresh-baked pan au chocolat and painstakingly crafted desserts in the patisserie windows; the lilting sound of romance languages wafting on the breeze; the breathtaking cathedrals, columns and carvings that invoked the awe of the heavenly universe in us both.

A generation apart and with so much shadow in our histories, two women who didn’t get the chance to be kids the first time around experienced a second childhood — even better for it being consciously chosen. We recaptured that sense of awe and childlike wonder; that lust for life; that sense of amazement and fascination with whatever the day would bring, bubbling with excitement to see what was around the next corner. We were open to every possibility and the Universe delivered with abundance.

We breathed in and out wahe guru, wahe jio, and we saw the greatness of the Universal energy some call God in everything; everyone; every sacred hall and garden path and Metro tunnel. Every bite savored bore the ecstasy of the first and last meal all at once. Every song sounded more joyful. Every work of art seemed handed down from the heavens themselves. It’s a spirit we’ve come to refer to as “Paris Mind,” and I strive to cultivate it every day, by calling in from the Universe whatever my life’s work should be for the hours ahead.

I strive to emulate it on vacations, at events, in new experiences and when meeting new people. It’s not always easy. And when I need support and encouragement, my mom is always there to answer the call. She reminds me of how it was when we were there, and how that trip is removed from time and space, suspended in that realm in between the worlds; it is a place we can access anytime we want, we need only call upon it. It is a choice and a state of mind; it is a feeling of love in our hearts. I want to choose it every day. I try.

I cannot express the depth of gratitude I have for my mom and my relationship with her. It is one that has grown to a level beyond mother and daughter, beyond friends, to the level of spiritual advisors and co-creators and metaphysical partners. She is wise and deep and smart and fun and funny; the grandmother and the child all at once. She always has a loving word that consoles my very being when times are tough, and is the first one I want to celebrate with when something goes right. She gives the best advice and cuts through the noise when I need clarity.

She was my original model for an independent woman and businesswoman, and I often refer to her for inspiration when I feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life as a single-woman household and self-starting entrepreneur twice over. She did it. I can do it, too. She has mantras and tips that help me power through those times when I don’t know how it’s all going to happen. And she showed me firsthand. From her I have taken lessons in nonduality, the shadow and the light, the interconnectedness and how we must embrace all aspects of life and human nature to be truly free.

Every generation gets a chance to break free. To start a new pattern. She did it. I’m doing it, too.

She is the devoted caretaker of the family — sometimes to her own detriment — yet is staking her own independence more and more at the same time. I have the utmost admiration for her true ability to find compassion for anyone and everyone; to see through to people’s true hearts, to find common ground where one might least expect it; and to build a bridge with people through shared pain that connects to the light. This goes for strangers as much as it does for our family, and her truly philanthropic heart is one I aspire to cultivate within myself.

In this way, she is both a light and a shadow worker. And so am I. We are learning how to use pain to a beneficial end: one that can unite us with others who have suffered, and thereby bring the whole collective into that pure Source Love. Heal yourself to heal the world.

And so, I honor her on this day, and I honor Paris, forever in our hearts. Let us call in Paris Mind, today and every day. Let us always have ready access to that state of wonder and the beauty of life and the creations of humankind and the Universe. Let us see that art is life and life is Love and it is all around us.

And let these two women, as we proceed along life’s path, and as this Earth-time ages our bodies in its relentless yet ultimately meaningless manner, always have the power to transform back into two little girls — skipping hand in hand down the streets of Paris and through Monet’s gardens, full of childlike wonder and in love with the world.

Happy Mother’s Day. xxx

Cookbook Review: 'A Feast of Serendib: Recipes From Sri Lanka' by Mary Anne Mohanraj

Cookbook Review: 'A Feast of Serendib: Recipes From Sri Lanka' by Mary Anne Mohanraj