“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” – Ruth E Renkel

”Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear” Mark Twain

Photo courtesy of photographer and author, Mary Mcavoy. For more info on Mary’s beautiful photos and writings go to http://www.silverlining-marymcavoy.com/

 
There are times in all our lives when we must summon the courage to face our fears, move through our pain, and summon the light within to help us heal.
 
Sometimes we have the assistance of friends or others who can help us along our path of self-healing.
 
Jayan Landry,  a licensed psychotherapist, and a co-founder of  T.I.P. or Trauma Intervention Program for Merrimack Valley in Andover, Massachusetts, is someone who has dedicated much of her life helping people move through personal trauma.
 
Jayan and many of the volunteers of  T.I.P.  provide emotional support  for people who have traumatically lost someone dear to them.
Like personal angels… these volunteers help people pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and soften the impact of the trauma.
 
Take a moment and listen to this inspiring short interview with Jayan Landry to learn more about this extraordinary program.
 
 
For more information about T.I.P. please visit
 
Betsey Beaven

You are an ancester now Mom…

Red Bud

 

You are an ancestor now Mom…

Your strong gnarled fingers no longer play the piano…

Yet your music lives in me, my sister and my brother.

Inside of me is etched the final memory of you bebopping to the

music of the piano–eighty pounds-can’t walk, can’t talk–but you

could bang out a tune—

Your spirit flying in joy!

“Failure to thrive” they say

But of course you did thrive…

And with such steady determination

And lots of dignity.

Our ordinary moments were so rich–

Sometimes laughing so hard we could barely stand up.

 I have no regrets and I hope you haven’t either.

You said to me many times…”You were unexpected”.

Well I’m sure glad you let me into your life Mom.

 And so where once you were like the

Birch tree to me– strong, lean, and bent over

with the weight of winter snow-

 Now you are the red bud blooming in May….

(written May 8, 1999)

 Happy Mother’s day….

 

if you eat chocolate during the holidays or just because you love it…

 

For ”Chocolate Aficionados” ….

If you love chocolate and missed my interview with Candace McTwigan of organic McTwigan Spices..please listen in and learn how one of the world’s oldest centenarians ate 2 lbs of chocolate a week till her physician advised her to give up sweets at the age of 119! (click link below)

2011-02-07_13-33-28_MCTWIGIN

Candace shares a quick 5 min yummie chocolate mousse recipe from McTwigan Spices…(see with or without dairy recipe below)

With dairy..

1/2 c. any flavor McTwigan cocoa, (My favorite is Heavenly Cocoa naturally sweetened with xylitol) 1 c. heavy cream, 4 ramekins(chilled)

In a blender, place organic heavy cream and cocoa. Blend until cream has whipped. Spoon equal amounts of mousse into the ramekins. Top with sprig of mint or fresh raspberry if desired. Serve immediately.

Dairy free and vegan version….Try this instead:

Substitute 1 c. organic almond milk and bring to a boiladd 1 Tb. kudzu powder (great thickening agent for puddings and sauces..many health benefits too!) and 1/2 c. cocoa. Whisk till mixture thickens. Spoon equal amounts of mousse into the ramekins. Top with sprig of mint or fresh raspberry if desired. Chill and then serve.

If you want to spice up your chocolate experience…try McTwigan Aztec Cocoa….organic cocoa with chilies!

Many thanks to Candance for sharing her recipe and story…

Enjoy the holidays and of course enjoy spring!

Betsey

The sound of snow…..

February 24,2011    Late winter….

Towards the end of February I am as ready as anyone for spring to arrive in New England. Bone chilling cold weather and getting from one place to another during snowstorms is always a challenge. Yet over the months there is a part me that has slowed down, conserved my energy, and with a tugging ambivalence regrets the end of winter…if only because the sound of snow will be gone.

The sound of snow you ask? Yes. Snow falling has a particular sound but you must be away from traffic, conversations, cell phones, ipods, and bustle of everyday life to hear it. For me the best place to listen  is in the woods when it begins to snow…

I remember when I first became aware there was a sound of snow. I had been hiking for some miles deep in the woods one cold afternoon with grey skies. It was a particularly wonderful hike because I was so in tune with my surroundings. I spotted the tracks of deer, rabbit, cat fisher, fox, turkey and coyotes as I rambled along often veering off the trail to look for more tracks. The frozen branches of trees above me sometimes cracked and swayed in the wind as the crunch of my boots on snow was the only other sound I could hear.

I started later than I had planned to hike that day and as I climbed to the top of a steep hill overlooking a valley, I sensed that darkness was moving in quickly. I needed to get back to the road where my car was parked. I knew the area well and wasn’t concerned about getting lost but the woods at night is harder to navigate.

I stopped to get my bearings when in the deep silence of the moment…a soft barely perceptible sound emerged which I realized was the sound of snow beginning to fall. I listened keenly, like a bird with its head to the ground listening for worms,  and I could hear the snow. It was a lovely,  soft, gentle sound, just a decibel above silence, barely audible yet distinctly there. As I listened, a deep intense joy flooded me and I felt divinely privileged that I was here to share in this moment. A profound feeling of being connected with The Source of All That Is… filled my heart and my inner most being.  The darker it grew around me, the more light I felt inside. I don’t know how long I stayed in this reverie but eventually a practical voice inside urged me to move on…

As the snow grew heavier the trees quickly became a soft white blanket lighting up what was a frigid darkness as I made my way down the path.  I was tired and cold and yet I felt a certain reluctance, a hesitation about leaving the woods as if there was something more to come, something unfinished. I wanted to feel that deep connection again…

Suddenly at that moment came the soft ‘’hoo hoo’’ of an owl off in the distance. It felt like an invitation so I waited…. and a few minutes later a distinct and louder hoot came forth. I paused for a second and then called out my own ”hoo hoo”  grateful for this shared moment between us. I felt blessed and quietly complete.

As I turned and walked out of the woods, I smiled to myself knowing this was a special connection I had shared with the owl…  it was clear we both loved the sound of snow.

Betsey Beaven

www.betseybeaven.com

The best hot chocolate I ever ate!

February 14, 2011                              HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Take a moment from your busy day and listen to this short, lively interview between Betsey Beaven and Candace McTwigin of McTwigin Spices. Learn how Organic Chocolate can extend your life! Click on link…

Candace McTwigin radio Interview 2

SEE RECIPE BELOW..

Rich, dark, and delicious!

Try this quick, delicious organic cocoa recipe…if you are a Vegan use organic unsweetened almond milk or your  dairy free beverage of choice.  If you drink dairy use organic grass fed milk. I used the almond milk and savored every drop…it’s like a shot of expresso…

1. In a small pot add 1 c. organic unsweetened almond milk and bring to a simmer.

2. Add 1 heaping t. Heavenly Cocoa from McTwigin Spice and whisk thoroughly.

3. Enjoy! This dark cocoa mix is organic, sugar free, and guilt free. It’s sweetened naturally with xylitol and is gluten free.

Share this simple recipe with your family, friends, and loved ones. Enjoy a cup just before bed and have sweet dreams…

Betsey Beaven

CHEWYBACCAS

A friend of mine, Hilary, recently introduced me to some of the most delicious vegan AND gluten free cookies I’ve ever eaten. Most gluten free cookies that I have tried have been tasteless with little regard for flavor, texture, and quality.

Hilary brought me some of her Chewybaccas for the holidays and I was swooning for more before I could even finish the first one!! They are actually some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Since I rarely eat sweets or desserts…. these cookies blew me out of the water.

The hardest part is just getting all the ingredients but they are worth it.

Take the time to make this recipe and you’ll impress your vegan or gluten free friends…or any of your friends and family for that matter.

CHEWYBACCAS – Hilary Wood
Vegan and Gluten Free
Yields about 3 dozen
Ingredients:
16oz Almond Meal
12oz Coconut Flakes(unsweetened)
1/2cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil(melted)
3/4cup Agave
1 Medium Fresh Squeezed Lemon
2tbsp Lemon Zest
2tbsp Fresh Ginger Juice
2tsp Vanilla Extract
2tsp Lemon Oil
1tsp Sea Salt

In large bowl stir together dry ingredients(almond meal, coconut, and sea salt).
Add in all other ingredients and thoroughly mix with hands.
Form small balls
Enjoy without baking or heat at 170 degrees for about 15 minutes(use lower temperature to keep them “raw”).

Persimmon – Sexiest fruit alive!

Succulent persimmon!

Persimmons are known to the ancient Greeks as “The fruit of the gods.” They are generally first available in November and are an often overlooked brightly colored orange fruit that are rich in fiber, minerals, and natural sugars. They must be fully ripe and soft to the touch to use or else they will taste quite puckery.

There’s nothing quite like biting into a fully ripe persimmon and letting it burst in your mouth with its sweet succulent flavor!

Holistic Palate

“One cannot live well, love well, and sleep well unless one has first dined well.”    Virginia Woolf

www.betseybeaven.com