Love Yourself

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Natural Living - the Permaculture Way!

A Mulch Pit
bananas, papayas, sweet potatoes, basil

Inspiring Well-Being and Harmony with Nature!

Life Designs that transform

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is often simply defined as an ecological design system for sustainable living, yet it is far more expansive. Permaculture is the art of integrating humans in a natural setting and a personal transformation that results in the creation of safe, beautiful, diverse, natural systems that simultaneously provide for our needs and regenerate the natural resources from which we take to survive. This transformation has exponential beneficial effects on the land and the people and has the potential to lead to a global culture of aware, responsible, capable and peaceful communities. Ideally, this integration results in complete waste free areas as each element of the system nourishes other parts of the system. Similarly, the system is designed in a way that each element acts as support for the others.

Systems nourish other systems
Design from patterns to details
Follow and incorporate edges
It does this by applying a set of ethics and principles that guide us in designing connections, flows and beneficial relationships among various elements, whether in a garden, a pond, a building, a boat, or an organization and mimicking the way that nature works. Permaculture weaves together a combination of techniques and multiple approaches, technologies and solutions to challenges of sustainability. Instead of designing separate things, we design connections and beneficial relationships, harmonizing with nature!
Compassion and Love are our natural state of BEING!

The word ‘permaculture’ was coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970’s, from ‘permanent agriculture’, and has come to encompass many sorts of systems: ‘permanent culture.’

Organic fresh picked peanuts - yum yum!

Permaculture has three basic ethics: Care for the earth, Care for people, and Care for the future—sometimes framed as “return the surplus”. It has a set of principles that direct us to observe natural systems and mimic the way they work, catching and storing the sun’s energy, using biological and local resources, with minimal inputs of fossil fuel energy, and getting multiple uses out of each element. Permaculture favors low-tech solutions that empower ordinary people to take responsibility for their own needs and impacts. Our goal is more than sustainability: we manifest ideal abundance for ourselves, teaching others to do the same, respect our Mother Earth, regeneration and ultimate natural Well-Being.

Permaculture is a set of tools for shifting our thinking, our awareness and ultimately our Consciousness—to Connection and Interdependence.

How did Permaculture come into my life?

I have been living here at Clarananda a desert property near Todos Santos in Baja, California Sur, Mexico for the last 4 years. The environment is very different than Vancouver Island, West Coast Canada. I wanted to simplify my life. Live with more sunshine, create simplicity and be close to food sources that I could access from my own garden or at least within a reasonable zone year round. Homesteading in an area that has little rain fall, off the grid and with acidic soil that is mostly sand has had its interesting challenges.

Fortunately, I have had an innate ability to connect energetically with the plants and animals that have given me guidance along the way.
During the month of December I had plans to travel to India and the last few weeks before leaving my partner was not well and able to travel...thus I was to remain here in Baja. Of course everything happens for a reason. My partner is much better now and I was introduced to a Permaculture Design Certification Course being held the first two weeks of December at Buena Fortuna Botanical Gardens in La Riberia, a small fishing village on the east side of Baja Sur. The Gardens are located two hours from my home and after reading more about the program I knew that the values and principles of what was to be offered was an ideal match. Lucky me!

Our host site, Buena Fortuna Gardens, is a verdant oasis that features over 3000 plant species in a dry, tropical ecosystem. The site has annual vegetable, flower and herb gardens, a variety of multi-functional trees, timber-grade bamboo, and a botanical garden featuring 70 species of aloe, as well as rare species of plants from all over the world. Snakes, skunks, birds, spiders, scorpions, lizards and other wildlife share Buena Fortuna with site founder Gabriel Howearth, interns, assistants and workers. The site has rustic composting toilets, sand paths, bamboo "palapa" structures and solar showers.

Aloes are wonderful medicinal plants

Gabriel Howearth teaching Sophia seed saving and planting

Local wildlife share the gardens

I set up my camp for the two weeks and was amazed at the level of resource materials, caliber of world class Permaculture teachers willing to share their knowledge and expertise. They truly did want to see all of succeed and held us accountable to self regulate and live peacefully, cooperate and create a sustainable community. I have come away with many new ideas, skills, tools, designs and resources and of course friends. Thank you to all!
Permaculture Design Course students
I also would like to give special thanks to all of the amazing teachers during the program, Penny Livingston- Stark, Gabriel Howearth, Krystara Kitzia, Andrew Jones from Baja Bio Sana, Bruce Horowiz from Raw Permaculture, Stefan Hetz and Loren Luyendyk -Surfers without Borders. Kudos for the fantastic teachings!

Penny Livingston - Stark - Regenerative Design Institute
Penny teaching Gabians and Swales - water is her expertise

Krystara Kitzia - co-founder Buena Fortuna
Now in Peru creating a conscious community

Planting seeds with music

Abundance all around
Cobb and other natural materials in home building
Creating a mulch pit - it has to be fun too!
Completed the mulch pit with bananas

Seeds for the future and growing our own food

Blessings on the day, the year, the now and the future 2011
May peace and light shine on your path.

I continue to enjoy living at Clarananda with solar energy, capturing water sources and harnessing energy to go into the plants, wonderful green gardens, mulch pits, herbal spirals and designing my new property in the Sierra Laguna Mountains.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Catch the perfect wave!

A woman surfers life - presenting Jaimi Davie
This month I am pleased to feature an amazing young woman that lives her life in the now. The dedication and commitment she makes to catch the perfect wave is inspiring. I am honored and pleased to present Jaimi Davie for two reasons: she inspires me with her enthusiasm and passion for living her dream to the fullest and because I can say she is my daughter.

Jaimi lives near Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico. Her morning ritual is the beach, the ocean and catching the perfect wave. How to create a life around this personal dream is one that is not easy to know unless you are a surfer. She surfs La Pastora surf beach just outside Todos Santos and what Cabo locals refer to as their big wave spot. La Pastora sometimes gets double to triple overhead waves.

What does that mean? Big...really really big!

"Think the wave, feel the wave and do the wave!"

"The first and most important reason I surf, is simple, "FUN". I believe that is the one reason I do anything I love. Surfing has the added factor of fitness, being connected with nature, and my spiritual connection with myself.

I started surfing in the summer of 2001 in a small west coast town on Vancouver Island called “Tofino”. The water was cold, but by the time I caught my first wave I was hooked. That winter I decided that I wanted to be a good surfer. I took surf instruction classes, first aid and life guarding and then bought a bus ticket to Mexico where I lived on the beach for five months learning to surf and offering massage to the other surfers.

It has been 9 years since I caught those first waves. Since then, I have traveled and worked in NewZealand, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, all in search of another perfect ride. I have been to so many beautiful surf destinations, and I am always blessed with all the wonderful people I meet along the way.

I am now living in Baja California Sur, in a small town on the west coast called Todos Santos. I am one of a few women surfers that live full time in this community, and we are all very supportive of one another. That’s one of the wonderful things about being a female in this sport, all the girls have a great energy, and if I am not catching a wave then I am just as stoked to see my girlfriends get one. Another reason for living here in Baja is that I work teaching women how to surf. I get the unique task of helping someone catch their first waves. I get excited to know that I have introduced surfing to another female, there is always the perfect time to learn at whatever age.

Surfing Cerritos Beach - Baja, Mexico

Girls just wanna have fun!

I have carved out a life that revolves around the ocean. If I’m not surfing, I’m swimming, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, kayaking, or just hanging on the beach." says Jaimi smiling.

Living the dream....

Snorkeling the Sea of Cortez

Jaimi is committed and dedicated to her daily surfing lifestyle. Otherwise, she continues to offer her unique talents as a holistic chef, surf instructor and massage during the HERIZEN Baja Yoga Teacher Training and Baja Yoga and Surf Retreats.

Come to Baja and bring surfing into your life. A great meditative sport! We are offering a Yoga and Surf Retreat at Clarananda near Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico Feb 1 to Feb 7, 2011.

Baja Yoga and Surf Retreat Details: click here

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Yoga is for everyone!

Presenting Inspirational Yogini - Nadine Schwager

Ladies - Step into your Beauty

"Yoga is for everyone! Yoga isn't about the perfect downward dog, it's about listening to your body and finding what works for you. It's about connecting with yourself and with the Divine. It's about finding out what you're capable of and what you love. Yoga is finding yourself, in your practice and in your heart." Nadine Schwager, RYT - Nanaimo, BC

I am very honored and inspired to profile a beautiful yogini - Nadine. She took one of our Yoga Teacher Training camps on Vancouver island in June 2010. She is very encouraging, inspiring, fun and very excited to share her love of Yoga for all women. Here, Nadine shares here story. Thank you Nadine! May your vision be realized in more ways than one. With big light - Valma Brenton

"When I started to look for a Yoga Teacher Training Program (YTT), HERIZEN Yoga for Women appealed to me both because it was local and all women. I felt the energy of having an all women teaching program would be amazing, and I was right. I found the YTT an amazing value, in such a short time I learned an amazing amount of both technical and spiritual knowledge. I felt I had a strong foundation when I started the YTT, but it is nothing compared with the foundation that I walked away with. The confidence I gained in my teaching ablities during the YTT is helping me move forward offering a large variety of classes and feeling confident discussing modifications with a student. (let's make Yoga work for you!)

The HERIZEN YTT training helped me to expand my personal and professional practice. Part of my vision is to bring Yoga to full figured women in the Nanaimo area. As a full figured Yogini, I am excited to help women find modifications that are ideal for them.

I am currently teaching Inner Goddess (Flow) Yoga and Full Figured Yoga. My full figured students have been very excited to have an opportunity for a class all of their own. Some of the students had never experienced Yoga and it is very exciting to see how quickly they take to it. Every class I get feedback about how much the students enjoy the class, the positive energy and the clear instruction.

I've also created a cooperative relationship with a plus-sized clothing store in town (Penningtons). Their manager has been great about helping to get the word out about my classes. I've done a Yoga demonstration during their customer appreciation days. We are interested in getting the customers more involved and are currently planning a night with a free Yoga class at the store.

Once a month I hold a "meet and greet Yoga class" with healthy snacks after for people new to the Nanaimo area. Snacks are provided by a local food company as an advertising opportunity.

This month - October, I start teaching kids Yoga. I have several families excited to bring their young ones to practice being cats, cows, dogs and more! In November, I will also be teaching Easy - Does-It Yoga, Seated Yoga and Meditation Classess.

My ideal vision is to bring Yoga into more peoples lives. To plant a seed and let it grow. To grow my personal practice as well and follow my spiritual path wherever it leads me. Peace, Love and Light, Nadine Schwager RYT."

Nadine can be reached at or (250) 739-3257)

Thank you Nadine! We were blessed to have Nadine offering her inspiring teachings at the recent Newcastle Island Yoga Teacher Training in September.

I am off to Baja, Mexico this upcoming week. Next HERIZEN Yoga Teacher Training camp is being held at Claranada Oct 22 to Nov 3rd. There is one space open. Packed with learning, expanding and fun times!

About Me

My photo
I have created this amazing life, attracting incredible women into my space. All of these women are unique and ready to live their real life too. My definition of success is like a river flowing with freedom, magical adventure, creativity, curiosity and recognition. My personal mission is to travel and create an enlightened world by spreading the light of consciousness. Everything that I choose to BE, DO and HAVE meet this mission and every day in every way I remember who I really am. I love my life!