Love in many places

There are a lot of times when you can doubt yourself. Doubt your choices and even doubt your friends. Not everything has a deep dark and hidden agenda, but some of us choose to go to that place with life. Some people cannot be trusted and don’t have your best interests at heart, but we may be cosmically connected to them anyway.

Life is a tough nut, and going at it alone may be one of the hardest things to do.

Being a very independent person myself, I rarely put a hand out for help, advice or comfort. When I do, it’s usually in a critical time of need. I’ve learned through the years that going to certain people to hear certain messages is futile at best. Do we stop going there? Probably not. Why? Well, lately I’ve discussed this at length with friends and it seems to be because we are ever hopeful that perceptions change, lights go on, attitudes shift, veils lift. Do they for everyone? Not a chance buster – but that’s ok too.

I’ve had the pleasure of making a lot of friends in my life, they represent vastly different pieces and parts of me. I am made up of so many people based on my experiences, at times I have tried to reject rather than embrace the octopus of my being – out of fear of not be accepted I am sure.

Hitting 33 pushed me into a different dimension, one where I wasn’t willing to make excuses, take less than I deserved, accept being treated like everyone else, tolerate being made to feel like less of a person, agree to shut up and be part of the machine. I woke up, I took that pill and I decided that from that day on there was no going back.

I’m causing rifts, shaking the ground I stand on and in some ways, lighting fire to my old “do what the man says or else” self. My future is bright, my outlook is positive and I’m at the most vulnerable place I’ve ever been in life.

At the end of a day where I manage go back and forth on the opinion I hold over my own choices, it’s nice to know that there are people out there thinking about me. People who find real depth in my character where I myself have only noticed a shallow, muddy and uninviting pool of person.

Today, I thank and honour one of my friends, who sent me this beautiful email out of nowhere, right when I needed it. I value every day you are here my friend, thank you for seeing what my spirit needed – without me having to ask!

Via an email entitled: WTF is in Sasha’s Future?

Dear Sasha, I have been thinking about your situation and have come up with the following silly thoughts.

1/ not sure if you realize how lucky you are. To be in your shoes right now. Think about the fact that you are one of the rare few who actually has ” Choice” . Seldom does it happen that one has a choice , at your age of 30 , about which direction you take in your career. Treasure this as there will not be many more opportunities like this.

2/ Whatever happens, happens. It does not matter what you decide because no one is going to die or starve or be homeless as a result of your decision. One gem I picked up year ago…..
” It’s not so much that you make the right decision, it’s making the decision be the right one”
Meaning, if you go out on your own new path, it will be up to you to make that the right decision, something I truly believe you can do. Again, you are so lucky to be surrounded by safety nets.

3/ review the negatives. Look at the list you sent to your head hunter. If, and it’s a big IF, they come up with solutions to every one for you, would you still want that ” job “??………maybe it’s time to do a Positive/Negative scenario that applies to a new career, a career of Raw Food/ Workshops/ Massage/Rocket Science / yoga……do that list and send to me. ( ok, you might substitute pole dancing for the rocket science one )

4/ I think you are a kind , intelligent , level headed ( when you try ) person. You have a huge heart hidden inside. I have seen you happy….mad…..sad…frustrated…..and frankly, my vote is for the happy Sasha.

5/ Values. What are your core values? Honesty….Integrity….Family…..Relationships…..Think of all of the things you hold dear, things that you can’t live without and which career path serves those values the best.

I remember the day after you quit your job, your face said it all, the glow in your eyes and smile on your face, something I hadn’t seen for a long time. The hug you gave me was full of purpose. That day, in Meghan’s class, you were on fire, you had the energy back that your job had sucked out of you. And I thought to myself, my god, even I had not noticed what your job had done to you.

Trust in your instincts, success will follow.

Not sure if any of this drivel was of much help, happy to discuss more in future.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do, Your friend, Paul

Kale & Aubergine Hot Salad

I’m dedicating this recipe to my lovely lovely friend Ziuta in London who is a busy mom of two and tries SO hard to learn new things and stay healthy. I don’t know how you do it lady, but I applaud you.

I’d normally call this one Kale & Zucchini however, Ziuta refers to them as their other name (aubergines) so I will for those purposes as well.

This is such a quick recipe that you can’t make any excuses for not getting your S&*T together to make some decent meals.

I’ve made this vegan (of course) but if you’re NOT vegan you can sub in whatever protein you wish. I’d hope for your sake you utilize this recipe to implement a Meatless Monday in your home – stay heart healthy.

I have omitted onions and garlic from this as they aren’t “safe” right now in my house ~ excess gas during prep time is not ideal, so add this if you wish.

You will need a pan with a lid or a way to cover your pan.

 

Ingredients: 

10 large white mushrooms sliced

1 large bunch kale chopped well

2 med/large aubergine spiralized or sliced thinly, you can also use a potato peeler or mandolin to make thin strips.

1 cup chopped pea shoots

2 cups snap peas

1 tsp coconut/avocado oil

16 oz Tofurky “chicken” type protein

2 large cloves garlic diced

1 medium yellow onion diced

Method: 

Heat oil in large (deep) pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sautee for 3-4 minutes until they start to clarify but not brown.

Next, add kale, mushrooms and peas and cook for 3-5 minutes with lid on.

Next, add your vegan protein to basically just warm it up and brown a bit….you will have to add COOKED animal protein to this if you are using meat. DO NOT ADD RAW MEAT!!

Cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add in pea shoots & aubergine.

Serve as a hot salad in bowls. This serves 4 people approximately 4oz of protein.

This is approximately 600 calories per serving…my nutrition generator is NOT working at the moment and I will update once it start accepting my new foods. 

 

 

 

MY truth about recognizing the importance of sisterhood.

Lately, I’ve been coming to a very dark and confusing realization. I spent nearly a decade of my life surrounded by hustlers. I was shocked and appalled at myself for sinking so low…then I realized…I was one of them.

I had lived a life full of hustle – Real Estate tycoonery, epic “celeb” style partying all over the world bypassing lineups at clubs in LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Montreal……wearing some of the latest fashions I had managed to hustle for “cheap” from a few personal shoppers I knew. Having personal assistants for my life and my job, living in the “it” neighbourhoods, driving baller cars and taking exotic vacations while somehow still managing to show up to work and get paid.

True, the most extreme of that hustle started to peter out some 5 years ago, when I started to realize that sleeping under my desk at work nursing the worlds worst hangover just couldn’t be done anymore.

On the outside I looked like I had it all hooked up, my friends always wanted to be around me, asked me how I did it, stated over and over again how lucky I was. I believed them. I wanted to believe them, I felt that losing this version of myself would be a total and utter disaster ~ even if I was alienating myself.

Fast forward to a little trip to the clink care of one of my “best” friends who pretty much slept with every man in my life other than my husband and my father ( I think)……as one of my few and close friends of today said back then “time to weed your friend garden”.

While losing this part of my life was really no loss at all, what I did feel that I lost at that time was my connection to who I thought I was, to my identity and even to my husband and friends.

Shaking that kind of deep confusion and pain off, can be quite an experience. I iced my “wake up” cake with a healthy dose of Yoga and one gigantic nervous breakdown.

Years later, in a place where I have come to understand most of my choices, or for the sake of my sanity have been able to shrug off what seemed just too nutso of me………… a little bit of the hustle managed to move and shake its way back into my life.

I realized in being confronted by the past, with the clarity of now, that all of those friends, loves, acquaintances in my closest circle were never there for anything but the hustle. A ride in a fancy car, a dinner party at an amazing house, yacht trips, flights, parties and someone to sit intently and listen to them moan over their life blowing up while doing bumps off of their house keys.

Stoned or sober, these are the people I spent years with. Never getting a word in edgewise and opening my doors for them to drink my Veuve, eat my Caviar and smoke cigarettes until the wee hours of the morning looking at one of the most stunning views of Vancouver from my balcony.

But you know something? I’m not angry. I am laughing at this. For this blog isn’t about them, it’s an ode to a wonderful and beautiful few that I will keep in my life forever. My sisters. Though not biologically so, these gals have occupied a long-term and solid place in my heart for decades. Some for nearly as long as I’ve been alive.

They are the people that know my middle name, my crazy Russian Uncle Alec, the epic battles I used to get into with my baby brother, taking LSD in the woods, hiking up amazing mountains, the scores of crazy boyfriends, the bands, the hangovers, the beach, the trips, the weddings, the laughter, the tears.

All these years they asked for nothing. Not for a penny, not for more than what was their share.

This post is an ode to you: Andria, Jenni, Kat, Helena, Kala…..and Willis, sorry brosef, you’re my bestie and I felt wrong leaving you out.

We may be worlds apart sometimes, and I may hate the shit out of girls 99% of the time…but you, my near and dearest have given me the greatest gift of life. Sisterhood. Your unconditional love, respect and heart I will cherish forever. You wipe away the crap of the past and have always helped me pave the way to a new, solid future.

Thank you for believing in me. I have always believed in you.

xxoo

Sasha