spiritually connected

washingtonpost.com
His Paula Deen takedown went viral. But this food scholar isn’t done yet.
Michael Twitty’s mission: To evangelize about the African roots of Southern food.

Wow this guy is amazing uhhhhhh uhhhhhh such awesome work

-blogger at Afroculinaria.com

“Twitty is deeply engrossed in both the African American and Jewish food traditions. “Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it,” says Twitty, 38.”

“From Richmond it was a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, where Twitty spent the week lecturing, conducting training sessions and cooking in period costume at three of the living history museum’s venues. In all his talks, Twitty emphasized the impact of chefs and cooks of African descent on shaping American and Southern cuisines in colonial times and after.”

“At a conference he met the scholar Robert Farris Thompson, author of “Flash of the Spirit,” a book about the influence of African religions on African American art that helped him see that “soul food” was, among other things, a spiritual term describing a mystical connection between humans and the animals and plants they eat.”

“He cooked and he gardened. He studied heirloom seed varieties, some that had been brought from Africa and some that had been carried from the New World to Africa and then, on slave ships, back to North America, among them okra, black-eyed peas, kidney and lima beans, Scotch bonnet peppers, peanuts, millet, sorghum, watermelon, yams and sesame. He called those seeds “the repositories of our history” and wrote about them in a monograph published by Landreth Seed in its 2009 catalogue.”

“Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation.”

I believe in the kind of love that doesn’t demand me to prove my worth and sit in anxiety. I crave a natural connection, where my soul is able to recognise a feeling of home in another. Something free-flowing, something simple. Something that allows me to be me without question….
—  Joey Palermo
In New Zealand, a Translated ‘Moana’ Bolsters an Indigenous Language

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — The families lined up at the theater above a shopping mall here in New Zealand’s biggest city and filed past posters for Stephen King’s “It” and “Captain Underpants” for a film unlike any they had ever seen — the Disney hit “Moana,” translated into the indigenous language of New Zealand.

“Kei te pehea koe?” said the ticket taker, Jane Paul, greeting groups of children with a phrase meaning, “How are you?”

“Are you Maori too?” one girl asked.

About 125,000 of New Zealand’s 4.7 million people speak the Maori language, or “te reo Māori,” as it is widely rendered here. There are concerns that numbers are declining, putting it at risk of dying out. But with one in three Maori people in New Zealand younger than 15, experts said the chance for youth to see a wildly popular movie in their own words could turn the language’s fortunes around after more official efforts faltered.

“The language has got to be made cool and sexy and relevant to young people, and this movie is the perfect way to make that happen,” said Haami Piripi, a former head of the government body charged with promoting te reo Māori as a living language.

Taika Waititi, a New Zealand writer and director who worked on the original English-language version of “Moana,” also approached Disney early on about translating the film, and his sister, Tweedie Waititi, went on to produce the translated version.

The film was screened free at 30 theaters around New Zealand at the end of the annual Maori language week. It did not have English subtitles, but screenings were fully booked within 30 minutes, leading to plans in at least one town for additional showings.

Many of those attending in Manukau, in southern Auckland, said they had never seen a film at the theater entirely in their language before.

…Parents entering the theater said they relished the chance for their children to see themselves and their language reflected on the big screen, in a different kind of story that they hoped would instill pride in being Maori.

Most of the efforts to revitalize the language that have worked so far, he added, have been initiated by protest or court action. But Mr. Piripi said the film “Moana reo Māori” had given him hope there was another way: making the language “cool, relevant and useful” to young Maori.

“There’s no other film in the Maori language that would attract whanau and kids like that,” he said, using the word for families.

The entire process, including translation, recording the voices and mixing the sound, happened over three months.

Katarina Edmonds, a senior lecturer in Maori education at the University of Auckland, and one of three people who translated the film, said the team worked not only to find the exact equivalents of words in the Disney script, but also to remain true to the Maori language and tikanga, or cultural values.

Some moments of the film posed a challenge; Moana raging at the ocean, for example, contravened a Maori cultural rule to never curse or turn one’s back on the sea, so they turned it into a more humorous moment using careful wordplay.

At the same time, Ms. Edmonds said, the translation gave the film a uniquely Maori flavor of humor, while staying true to the spirit of the original script.

Rachel House, a New Zealand actor who voiced the character Gramma Tala in both the English and Maori versions of the film — and who was also the performance director of the Maori production — said she had been blown away by the response to the film, and the 30 theaters that screened it free.

“I’ve been on a very slow journey with the language for years, and now I feel like I can sit back and really enjoy the film, and experience the learning tool that it represents,” she said.

In Manukau, most families left the theater beaming. Many said they were eager to buy a DVD of the film, which is expected sometime in the next few months.

Desiree Tipene, 30, said that having grown up with immersion schooling, she was determined to give her children a similar experience — for a sense of identity and spiritual connection. She described “Moana” as a “funny and beautiful” way for her four children to connect with their culture.

“I just enjoy our language being spoken,” she said.

10 Crystals For Empaths

Crystals have been used for thousands of years to protect and enhance personal energy. They have the ability to focus energy and generate minute electrical currents that interact with the currents in the human body and environment. Crystals are an amazing way to cleanse, amplify, and protect one’s energy.

As a highly sensitive empath, I absorb energy from everything. Not only am I affected by the emotions and attitudes of other people, but I’m extremely sensitive to things like geopathic stress and electromagnetic stress. This often leads to exhaustion, irritability, and overwhelm. 

Geopathic stress: Stress created by electromagnetic radiation, ley lines, and underground water. It’s also present in “sick building syndrome”. Injurious to health, it can affect the immune system as well as the body’s innate psychic protection and may attract ghosts or hold impressions of previous events.

Electromagnetic stress: Disharmony caused by the subtle emanations of electrical, microwave, computer, phone and radio frequencies, as well as power lines.

The following list features 10 of my favorite crystals that have been the most beneficial in managing sensitivities and raising my vibration:

Labradorite 

Known as one of the most protective stones, labradorite creates an interface around the aura that filters out energies that are not beneficial and enhances spiritual connection. It allows one to be aware of other’s feelings and emotions without being overwhelmed by them. Labradorite enhances physic abilities, aligns physical and subtle bodies, and strengthens the aura.

Tip: If you’re prone to nightmares and restless sleep, try holding a labradorite palm stone at bedtime. I sleep with one every night and it has helped me immensely. Just remember to cleanse it in-between uses!  

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: rainbow moonstone, black moonstone, spectrolite

Celestine

Also known as celestite, this high vibrational stone links one to higher realms and stimulates spiritual insights. It facilitates inner peace, helps to disperse anxieties and calm the emotions while promoting clarity of mind. This beautiful crystal heals the aura, assists in conflict resolution, and helps maintain a harmonious atmosphere in times of stress. 

Tip: Try meditating with one of these stones and record any insights you might have in a journal afterwards. I’ve been amazed at some of the profound breakthroughs I’ve had while spending time with this amazing crystal.

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: blue lace agate, angelite, phantom quartz, apophyllite 

Lithium Quartz 

This variety of quartz is a natural antidepressant. Its powerful healing energies gently lift the conditions underlying the depression to the surface, neutralizing ancient anger and grief. It can reach back into past lives to dissolve the roots of emotional dis-ease that is pervading the present life. Lithium quartz is an excellent cleanser for the body’s energy centers and is extremely useful as a healer for plants and animals.

Tip: If feeling lethargic or low on energy, carry a small lithium quartz point with you in your pocket. Lithium quartz can function like an emotional battery for those that are sensitive to the vibration of this stone.

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: quartz with hematite, elestial quartz, vanadinite, zeolite 

Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline, also known as schorl; protects agains cell phones, electromagnetic smog, radiation, ill wishing, and negative energies of all kinds. Black tourmaline is the most effective block to psychic attack and is extremely efficient at absorbing negative energy. It helps one adopt a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances.

Tip: Black tourmaline is super effective as a gem elixir that can be added to cleansing sprays and used to purify the aura. 

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: shungite, black kyanite, jet, tourmalinated quartz

Rose Quartz

Known as the stone of unconditional love and forgiveness, gentle rose quartz opens the heart and transforms negative emotions into positive ones. It’s an excellent stone to use during crisis or trauma, as it quickly brings peace. It transmutes negative emotional conditioning and supports positive affirmations. It purifies and opens the heart at all levels and brings deep inner healing and self-love.

Tip: Wear a rose quartz pendant over your heart to promote self-love, tranquility, and emotional healing. 

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: rhodochrosite, pink danburite, rhodonite, pink petalite, pink kunzite 

Fluorite

A strongly protective stone, especially against electromagnetic and geopathic pollution, as well as psychic attack. Fluorite stabilizes energy and shuts off mental manipulation. This stone cleanses and stabilizes the aura. Fluorite grounds and integrates spiritual energies and assists in dissolving illusions and negative mental patterning. Emotionally, fluorite has a grounding effect. 

Tip: Place a piece of fluorite on a computer or between yourself and the source of electromagnetic fog. 

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: amazonite, green aventurine, bloodstone 

Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz is one of the most efficient grounding and anchoring stones. It helps alleviate fears, soothes an active mind, and promotes emotional calmness. This protective stone gently neutralizes negative vibrations, absorbs electromagnetic smog, and blocks geopathic stress. Smoky quartz is a powerful antidote to stress and assists in tolerating difficult times while bringing in positive energy. 

Tip: To dispel stress, place a stone in each hand and sit quietly for a few moments. Cleanse the stones thoroughly between uses.

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: hematite, smoky elestial quartz, apache tear obsidian 

Amethyst

Amethyst is an extremely powerful and protective stone with a high vibration. It guards against psychic attack, transmuting energy into love. A natural tranquilizer, amethyst blocks against geopathic stress and negative environmental energies. Its serenity enhances higher states of consciousness. Amethyst has strong healing and cleansing powers, and enhances spiritual awareness. 

Tip: Place a cleansed amethyst point towards you to draw in positive energy, and point one away from you to dispel negative energy. 

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: ametrine, lepidolite, rutilated quartz, lilac kunzite, purple fluorite  

Selenite

Selenite is a high vibrational stone that is said to occupy the space between light and matter. It’s an excellent crystal for repairing and re-energizing the aura. Selenite is a calming stone that instils deep peace and is excellent for spiritual work and meditation. Selenite does not allow outside influences to penetrate. A large piece within the house promotes a peaceful atmosphere. 

Tip: Place other crystals, talismans, and pendants on a piece of selenite overnight for cleansing. 

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: dessert rose selenite, peach moonstone, himalayan rock salt

Carnelian

An excellent stone for grounding one in present reality, carnelian is one of the oldest known healing stones. It energizes and restores vitality to the immune system. Carnelian promotes positive life choices and immense motivation, and assists one in trusting perceptions. This is a useful stone for overcoming negative emotional or mental conditioning. It calms anger and assists in banishing emotional negativity, while sharpening concentration. Mentally, carnelian improves analytic abilities and clarifies perception. 

Tip: Carnelian placed near the front door of a home invokes protection and invites abundance.

Stones with similar vibrational qualities: citrine, tigers eye, golden calcite,  orang-brown selenite, amber  

I hope you find these crystals as beneficial as I do. Enjoy!

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Crystals for Beginners 💎

This is a list of crystals that are commonly known, generally easy to get a hold of, and have multiple uses.

  • Agate - protection, good luck, balance, strength, inspiration
  • Amethyst - calming, emotional stability, balance, inner strength, protection from psychic attacks
  • Aventurine - happiness, peace, healing, prosperity 
  • Calcite - amplifies energy, cleansing, reduce stress, calming, emotional healing, memory
  • Carnelian - creativity, manifestation, luck, protection
  • Citrine - does not retain negative energy, thus never needs to be cleansed; creativity, motivation
  • Clear Quartz - a power stone used to provide extra energy and can be used to charge other items; healing, protection, power, banishing, charging
  • Fluorite - stability, peace and calm, impartial reasoning, responsibility, concentration, meditation, protection from psychic attacks, self love  
  • Hematite - grounding, deflecting negative energy
  • Jasper - protection, relaxation, tranquility
  • Jet - eases grief, protection, banishing
  • Kyanite - does not retain negative energy, thus never needs to be cleansed; cleansing other stones, tranquility, removing energy blockages, channeling energy
  • Labradorite - attract success, dreams, reduce stress and anxiety, spiritual connection, transformation, clarity, peace
  • Milky Quartz - luck, calming, soothing, meditation, purification
  • Obsidian - grounding, negating and transmuting negative energy
  • Onyx - grounding
  • Rose Quartz - self-love, calming, romantic love, and friendship
  • Selenite - mental clarity, removing energy blockages, cleansing and charging other crystals
  • Smoky Quartz - grounding, banishing, cleansing, removing emotional blockages
  • Tiger’s Eye - self-discipline, practicality, protection, grounding, peace, clarity, intelligence, intuition, financial stability, calmness 

Cleansing and Charging Crystals - a good rule of thumb is that if you’re not sure if you can place your crystals in water, salt, or direct sunlight because it might damage the stone, use moonlight or starlight instead. You can also place your crystals in a dry bath of herbs and flowers, or pass them through incense smoke.

Crystal Resources:

  1. Mineral and Crystal Safety and Care Masterpost (this will tell you which crystals can be cleansed with either water, sunlight, or salt) 
  2. A to Z Crystal Meanings
Souls love. That’s what souls do. Egos don’t, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you’ll be amazed - all the beings around you are souls. Be one, see one. When many people have this heart connection, then we will know that we are all one, we human beings all over the planet. We will be one. One love. And don’t leave out the animals, and trees, and clouds, and galaxies-it’s all one. It’s one energy.
—  Ram Dass
An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. May you be open to each thread that comes into your life - the golden ones and the coarse ones - and may you weave them into a brilliant and beautiful life.