Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

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Where’s My Vitamin D?? And Why “Fortified” Foods are Bogus!

October 21, 2010

Hi Guys,

Hope you are having a lovely week!

Just when I was chirping about the sun’s grace a few blogs ago, it went and disappeared on us for these past few days here in LA! It is has been cloudy, a little bit misty, but still warm. Quite cozy actually… but definitely not sunny!

So where the heck is my Vitamin D?? Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that we must ensure we are getting in adequate levels. It helps our body’s uptake and absorption of calcium, helps build strong bones and teeth, can prevent rickets, and may be helpful in preventing such issues as heart disease, IBS and rheumatoid arthritis, among other things. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in this important nutrient.

I am definitely of the opinion that the best way to get Vitamin D is naturally through sunlight right on our skin for a few minutes every day, sans sunscreen. The food sources for Vitamin D are slim pickins.’ It exists is small amounts in the flesh of certain fish such as salmon and tuna (served up along with a portion of toxins like mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are synthetic chemicals!), egg yolks and beef liver (nasty!!!). You can be sure I won’t be counting on any of those foods for my Vitamin D! But what I find extremely misleading and downright tricky is when we see foods such as milk saying they are “fortified with Vitamin D”. I’ve had some of my clients tell me they drink milk, and give it to their children, “for the Vitamin D.” Big business marketing at its finest!

Commercial milk is in fact fortified with synthetic Vitamin D, aka D2. Vitamin D2 is different from Vitamin D3, which is the natural form for us humans, by way of an unsaturated side-chain. D2 is derived from the irradiation of ergosterol, which is a vegetable sterol found in yeasts and ergot. D2 is not fully compatible with our bodies, and we should not believe that our nutritional needs are being met for Vitamin D by consuming “fortified” foods.

Yes back to my first thought- and the reason I was musing about this blog in the first place. Where’s my Vitamin D?? Cocky little me just last week was talking about how I make a point to get into the sun every day for a few minutes. Ha! You would think I lived in LA my whole life, right? 🙂 Alas, I am actually a displaced New Yorker at the moment! How quickly we can forget that for many of us, sunlight is simply not available for much of the year.

If sunlight is not available every day, and especially for long stretches of time, you can consider supplementation. Be sure to purchase a form of Vitamin D supplement that is D3, and not the synthetic D2. Be sure to check with your doctor or get your blood levels tested to determine the right amount for you. You don’t want to overdose on supplementation! For more information on this, definitely check out my other blog: The Supplement We All Need. But if the sun does poke its bright head out, get thee to the light! Even my office friends can try to roll up your sleeves and sneak out for lunch and into the light for a few minutes!

Take care!

Lots of love,

Kimberly

In life we must strive to be steady and balanced even when everything around us is changing and even crashing! Life is ever-changing, so we better hold fast to our internal grounding!

 

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Harmony

October 18, 2010

Those who live in tune with the attractive force of love achieve harmony with nature and their fellow beings.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Hey Loves,

I hope you had a great weekend and are well!

I think one of the greatest changes for me moving out to LA for a few months is being so close to the ocean. I’ve been in a really meditative mood lately. These pictures were taken in Maui when I was there a few weeks ago, but here in LA I am also only a few blocks from the water.

Even when I’m not right next to the ocean I can feel its presence. There is something about such an enormous, boundless energy in nature nearby that puts things in perspective.

I love the harmony of the waves eternally flowing in and out, like our breath. The great yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda used the analogy of how we are all waves part of One great ocean, all beings everywhere. As we start to understand more and more that we are all One, hatred, ill-will and anger towards others increasingly becomes replaced by love and compassion.

We also become more in tune with universal laws, such as proper diet, which increase our happiness and harmony. When we become out of harmony- for instance eating only for taste or to please the senses- we experience negative vibrations, pain, and varying levels of self-destruction. If our bodies become clogged, full of toxins and poorly digesting foods, then the prana, or life energy, can not fully circulate throughout beings. As we clear out bodies and minds from negativity and habits that go against the harmony of the universe, we become more receptive, radiant and joyful.

We should bathe our spirits in the deep, pure feeling that stirs within us when we gaze on the glories of His creation. That is the way to know God as beauty.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Make good choices to increase harmony in your life! I am here for you. 🙂

Love always, Kimberly

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Sunlight: Giver of Life, Promoter of Health and Beauty!

October 11, 2010

Hi Guys,

Hope you had a great holiday- for those that actually got to observe it!

I was thinking about the sun as I went on this beautiful hike in Malibu on Saturday when I got off work.

Everywhere you turn, you’ll be sure to find information on how “bad” and “aging” the sun is for you. You’ll be bombarded with reprimands urging you to avoid the sun as much as you can, and not step in the sun for a second without being sure you are completely slathered in sunscreen!

But I have a different opinion about the sun. I actually think the sun is a beautiful thing. After all, the sun gives life to the entire planet (by the plan and grace of God). It supplies all plants with chlorophyll, and all animals and humans live directly or indirectly off plants. The sun hitting our bare skin promotes the formation of vitamin D naturally in our body, an essential nutrient for our health that keeps our bodies functioning properly.

Wait you say- what about all the talk about the sun causing skin cancer and premature aging??? Isn’t the sun evil?? Well…. let’s dig a little deeper into the topic. The sun can certainly trigger such issues in a toxic body. Our skin is our biggest detoxifier through which pints of fluid and material are poured out every day. The sun promotes an even larger amount of fluid being extracted from the body to the surface of the skin. If the body and the fluids of the body are toxic, the fluids will act as carcinogens that will bake in the sun’s rays on the surface of the skin and can develop into cancer or other issues. But if the body is clean and free of toxins, these issues will not be a problem. This might sound “controversial”, but if you really think about it I think it will intuitively make sense to you.

This doesn’t mean any of us should bake in the sun all day! We only need a few minutes of exposure every day to stimulate Vitamin D formation. We can build up from as little as 5-7 minutes up to 20-30 minutes, depending on our complexions and skin tone. If you are trying to protect your skin from OVERexposure do what I do- wear a hat or get out of the sun and into the shade! Most sunscreen is toxic and just adds ugly chemicals and synthetics to bake on the surface of your skin. Not beautifying!!  Also, an antioxidant-rich plant-based diet can greatly help protect our bodies (and skin) from radiation damage. I make a big effort to be in the sun at least 20 minutes every single day, and I don’t have an issue with fine lines! Yes I’m not fair-skinned, but I also have the Glowing Green Smoothie every day and keep my system clean and free of foods that putrefy upon digestion (dairy, meat, etc.) and release ammonia (associated with causing wrinkles), that can be pulled to the surface of our skin.

The sun is the most important entity in nature to give life. It has a multitude of healing powers for our bodies and minds. Do not look at the sun with fear! Treat it with respect, and get into the LIGHT!

Love,

Kimberly

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What the Heck is a Drupe??

September 8, 2010

Hey Loves!

I hope you’re having a great week!!

I am certainly adjusting to my new life here in LA, though I feel as if everything has been flipped upside down. LA is a much earlier city, so I find myself going to bed and actually doing yoga before work… at 7 or 7:30 am! I have to say that I love it! I feel so energized getting to work and I’ve already been upside down for a few minutes at least, and have had stretched and worked my whole body. I’m out of the house all day until at least 7 pm, so I have a few hours at the end of the day to walk down at the beach or just chill. Back in my life in New York, I would get up and hit the ground running with work after meditating, then would do yoga in the late afternoon or evening.

I am hardly ever in front of the computer during week (hence my rather infrequent blog posts and emails of late! I’ll get to those blog comments when I get a sec!!)- I just pull out my computer when I get a break here and there. Instead, I am always face to face with clients and people at the moment!

I am in the final stages of book editing!! I am editing off a hard copy now and my edits are due next week. My book comes out in the Spring for wide release with a major publisher. 🙂 So I’m double checking a bunch of facts and technicalities, and one thing I wanted to be sure of was whether the coconut was a nut or a fruit. It has nut in the name, which may make us say “duh!! It’s a nut!” But hold up there, smarty pants! There’s actually a bit more to it.

The coconut is technically a drupe. Yes a drupe!! I love that word!! DRUPE. Hee hee. It makes me giggle. 🙂 A drupe is a kind of fruit that has a fleshy outer later. So yes, the coconut is in fact a fruit not a nut! Other drupes include nectarines and mangoes. (hee hee!!!)

The very outermost layer of the coconut is known as the mesocarp. That’s the green part you see in nature, or when you go to a tropical place and can get it right off the tree. (See my blogs on me getting fresh coconuts daily in Puerto Rico in August). When we buy coconuts in the store, we usually only see the inner endocarp, which is the hard hull of the fruit that we have to crack open with a cleaver.

The endocarp protects the tender fleshy white meat of the coconut, which is known as the endosperm. This meat (which I am obsessed with!) is so nutritious and full of beauty fat because it is designed to nourish the embryo of the coconut as it matures- which has the possibility to reproduce the plant. The young coconut, with soft spoon meat, is the most nutritious. As the coconut matures, the meat becomes more firm and dense. It is still nutritious, but some of the nutrients have been absorbed back into the maturing plant. Think of how a sprout is the most nutritionally dense, versus a grown plant!

So drupe it up when you can!! 🙂 Get to the market and get yourself some tender young coconuts. Try making the Coconut Green Smoothie! I made it yesterday and loved it.

Take care and lots of love,

Kimberly

PS: I’m off to Vegas with a client for a few days!!! I’ll write from there.

Say hi to New York for me !!

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Cucumbers: Magical Beauty Food!

September 2, 2010

Photo courtesy of http://www.plantcare.com

Hey loves,

How’s your week going? Hope you have a great, relaxing upcoming holiday weekend planned- even if it is just all about chilling!

We are right on the tail end of cucumber season, which is technically through August, but I’ve still been rockin’ them a lot lately!

Cucumbers are a serious beauty food, and are high in all the B vitamins (except for B12), Vitamin C, Zinc, Iron, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium. They will give you energy while helping to repair and smooth the collagen in your skin.

If you’ve had a few drinks they aren’t a bad snack to throw in later that evening or the next day, to help replenish the B Vitamins that the alcohol depleted from your body!

Because they are high in water, they can be a good snack as they will fill you up with fiber and water.

The phytochemicals in cucumber cause the collagen in the skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer, and reducing the visibility of cellulite. So it is great idea to rub a few cucumber slices on pesky cellulite right before going to the pool or beach this holiday weekend! You can also rub it on wrinkles before a photo op or evening out!!!

Photo courtesy of http://www.health-mania.com

Here’s some top ways to use cucumbers:

–      You can throw them in your Glowing Green Smoothie sometimes instead of celery.

–      Throw in your salads.

–      Great for dips

–      Wrap in nori wrappers with avocados or sprouts

–      Throw some cucumber slices in your water for a spa-like mellow cucumber taste.

Enjoy your cukes!!

See you soon!!

Love, Kimberly

Photo by Gino Falsetto.

I know this blog is about cucumbers, not lemons, but I was gathering lemons yesterday in the orchard behind the house and it was so amazing!! Haven’t been cucumber-picking here in LA yet. 🙂

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Syrup Alternatives to Agave

August 30, 2010

This picture is from my Chicago apt- I don't have any from my Santa Monica apt. yet!

Hey Guys!

Hope you had a great weekend!! It’s still only the end of August dammit- we can still hold on to summer!! 🙂 I love my apt. now in Santa Monica!

I headed down to Newport Beach to visit some clients at a beautiful spa there, and had some nice beach walks.

I also caught up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She was a travel buddy that I met in Australia, and we would periodically meet up on the road. Some adventures we shared include camping on frozen ground in Nepal in January (!), sharing a bungalow in Thailand and having a zillion dead bugs rain down on us when we let down the mosquito net, exploring some random deserted islands in the Philippines with only a few fishing families living on them, and taking a small plane around Mount Everest. She almost killed me when her ocean kayak flew right by my head when we were getting huge air kayaking in Byron Bay, up the coast of Australia, and we also touched the Great Barrier Reef in Australia together for the first time… she also came back to visit me when in Sydney after I was working there after college. With all the craziness we’ve been through- or should I say survived- we’ll always be super close, and when I see her its as if no time has passed!

So back to thoughts around the kitchen… I started drastically cutting back on agave over a year ago, and stopped it cold turkey a few months ago. Agave is highly processed and is a very high percentage fructose. Despite its being advertised as being low-glycemic and a “natural” alternative, it really isn’t a viable option for those of us that want to look and feel our best. I recommend you cut it out completely as well! Also, be sure to check labels. I was in Wholefoods in Venice the other day looking at the labels of raw food products, and almost every single one had agave in it!! If we all start to shun it I think hopefully eventually manufacturers will have to switch!

Stevia and xyletol are good dry, powdered sweetener alternatives. Liquid stevia is very concentrated and you drop it out with a little dropper. But how to replace agave for liquid needs?

Organic dried or dehydrated fruit is a great source of natural sugar that comes right from nature off the tree or the bush! Be sure to purchase varieties that are free of sulfites and other preservatives, and don’t have any additional added preservatives.

Lately I’ve been using dates, figs and raisins, and I make a syrup/paste by adding water. I start with 1-2 Tbs of water and blend with the dried fruit, then add more depending on how thin I need the syrup to be and what I’m using it for. Soaked nuts combine okay with dried fruit, so depending on what you are making, you can also add some of the oilier seeds and nuts for texture. These include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and almonds.

Dried fruits should be used in moderation (or avoided altogether for those with Candida or sugar issues), as they do have a high concentration of sugar, but they are easy for our bodies to digest and break down. They also have some health benefits as well:

Photo courtesy of http://www.blogs.chron.com

Dates: High in calcium, also contains copper, iron, amino acids, Vitamin A, and some riboflavin and thiamin.

Figs: High in potassium! Contains mucin and pectin, and have detoxifying and blood-cleansing properties. Also contains calcium and magnesium.

Photo courtesy or http://www.eyeonspain.com

Raisins: Contains iron, potassium, calcium, silica, magnesium, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, zinc and amino acids.

Give these little “candies” of nature a go, and see how you do!

Have a wonderful early part of your week!!

See you soon.

Love, Kimberly

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The Balance of Nature and Hollywood in LA

August 26, 2010

Hey loves!

Hope all is well with you.

LA to me is a combination of the wonderful nature all around (desert and all!) and of course the obvious and enormous entertainment aspect of the city. What is so interesting to me is that most people I meet here are either really into the natural elements and ocean, OR are highly involved in the entertainment world and sometimes seem to be oblivious or don’t really pay attention to some of the natural wonders around.

I enjoy the balance of both! I love the trees and flowers, and interesting plants. I love being able to pick scrunchy looking natural lemons from the local trees in all the various shapes and sizes nature created them in, and being able to go down to the ocean every evening to watch the sunset.

But I do enjoy aspects of the entertainment world here, of course, which is part of what I do. On Monday night I went to the premiere for the film Going the Distance. It comes out Sept. 3rd. It was great and you should go see it! Very relatable and real!! I loved it and thought it was adorable. Since a lot of the movie takes place in New York, seeing the scenery really made me miss it!

PS: If you scroll down you might notice I wore the same outfit to the Emmy’s party the night before. 🙂 Oops! I just moved into a new apt. in Santa Monica and I couldn’t be bothered to go through all my stuff and find my dresses and other clothes. Hee hee….our secret!! 🙂 Very NOT Hollywood I guess to be seen at two events in the same outfit!! (gasp!)

I have to say I thoroughly enjoy the drum circles down at Venice Beach. I love percussion of all types, especially since my long journey through Africa where I could hear drums everywhere I went!

Plus I love seeing people like this um Native American-eque (?) guy!! 🙂

Rock on my friends!

Life is so interesting! I am taking in my new surroundings, and I am starting to really love it here!! There are always positives and negatives to anywhere you go, but there is so much beauty around everywhere in creation if we pause to feel it.

Have a great rest of your week!! Keep seeing the beauty all around… and in each other- we are all the ONE.

Love,

Kimberly

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Skin and My Other Product Obsessions Of the Moment

August 23, 2010

Last night I went to an Emmy's party in Hollywood. The first person I met right when I walked in the door, through a friend of a friend, was Kathy Griffin! I admire her courage and just putting whatever she is thinking out there, and for being a strong woman! I'm a fan. I'm wearing the Sally B's natural lipgloss here in Ruby's Red.

Heeelloooo there!!

Hope you had a great weekend! I just finished my first week here, which was amazing! It was busy, but very successful. Again, the past week sort of feels like a month, because so much happens and my days are so full. The days never blur together. Isn’t time funny how it can seem to fly by or slow down?

I have noticed my skin freaking out a bit since I’ve gotten to LA. I am not a huge fan of the dessert climate, but what are you going to do? In the summer I usually don’t put any lotion at all on my body, but here my legs started getting flakey, almost immediately. I feel the moisture being leached right out—–eek!! I’ve been doubling up during the day with coconut oil as a lotion.

I really love the Artisana brand’s coconut oil, which is free of pesticides, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, stabilizers, added oils, GMO’s. Coconut butter is the coconut meat ground up, but coconut oil is only the oil pressed out, and that is what you want to use on your skin rather than the coconut butter.

By the way, the Artisana has a great raw tahini! I used it yesterday to make my Raw Chickpea-less hummus for a party yesterday.

I was given a bottle of Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk and Honey Body Lotion, which is decent. It sort of creeps me out that there is milk (dairy!!) in there, and I found that I had to keep applying it to make my skin feel anywhere near “naturally nourished.”

The quest continues to find a good paraben-free body lotion! For now I’ll just stick to the coconut oil.

I managed to squeeze in getting to the steamroom at a very luxurious, organic spa the other day, because I miss the humidity of Chicago and New York so much!! Call me crazy, but I love the moisture on my skin. It makes me feel moisturized, rather than my skin is being choked of every last drop of its precious natural water!

I’m totally obsessed with the Ojon hair products now. They are awesome because they don’t contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMO’s, or triclosan. Here are my faves: The Ojon Restorative Pre-Cleansing Treatment, Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo, and Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner. You can get it straight from their website, www.ojon.com, or at Sephora.

And speaking of Sephora, you know how everybody gets those little tins of lipgloss/moisturizer that they sell at the front? They seem so innocent because they are strawberry flavored (I think) and are labeled as “natural.” I can’t remember the name because I never use them…because they are all petroleum-based! Terrible for the collagen in the lips. My advice? Chuck ‘em right now!

When I was working on a movie in April in Atlanta, I found a great brand down there called Sally B’s Skin Yummies. I now use their B Glossy Organic Lip Gloss, which not only moisturizes, my lips, but it is a pretty color and has a great smell/taste. Check out the ingredients: Organic Castor Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Vitamin E, Carneuba Wax, Organic Lecithin, Mica, Peppermint.

I use Ruby’s Red. I keep one in my purse and one in my bathroom. Love!! Their website is www.sallybskinyummies.com.

Speaking of lips, I love the non-toxic lipgloss by the Christopher Drummond line (www.christopherdrummond.com). Here are the ingredients: Castor oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, beeswax, candella wax, mica, iron oxides, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

My favorite is Carnival, which I think is so pretty. It feels and looks great!!

Enjoy! I’ll write more soon!!!!

Lots of love, Kimberly

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Interview with Vital Juice, NYC!

August 19, 2010

Hi Guys!

I hope you’re week is going well! Mine has just flown by! What a whirlwind- I can’t believe it is Thursday already (it is right??I don’t really keep track of days right now 🙂 ). I’ve been cranking it up with my people out here, and last night I gave a 3-hour nutrition lecture in a private theater.

I made a bunch of different raw food for people to sample, including cacao mousse, fresh hazelnut milk, raw beet raviolis, raw buckwheat granola, raw pancakes (a huge hit!) and different dips, etc.

I did an interview for Vital Juice a few days ago, which got cut down a lot as all interviews do…but I thought you guys would enjoy it!

Click on the link here: VITAL JUICE INTERVIEW

I’ll report back soon!

Lots of love,

Kimberly

I'm starting to feel my way and adjust to my new life here in LA for the next few months...

And I'm really excited and happy!!

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Changes and Being Non-Attached

August 15, 2010

These were all taken my last night in Chicago, Thursday night, on my porch overlooking the city. This is where I would practice yoga- when I could fit asanas (poses) in! 🙂 Otherwise, I would just meditate, which is what I REALLY can't do without.

My yoga practice gives me stability and grounding in my life.

Hi there,

I hope you are had an awesome weekend!

I’m writing to you from my parents’ house outside NYC, where I had a relaxing weekend of hiking and just hanging out. It was like a mini calm in the eye of the storm! I got back from Chicago Friday morning and had a crazy day running around New York that day, trying to finish a million errands and fit in a bunch of meetings. Now I’m leaving for LA tomorrow morning…for an indefinite amount of time.

Each yoga pose makes you feel a different way. Warrior 2 makes me feel really strong- stand in your truth!

In so many ways, I am unbelievably grateful and excited! I am living my dream and my passion as a nutritionist. I get to teach others about my nutritional philosophy and being healthy from a holistic standpoint, and the difference I see in others is incredibly rewarding. I get to work with amazing and fascinating people who do interesting and creative things in the world in film, music, etc.

But in order to really soar, I have had to cut ties and leave behind some things that I really love in New York. The first and hardest was giving up my group yoga classes, which I have been teaching for 4 years exactly this month. I love my students so much, and all these new opportunities came up so quickly I didn’t really have time to say goodbye. If any of my students are reading this, please realize that I went to Chicago for only a week, and then my clients and movie work really took off, and I couldn’t come home until now, a month later. I will always love you all and will come visit when I can! And I still get to teach clients privately.

Inversions for me represent getting over fear in life and pushing forward into unknown territory to grow. When the world seems to turn you upside down, you can still be stand strong in your life- even it if it is upside down!

Now some amazing opportunities have come up that are dreams come true for me out in LA. 🙂 I am still going to keeping my apt in NY, and I am staying in a hotel the first week in LA, then looking for a place in LA for after that… I also had to give up my yoga classes that I love to take myself, some of which are from my very dear friends in NY and which I love very much. I am giving up seeing my friends, teaching Sunday School at my meditation center, visiting my favorite parks that are always playing live  music… really my life as I know it now in New York.

It is not that I am moving to LA permanently, it may be just a few months, but there has been a major shift in my life where I have to cut out ties so that I can really soar. I can’t be attached in any way with any ongoing weekly commitments…so I can just move and fly around with my clients as needed all around the country and world! I’ll also be moving a lot when my book comes out early next year! It is sort of like how I felt like when I was backpacking… but now I am staying in one city for at least a few months at a time. This is why I can’t have a dog! And I love and am incredibly grateful that by the grace of God I can see and do so much, and I will live it up until the day that I decide to have children…which will maybe be in a few years. 🙂

I think as humans, and especially us women, it is really easy to get attached to people and things, even when we are yogis and conscious of the idea of attachment. I know I do! So tonight, on the eve of leaving for my next big adventure, I am feeling a bit jittery. I am excited, sad, nervous, thrilled, joyful, overwhelmed with gratefulness and sort of feel like I’m going to puke… all at the same time! I have to let go of everything, and trust that I am on the right path. It feels right, and I know that I am following my dream, and yes, standing in my truth.

Lots of love to all, and especially my beloved yoga students that I will always love and who will always be in my heart!

Love, Kimberly

Om namah shivaya. Amen. Shanti. OM.