Thoughts on the beauty, diversity, strength, joy and knowledge that comes from time away....
I have just landed back in Vancouver, after four solid months of Jamaica Awesomeness. The retreat was excellent, I ran another training in Kingston, played in the mountains, the desert, the rain forest and the urban jungle. I love the diversity of Jamaica.
Here are the highlights about my time away.
As a vegan on the road, I have learned to travel well and delicious. I have a few key things that I love to roll with and on this trip I upped my snack game and brought a Nutri Bullet on the road. HELLLO, yes! In the land of endless fruits, this was a blessing. I always had a little sack of nuts or seeds, a super powder and boom. A meal no matter where or what. Turmeric mylks, watermelon juice, mango smoothies, banana everything, my may! I am working on a bigger blog chatting up all the fruits you haven’t seen I bet! Stay tuned as I catch up on writing and image sorting. Peak back at my Instagram from mid February to Mid June for my delicious adventures. Also COCONUT JELLY! I can’t believe incredible fruit. The water is so nourishing in the hot heat, the jelly is the best belly medicine and nothing beats the sound of chopping open your own. I worked hard this trip to master my coconut chop. What a skill, I love watching the art of chopping jellies!
I had the blessing to attend live shows with some of the most prominent reggae musicians of this time. Kelissa played an acoustic set at my favourite little venue, Nanook. Jesse Royal, Protégé and Kabaka Pyrimid all graced epic stage shows with solid sounds, beautiful bands and high vibes audience. A PURE joy to experience Chronixx in an acoustic setting at Rastafari Indigenous Village. I had the honour of sharing yin yoga at this event called Ilah Iwah, meaning beautiful time/space/hour. What a great day of yoga, movies, art, reasoning’s and an intimate performance. Still feeling the positive unless of that time. I have been listening to and watching these real revolutionaries for years and it was an honour and privilege to be in the sacred sounds. Bless up artists that follow their dreams and answer the call. . I learned about new bands like Earth and the Fullness, and rocked out to some epic DJ sets. But my far the greatest show featured two of my favourite reggae artists of all time, Vaughn Benjamin, and so excellent to have the amazing Jah9 as the opener! You may know him as Midnite, making new sacred sounds with his great new project Akea Beka. Amazing to hear live songs you have listened for over a decade live. And of course, Bless up Jah9, a good sister friend and talented musician. Excellent to hear some of the new tracks coming on the newest album this summer, called ‘9’. So excited to be hosting her this summer in Vancouver on July 26 for Yoga on Dub and July 27th for the concert. Bringing Jamaican sounds to East VAN with the full band, BOOM!
I have been traveling to Jamaica each winter for five years, and I am continuously floored by her sheer grace and beauty. This trip I spent a month on the sea, swimming, marinating in the sounds of the waves as they crushed their medicine and message on the shores. Constant sounds. I hiked deep into Jamaican jungle vibes to hunt for medicines. Nothing like a Soursop tree that is many hours into nowhere to make healing teas, or a coco tree sitting there in its raw and real environment. Deep in nature is the most connected space you can rest in, listening and absorbing the messages and inspirations. The sounds and smells of Caribbean nature really can’t be beat. I got many weeks up in the Blue Mountains, where the words sang their songs SO LOUD. What a relief of heat to rest in the mountains, enjoy the rain, make amazing foods from the farms near by, and of course…make chocolate bars! I spent lots of time writing and creating, listing and reading, and making desserts. Thanks Jamaica for providing all the ingredients to make epic chocolate bars. Yes, the recipe is coming soon as I am working on a serious of vegan blogs!
Creativity and the Arts
Sometimes I can barely handle the magnitude of artistic talent in Jamaica, for TRUE. From woven baskets, to wooden crafts, super foods, elixirs, natural necklaces, bracelets, painting, furniture…. the list is endless. I have my favourite artist that I have been checking out for years, and each time I travel I meet a new and amazing person. The natural expression and creation to the artists makes the pieces feel like sacred objects, fit for royalty and alters. They hold a life of their own. In a way, they call you to them, so you can be reminded of the power and beauty of nature and the balance when men create with, not against nature. Art is balance, beauty and respect. I am working some bigger projects to bring more art pieces. I always bring back calabash, a gourd that is hollowed and dried to make bowls, cups, purses and arts. BEADS. I am always nuts for beads. In Jamaica, it’s all natural seed beads that really call to me. Coffee beans, nickel, dogwood, and stinking toe, all of these produce powerful seeds for special pieces. I brought back about 20 pieces from this trip, what a joy to collect and sell art. Have a peep at my shop for some of the new pieces.