"I like it when a flower or little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin heroic." George Carlin

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Meditate

Posted on September 26th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. No Comments

…You must know you have an unlimited reserve of energy. Once you invoke your energy, there is nothing that is small in you. All the environments start flying towards you. It’s beautiful.

Yogi Bhajan


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Creating the World

Posted on September 22nd, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. No Comments

“Cross the frontal area of the grey matter so that you can see the huge multiple universe we call love… Love is the basic grit with which you can combat death, negativity, attack, it’s a vibratory effect. I want you to experience it.”  Yogi Bhajan

“In collage we take images that can never possibly co-exist, and arrange them in the same frame. Thus we train ourselves to expand our sense of what is possible.” Andre Breton

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This collage was created over the course of a few hours last friday night. The sewing lady called out to me and then the rest of the images just formed themselves around her. Sometimes you just enter the flow state and it’s the best feeling ever. I feel like creating a collage is an alchemical process that transforms me. Then sometimes the piece is doorway … Read More »



The Creative Process

Posted on October 17th, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 2 comments

Artists don’t have a monopoly on creativity! Everyone is creative every single day by virtue of being a human on the earth.We have co-created everything we are and everything we see, touch, taste, feel and think. It is a creative universe and we are a part of it! Each unit of the hologram contains the whole hologram. We are all creative beings whether we know it or not. Being an artist involves one thing – deciding to be an artist. ANYONE can be an artist. If you need proof of this just google Jeff Koons or Richard Prince. Creativity is a mindset.. making art work is a decision. Plus no one said it has to be good. I think it is more important to be having fun with it than to be making a living or being recognized. In fact, … Read More »



Creative Blocks + Solutions

Posted on August 3rd, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. No Comments

It is ironic that my favorite thing to do in the whole world — create stuff — is also something I avoid quite expertly. The resistance to jumping in to the creative flow is real! I have successfully avoided writing this blog post for over a month two months and have been thinking about it all day before finally making myself sit here as the summer light fades through the window. Sure it is writers block – but I also experience this same dance with everything I make. I love collaging so much that I have made an 11 year career out of it, yet I still feel like hiding out before almost every creative session. There is a fear that if I sit down this time, nothing will come, the magic won’t happen. The creative flow is something I can … Read More »



Modern Fashion is a Control System

Posted on June 4th, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 2 comments

I grew up wanting to be a fashion designer. I love clothes. I love expressing myself with what I wear and I love seeing how others choose to show themselves to the world. What I don’t love is the group think that happens when certain styles are proclaimed to be “in fashion”.  The mindless following of fashion trends is outdated. It’s time to think for ourselves.

When clothing is done right, it is one of the highest forms of self expression. People get a hit of who you are in a split second of seeing you and what you are wearing. Wearing certain cuts, colors and fabrics make us feel things. It’s a kind of art that everyone is invited to do, every day.

However, the fashion industry doesn’t want you to think for yourself. You are the best customer when you … Read More »



What is Seva?

Posted on April 29th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 2 comments

I have noticed a mis understanding of this word among those who even recognize it at all. Seva is a word you hear a lot if you go to yoga classes or have been to India. Sometimes a yoga studio will have people do work exchange and call it seva, which is misleading. The word seva means “selfless service”. Seva is not work exchange. Seva is not volunteering to then get something tangible in return, like “free” yoga classes. Pretending seva is some kind of work exchange is dull and uninspiring.

So what is “selfless service” ? Why do seva if you don’t get anything in return? Well that’s the thing. Pure seva is supposedly selfless, but I have gotten so much in return for any seva I have done that on a certain level it seems like the … Read More »



Love in Food : Conscious Food Prep Matters

Posted on April 6th, by Jamila Starwater in FOOD. No Comments

(when I was thinking of the ultimate example of “Love in food”, I thought of this amazing birthday cake my husband made for me a few years ago)

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Food made with love tastes better and is better for you. I feel like this is the most obvious yet least acknowledged fact. We know it is true but we don’t know how it actually works, so it gets overlooked. “Love is the secret ingredient” is an anecdote we might see written in swirly letters on a new age cereal box or as a cute addition to a recipe write up. The irony is that it is so true. It is an open secret. We aren’t taught about this in a serious way and I feel like this is our loss. The intention with which food is prepared … Read More »



An inspired interview with painter Jodi Fuchs

Posted on March 11th, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 2 comments

Thanks for Reminding Me  48″ x 107″  Acrylic , House paint, Graphite on canvas. 2010

Jodi Fuchs is my favorite painter alive today. The energy and scale of her work (she paints BIG), the living colors, and the inspired motifs and patterns all resonate with me so much. Her work has a vibration that changes the room it’s in. Some day I will have a Jodi Fuchs original on my wall but until then I’m super stoked to have her work featured on my blog!

Jodi is also a super fun, down to earth, beautiful human being that I’m so lucky to call a friend. We got to know each other over the years in Harijiwan’s living room when he used to teach out of his home in those pre RAMA days of yore.  Then maybe 4 years ago we … Read More »



Artificial EMF’s are the cigarettes of the 1950s

Posted on March 4th, by Jamila Starwater in HEALTH. No Comments

Sixty years ago everyone smoked cigarettes and no one was talking about how bad it was for you. Even pregnant ladies smoked back then and barely got a side eye. I mean, people smoked in airplanes!?! Can you imagine this today? I am convinced that some time in the not very distant future that we will look back at the ubiquitous unprotected overuse of cell phones and laptops and be similarly appalled.

Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF’s) exist around all electrical objects and organisms, including the human body and even the earth. The earth has a frequency (Schumann Resonance) that humans have been tuned to for thousands of years. When we are in natural environments we can feel this pulsation – picture how you feel barefoot on the beach. Your body is connecting to the natural EMFs of the … Read More »



The Amrit: My Mom’s Vegetarian Restaurant

Posted on February 17th, by Jamila Starwater in FOOD. 14 comments

Anne Eichelberger serving lunch at the Amrit, 1976

My mom, Anne Eichelberger Tazewell, opened the first vegetarian restaurant in Norfolk ,Virginia in 1976 with 3 friends when she was 21 years old. She is an amazing cook and I had always heard about these times when I was growing up – the story was a foundational legend of our family . Anne’s first experience working in a natural foods kitchen was at The Golden Temple Conscious Cookery in Washington DC. She also did kundalini yoga at the 3HO ashram there! She never talked about kundalini yoga while I was growing up but I think it is so cool that she did it before I was even born. Another interesting thread is in the very name she chose for the restaurant–  the word amrit has a deep meaning within … Read More »



Vital Warrior: Healing PTSD w/ Kundalini Yoga

Posted on February 7th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 8 comments

 

I just watched this video of our friend Mikal Vega accepting a humanitarian award for his work in creating Vital Warrior – a non profit program for veterans. Vital Warrior’s mission is to educate and facilitate the healing of PTSD through non pharmaceutical methods. We first met Mikal a year and a half ago, just a few months after he retired from a 22 year career as a Navy Seal and Chief petty officer. He had gone to my husband Jai Gopal’s Kundalini Yoga class at Yoga West, and they had a lot in common (my husband is a West Point grad and former Army officer). I met Mikal a few months later in Grass Valley, CA at the Conscious Communication level two Kundalini Yoga course. He had jumped into the deep end of the Kundalini pool with … Read More »



Bread Love

Posted on January 7th, by Jamila Starwater in FOOD. 12 comments

 

I feel like defending bread for a minute , or at least looking at the cons – and PROS , of the subject. Wheat and gluten has gotten a bad rap lately and I know there is a lot of truth to the hype. Maybe I am just an addict (I LOVE BREAD!) but I do think there is some legit reasons to question this anti-bread message being broadcasted so loudly everywhere right now.

I am in the discovery stages of this subject.. I am learning as much as I can and I invite your input !

This is what I’ve found so far:

Nay:

Wheat Belly : “After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic — and its elimination is key … Read More »



10 ways to Kill a Cold

Posted on January 7th, by Jamila Starwater in HEALTH. 2 comments

I believe a good offense is the best defense when it comes to colds and flus. The first sign that you are getting sick is a cue to bring out the bag of health tricks and get down! If you get out of denial and take the first signs seriously, then you can dramatically reduce the time that you feel bad, and maybe even avoid getting a full blown cold in the first place.

1. Hydrate

Drink good water and make yogi tea. Or drink any kind of herbal tea that you like. ..or hot water with lemon and honey .. just have something hydrating in your hands at all times. The idea here is that you body wants to get rid of whatever it is thats making you feel lousy, and the fluids are helping you to flush it … Read More »



Cleansing : Addition before Subtraction

Posted on January 6th, by Jamila Starwater in HEALTH. No Comments

I’ve been “cleansing” on an off for 8 + years. I’ve had a lot of mysterious health issues that doctors don’t really know how to fix, so I’ve been on a journey to learn how to heal myself. I’ve always hoped that some day I could share what I’ve learned so it could make someone else’s journey a bit easier. Writing this blog is a big step for me in this direction. Hopefully some of what you find here will be useful.

I had a friend write me recently asking my advice on detoxing/ cleansing. I’m no expert but I guess I’ve posted enough on facebook about all the weird health trips I’ve been on to be perceived as someone to ask.. Anyhow. It got me thinking about the best ways to cleanse , especially in the colder months. … Read More »



How Clothing Effects Your Auric Body

Posted on October 21st, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 7 comments

Invocation, by Frederic Leighton . I’m loving the white flow-y outfit!

What you wear absolutely effects your electromagnetic field, whether you know what the heck that means or not. Your auric body is another name for your electromagnetic field, it is the container of energy for your life force. When your auric body is strong, you can hold a lot of energy. Your aura is constantly changing as you move through your day and your life. You can make your auric field stronger with yoga and meditation. You can also make it stronger just by what you wear.

My husband and I at White Tantric Yoga where everyone – you guessed it- wears white

It is known by the yogis that when you wear white it increases the size of your aura automatically. That is … Read More »



Religion is a Vehicle

Posted on October 21st, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. No Comments

My teacher shared this concept and it struck me as a intelligent way to view the real purpose of any religion. By “real purpose” I mean the non-inverted original purpose the way it’s founders intended. I think a lot of religions have gotten pretty twisted over the centuries and have caused a lot of  ‘religious poisoning’ .. I don’t even like to use the word God in my yoga classes for this reason, even though to me God is G.O.D. – the generating, organizing and delivering ( or destroying) force of the universe. I didn’t make that up either, that’s straight from Yogi Bhajan, and it really makes a lot of sense to me. Way better than the “old man with a beard in the sky looking down judging everyone” concept.

But back to the idea of religion as … Read More »



Collage art is the best

Posted on October 21st, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 11 comments

I collage because I can’t draw and painting takes too long. Plus I think collaging runs in my blood. My mom’s mom, Alice Eichelberger, was a fine artist and art school teacher in DC in the 50’s and 60’s. I remember going to visit and seeing lots of cut up paper in frames. I admired her very simple, bold style. I will have to get some pics to share with you of her mad decorating skills and her art. She was a DAME and an artist in everything she did. I remember her being very opinionated. She loved butter fanatically. I clearly remember her telling me to put more butter on my bread, which I happily obliged.  I feel her blood running in my veins.

my beautiful grandma Alice

So anyway, collage. I don’t really remember doing any … Read More »



Dressing the Chakras

Posted on September 16th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 9 comments

When you get dressed, you are expressing your self. It is a creative act, even if it’s a mandatory uniform. You are still choosing it on some level. The materials , cut and color of your clothing are interacting with and expressing the energy that is spinning inside and around you. That spinning energy is also known as your chakra system. The fact that so many of us either don’t know what chakras are, or think of chakras as another new age woo woo theory, is kind of sad. Chakras are basic human anatomy. It’s foundational knowledge that is rarely if ever taught. In many circles it’s either not discussed, ridiculed, or both. I have a theory of why that is but we’ll leave that for another day. For an excellent primer on the chakra system check this … Read More »



Be YOU : Harijiwan on bana, clothing + dress

Posted on September 16th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 1 Comment

This is a fantastic introduction to the idea of clothing as an energy amplifier. Plus Harijiwan is highly entertaining. This is a must watch. For more on this subject, check out this post here.



What is Bana : Dressing for Energy

Posted on September 15th, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 2 comments

 

Bana is a form of dress. Any kind of outfit is technically a bana. Your clothing is a reflection of your consciousness and what you wear is amplifying your energy.

These were my notes from the last Kundalini yoga teacher training I did earlier this year. I loved that my teachers went over this in some detail. I have always loved clothes and even spent my freshman year as a fashion major.. and I almost dropped out because I realized pretty fast that the fashion business is full of shit not for me. Don’t get me wrong – I know some wonderful people who are in the business but overall I feel like it’s really.. misguided. And I think a part of that is because clothing is actually a very powerful container for our energy and so there are systems in … Read More »



Visionary artist Barbara Mendes blows my mind

Posted on September 15th, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. No Comments

I live near North Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles and there is this incredibly painted building I pass by almost every day. After 4 years I finally looked up the name of the gallery online. I can’t believe it took me this long-  I mean look at this wall:

 

So I checked out her site today and read this:

“My artwork has always sought to portray the infinitely complex yet somehow ordered contents of a human mind, along with the mysterious but strong emotional and spiritual forces that compel so much of human life.”

 

“My art mimics the heirarchical order of mental imagery, instead of seeking to mimic the visual work of the eyes. Because I am also enamoured of how eyes see things, my hobby is photography, which does such a great job reproducing the world as … Read More »



Jordan Belson : genius of visual sound

Posted on September 3rd, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 2 comments

 

 

I came across some truly inspiring work today from a man I can’t believe I had never heard of. I was googling the words “sound vibration” because I was looking for images for my post on mantra. According to the all knowing Wikipedia ,  Jordan Belson (June 6, 1926 – September 6, 2011)  was an American artist and filmmaker who created nonobjective, often spiritually oriented, abstract films spanning six decades. According to Belson biographer Cindy Keefer and the Visual Music Archive website Jordan Belson was an American artist and filmmaker who “created abstract films richly woven with cosmological imagery, exploring consciousness, transcendence, and the nature of light itself.” Yeah! I guess the guy was pretty popular and I can see why. Apparently before he died in 2011 he requested that his films not be put online because they really need to … Read More »



some all time favorite mantra albums

Posted on September 3rd, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 1 Comment

I love music. All kinds. I grew up on Peter Tosh and Chopin, my teen years were filled with Goodie Mob and Metallica, and I’ve spent a lot of time since with a whole range of greats in all genres- country, soul, folk etc etc..  But in the last 7 or so years I started to fill my ears and mind with mantra music of all kinds. I love how listening to mantra music makes me feel. We play mantras around the house continually so that the space has the benefits of the mantras infused within them. When you walk in to environments that have mantras playing continuously you can feel the peaceful vibrations that have settled into the walls and the furniture. If you’re skeptical , try it out for yourself. It’s so easy and it works on so … Read More »



Sound and Form

Posted on September 3rd, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 4 comments

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God“

John 1:1

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres.”

Pythagoras

My last post about mantra got me thinking about this subject a lot: how our sounds shape and create our reality. I was poking around online and I found this excellent clip of David Icke talking about this very subject. It’s short and totally worthwhile. Empowering info.

 

and then this one illustrates the point even more –

 

image source: Morphology



Mantras : helpful energy currents

Posted on September 3rd, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 6 comments

There seems to be a lot of mystery and intrigue around the idea of mantras. The very word mantra seems exotic and kind of religious or something. The reality is that mantras are extremely practical tools. They can be used by anyone regardless of religious philosophy to improve the experience of living on this planet. It’s a scientific sound current that can change the way your cells vibrate which in turn changes how everything vibrates around you. We know from quantum physics that the idea of truly empty space is controversial, and that everything is connected to everything else. We are all just vibrating balls of energy interacting and effecting every other pulsing, glowing ball of energy. In a sense, every word we speak is a mantra. Mantra means mind vibration. Man= mind,  Tra = Heat which is caused … Read More »



Butter + Daily Practice

Posted on September 2nd, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. No Comments

Calla Lilies on the most magical path in Big Sur

In April 2006 one of my best friends and I went on a a road trip up to a place called Heartwood Institute in Northern California. Jenny was checking out nutrition programs and had heard about Heartwood because this very well known author Paul Pitchford was teaching there. Pitchford wrote this book called Healing with Whole Foods and it is like a bible for holistic nutritionists. So off we went and had an adventure. While we were there we met Mr Pitchford and had in depth consultations with his students. I was on a quest to heal hypoglycemia naturally and so I had lots of questions for them and got a lot of very helpful ideas. The two pieces of advice that stuck out in my mind … Read More »



Neuron Voltage: The Point of Yoga

Posted on September 2nd, by Jamila Starwater in YOGA. 3 comments

“We’re in the business of increasing the voltage of the neurons”

Harijiwan , Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training 2013, Santa Monica, CA,  first day, weekend one.

 

“As human beings we have fiber, we have an electromagnetic field, we have emotions, we have feelings – it’s a circuitry of life. It’s a dance of ten trillion cells and the beauty of it is that we are dancing in such harmony. “

Yogi Bhajan

 

The point of all yoga is to increase awareness of your own power. Kundalini yoga is known as “the yoga of awareness”. According to wikipedia, a “neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.” Voltage is  the rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a circuit.  In this … Read More »



I heart Hemp Hearts + Vegan Milkshakes (recipe)

Posted on September 1st, by Jamila Starwater in FOOD. No Comments

A while back a friend suggested I try making milk with hemp seeds. Sounds weird right? I love milk and creamy foods and can’t drink straight cow milk due to a casein allergy, so we were talking about nut milk options. She was telling me how high in protein, iron and omega 3’s hemp is so I was curious..

So I took her advice and OMG. Best seed ever award! Light and nutty flavor! Superfood nutrition! I have been adding them to my morning shakes and they are creamy, delicious and filling. I also like using the hemp hearts instead of a protein powder because its a whole food. I will say I tried making fresh hemp milk for my morning tea which did not turn out as well.  The flavor wasn’t quite right with the tea, but I … Read More »



The Water Paradigm Shift

Posted on August 19th, by Jamila Starwater in HEALTH. 3 comments

I recently had my mind completely blown by an interview I heard with a guy named Daniel Vitalis all about the reason why tap water AND bottled water are just not good enough anymore. Sounds depressing but it was actually completely thrilling!!!! I am like JAZZED  ( insert jazz hands here) by the subject now. Here is a list of some of the top take aways I got from this interview —

1. Some of the water piping infrastructure of the United States dates back to the Lincoln era (!?!?!?). The pipes for clean water and waste water run along side by side. Because the pipes are so old, there is cross contamination. This is the reason for all the chlorine.

2. In some places, the waste water is treated and made into clean drinking water again. They clean it really well but there is … Read More »



Real Old Fashioned Probiotic Pickles

Posted on June 9th, by Jamila Starwater in FOOD. 1 Comment

A couple of years ago I started reading about people making home made raw pickles and sauerkraut. It seemed really delicious but it scared me so I put it off for a while. Then we got up our courage to try it and were completely blown away with the results. I became a probiotic pickle evangelist overnight! I was telling everyone about this revelation. It is actually EASY and exceptionally delicious. Also it is CHEAP! Have you priced out raw artisanal probiotic pickles at your local health food store lately? Crazy pricey. Which is ridiculous because at one time not long ago this was just a normal way to make pickles and not rare or expensive. I find it also interesting to note that almost every traditional culture has some kind of fermented vegetable pickles in their daily … Read More »



Vibrational Dressing : An Introduction

Posted on June 8th, by Jamila Starwater in DESIGN. 6 comments

 

There is a way to dress that expresses who you really are and can bring you more of the kind of energy you are looking for. I call this Vibrational Dressing, but it could also be called bana. Bana is a term that comes to us from the Sikh religion, it’s a form of dressing which has specific energetic effects. Bana can be all white clothes with a turban on top and bana can be all the colors of the rainbow with gold shoes and a flower in your hair. Bana can be a sweatshirt and jeans. Bana is an expression of YOU. My teacher Harijiwan explains bana very well –and I’m paraphrasing here – ” your clothing is an expression of your consciousness” .  This seems like the most obvious yet profound thought to me. We grow up being … Read More »