Sensual Living Blog

Vidigal Mountain

Falling for a Favela

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Sweet sensual lovers, the Huffington Post recently wrote a detailed article about “What Brazil Can Teach us About Living Well”. I wanted to give my own account of Brazil in response. Brazil is a beautiful mess and the favelas are the glorious, ramshackle epicenter of that.

Vidigal Hillside

I recently moved out of the posh, yet soupy Copacabana. I needed inspiration to write ‘Be the Flower- the Aromatherapy Recipe for Sensual Living’ (out February 2015 by Skyhorse), and I found it in Vidigal. Vidigal is a favela on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea, right beside the most expensive real estate in Brazil. The views are breath-taking, as is the steep climb up. Favelas are Brazilian slums and rife with negative stereotypes. (I have been told that people in the favelas prefer the word ‘community’). Favelas are traditionally associated with poverty, gang violence, murders, and drug trafficking. It’s a tough image to shake. The favelas are also the cultural and community hubs of Brazil. Samba and Brazilian Funk were born here, and the community spirit is palpable and pumping every night of the week. (Confession: I did skirt the truth when I told my parents where I was living). read more

3 Scandalous Ways to eat a Mango

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I think that we can all agree that mangos are sexy fruit. They are sweet, juicy, and have the most delicious, fleshy appeal. In addition to being high in fiber, and folic acid, mangos are an excellent source of anti-oxidants; they are packed with Vitamins A, C, and E. You can even use the flesh as a face mask to tone skin, improve acne, and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. 

I ate my first mango when I was 10 years old. I remember having no idea how to extract the fruit. I have since learned a thing or two of which I’ll share with you. read more

Aromatherapy to Warm a Frigid Soul

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I hear you, friends. I know that many of you in the Northern Hemisphere are in a deep freeze that is only comparable to the deepest ring in hell in Dante’s Inferno- A frozen pond. I know that sexy summer dresses and slip on shoes are either months or a long plane ride away. I am living in Rio but that penetrating cold is not far from my Canadian mind. I feel you, and I shudder with compassion at your facebook pictures.

What can Aromatherapy do to warm you on those cold, hard, dark nights? So much and luckily, most of the warming oils have an added benefit of being aphrodisiacs and mood enhancers. A fire place, a bowl of soup and the one you love is, in my opinion, one of the greatest things about hunkering down for those long winter months. read more

Healing a Burn with Plants

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Today is not a sensual blog but one dedicated to the unbelievable power of nature. I am so humbled, amazed and deeply grateful that I had to share it. I hope you never have to use this protocol, but if you do, TRUST that it works miraculously.

Yesterday in a moment of not thinking, I grabbed a pot that I had just taken off the stove. It was burning hot and I managed to severely burn my index, middle and ring finger, and the top third of my palm. It was an excruciating 5 alarm fire that had me seeing stars. Other people would have gone directly to the hospital, waited in a long line, and would have been without the use of a hand in a foreign country for about a month. I don’t have that kind of time and besides, I am fire dragon so I know a thing or two about healing burns. This one however was extreme, even for me.  read more

Hummingbirds- The Kissers of Flowers

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The Portuguese word for humming bird is Beija-flor. The direct translation in English is flower-kisser. The mere notion of birds kissing flowers in a harmonic, erotic dance inspired me.

If I were a flower-kisser, I would prance in a sweet dance, from flower to flower sucking on honeyed nectar to get divinely high. Hummingbirds consume twelve times their weight in flower nectar every day. This helps them move at lightning speed and ascend off the ground, into graceful, gleeful flight. Hummingbirds are central to many Native and Shamanic spiritual traditions. They are divine magic revered for their beauty, agility and enchantment. read more

Happy New Year from Sensual Living! May it be your best yet.

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Sweet sensual lovers! It’s New Year’s Eve. I am sitting in my apartment with glorious sun streaming through the windows, glistening in the heat of the morning, while sipping on my raw chocolate superfood smoothie. It feels so strange (and right) to be celebrating the turn of a new year without my Uggs, toque and soul tribe around me. I was supposed to be in the forest by waterfalls, drinking green juices and recharging for 10 days but a dear friend got very ill and the plans fell apart. Spirit has another plan for me. I am excited to find out what that is. Regardless, tonight I will go the ocean, give flowers and prayers to Yemenja and hold you all in my heart. I am stoked and honoured to have you along for this wild ride. 2014- Bring it baby! read more

The Brazilian Bikini experience- Sensual living in Body and Beach

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My friends, I have arrived.

I am finally settled into my new apartment, two blocks from the beach in Copacabana, with some really lovely roommates. I have a place to cook, ground, and unpack. Yup, my Brazilian experience has truly begun.

To be honest, my assimilation started soon after I got here. My Brazilian friend Camila, who I met in Toronto 8 years ago, has been a god-send in showing me the ropes. She has taken me to farmer and hippie markets, tourist sites and even an amazing Samba party in an old slave trading yard. I promise to write more on her later. She truly deserves her own blog posting. read more

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And the start of something magical.

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I am here. I have arrived. By the grace of god and/or by my own shear-force determination, I managed to move my life and my career to Brazil for the winter. I will be teaching Aromatherapy and Hooping, doing massage and energy work and a revealing a big secret reason very soon. I am currently in a friend’s apartment in Botafogo (which has similar energy to my home base in Riverdale) in a bikini and short shorts. It is hot, humid and sticky and only 9:10am. For the record, I am not complaining.

My first impressions of Rio are honestly still forming. I only got here on Friday and I am still working through jet-lag, fear for my safety, culture shock and resting from the ridiculous cyclone of energy it took to get here. read more

Sensual Living is Moving to Rio

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A few months ago, it became clear that I needed to make a very serious life change. My once-thriving healing practice slowed down to a near halt, my first book didn’t explode in the way that I hoped and I received an unexpectedly intense punch to the heart from a man who wasn’t ready or able to meet me in love. The universe was screaming at me to change and the thought of spending another winter in the cold made me shudder, shiver and cower.

I sat down with myself and had a good, long, honest talk to figure out my next moves. What has been working is my deep, passionate love for hooping, teaching hoop and hoop dance performance, a profound connection to a Brazilian spiritual practice and an overwhelming love of essential oils, herbs, flowers, sensuality and exalted beauty. When I went down my list of desires, it became very clear that Rio de Janeiro is just about the best place for me to thrive during the bitter cold Canadian winter months. Rio has lush mountains, city indulgences, pristine beaches, waterfalls, botanical gardens, music, culture, and… Brazilian men; these are a few of my favourite things. read more