Wednesday, November 21, 2012


PEACE NOW: Shabbat Service at Temple Mt Sinai in El Paso, TX. 11/16/12
Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest. “Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday,” said Hal Marcus, “and it happens 52 times a year [every Friday night]. It teaches you to chill out and reflect.” 

As the Shabbat Service began, I could tell the temple had shifted since I remembered it as a child. It was no longer the bland service I remember.  Rabbis Larry Bach and Sandra Bellush have filled the service with guitar, singing and passion. The prayers and stories they highlighted accentuated peace and oneness.

In tradition, as every Rabbi does in every Shabbat Service, he invited all the children up to the bimah (the elevated platform facing the congregation in a Jewish synagogue) toward the end of the service, for the Kiddish (a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat.) At that moment peace was restored in my heart. Two Jewish children ran up to the bimah along with two Muslim children.  And they all drank the grape juice together.

Just think about that for a moment: On the same exact day that the holy city Jerusalem was targeted for the first time ever by rockets fired by Gaza militants, on the other side of the world Muslims and Jews teach their children about oneness.

Since I can remember my father, Hal Marcus, has incorporated interfaith philosophies into his and his children’s lives. My mother, being raised Christian, always decorated an artistic Christmas tree which was usually a branch or a household plant decorated with silver tinsel. My father was raised Jewish and he celebrated the eight nights of Chanukah, as well as all the Jewish holidays, but it went further than that. My parents set up a Buddhist prayer area in our attic and frequently our house would ring with chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (The Nichiren Buddhism Lotus Sutra. This mantra that is chanted to attain perfect and complete awakening). On occasion, the whole family would join Native American Ceremonies. My father even woke us three children up one morning to go to Church. “But we are Jewish,” I said.  He agreed but still insisted we attend the church for the experience.   All three of his children were raised Jewish and had our Bar/Bat Mitzvah and our Confirmation (Jewish coming of age rituals), I was married by a Humanistic Rabbi, and we all hold our Judaism close to our hearts, as does my father.   

What this interfaith experience has given me is a world-view of love and community. It has created a world that is full of religious and spiritual beings working for ultimately the same thing: Oneness.  As my father says: “Religions are like fingers on my hands that lead to my heart. Religions are like rivers that lead to one big ocean and that ocean is God. “

It was no surprise to me that he organized “Peace Now” the Interfaith Shabbat Service & Meal at the Temple Mt. Sinai  on November 16, 2012.  For first time in the congregation’s history ten religions came together to share Shabbat. Muslims, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Unitarians, Baha'i, Native American Indians, Hindus, Agnostics, Jews and the non-affiliated came together under one roof to share sacred religious space.

In the past years it has been humbling and inspiring to watch my father build his spirituality and community in Temple Mt. Sinai. He has been on the board of directors for 4 years and recently became one of the vice presidents.  He has had the privilege of being a strong voice for social justice and interfaith dialogue. This year the congregation has been a major monetary donor for helping to feed the hungry on a continuing basis. The congregation is one of 20 who are part of Border Interfaith, a broad-based community organization that develops leadership through education and interfaith relationships for effective democratic practices and meaningful community service.  They support Las Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the legal needs of low income immigrants, including refugees and battered women.

 “We Reform Jews like to challenge the status quo,” said my father. He explains that this is part of his job as a Jew. Tikkun olam (תיקון עולם‎) is a Hebrew phrase from the Torah that means repairing, healing and restoring the world.  Jews believe that humanity should follow Tikkun olam not only because it is required by Biblical law, but because it helps avoid  social disharmony.  “It’s what we are suppose to be doing,” said my father. “Love your enemy, clothe the naked, take care of your neighbor, and feed the hungry…. The more you do this, the better community you have.” My father’s eyes then grew with passion. “In El Paso we share the food, we break the bread and all that stuff.”

This Shabbat Service was a dream come true for my father and my step mother Patricia Medici . They planned on 30 people attending. As my father gave his speech from the bimah and looked out in the full room of over 130 people, you could see the tears well up in his eyes.

He read from his speech:
“Mahatma Gandhi taught that we must be the change
that we want to see in the   world.

If we change, if we share and cooperate, there is no reason
for hunger, poverty or violence.  We know there are enough
resources/enough food/ enough energy/land and water for
everyone.  We need to evolve together once and for all to fulfill
the prophecy of peace. 

I believe that first and foremost that we are all human beings
and we are all brothers and sisters.

I like what Mother Theresa said, that there are
three important things in life:
#1 be kind;     #2 be kind;     #3 be kind

I believe that God doesn't really care what religion you are. 
I think God cares about how we treat each other, how we respect
the planet, and how we live our lives.

I thank you for making this dream come true. I challenge you to
continue this dream and invite other tribes into your temples,
churches and sacred spaces to break bread and discuss our
similarities and differences.”

After the Service was over everyone headed to another room to break bread together and have dinner. Rabbi Bach explained that with all the different religious food restrictions the easiest way to feed everyone was through a vegan dinner. The caterer, One Inspired Chef , served quiche, Spanish rice, spinach salad, tomato soup and even chocolate brownies.

Participants from all ten religions commented on the “beautiful dialogue” and how this gathering is already inspiring them to open their sacred spaces for interfaith gatherings.

My father Hal leaned close into me. “You have to imagine peace. It only takes 3% of the world population to change a mind set. He’s reminded of a saying. “One day man will not learn war anymore…. Well, why don’t we make that day now?! It’s really easy. It’s fun and it’s enlightening and it’s kind of our job.”

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Inviting The Sacred

The plant is the teacher in inviting the sacred into the self. 

Your diet gives preparation and reverence to the experience you call in. When you pay attention to your diet you set the attention to the journey you are about to embark on.  It brings the mind and body energetically together and readies your spirit for an abundant journey. 

I choose to integrate ritual and ceremony into my daily practice of life and create a personal ritual of living. I choose to experience a journey of life filled with compassion, art, music, dance, movement, love, divinity, culture, strength, freedom, sacredness, happiness, surrender, abundance, motivation and light. 

Inspired by Eve of Soul Voice:

Photo by Mario Covic

Monday, June 25, 2012

What is a prophet?

What makes a prophet is a dedication to compassion,  honesty,  warrior knowledge of survival and instinct,  and humbleness. This came to me in a colorful dream. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lightning In A Bottle 2012

Last weekend at Lightning In A Bottle we shared the main stage with Govinda, LUCENT DOSSIER, Bassnectar, Random Rab, Tipper, The Glitch Mob, and so many other mind expanding artists.  It was one of those moments that reminds me why I love to do what I do.
To share the stage with the best artists in our generation humbled me and inspired me to continue sharing my life with others through art and performance. Art opens the soul of humanity and allows for a glimpse of the internal life to expand outward into tangible realism. 

Thank you Lightning In A Bottle for giving artists a space to create, for giving communities a place to grow, and for allowing lost souls to find a home in paint pallets.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Beautiful Soul Awaken

We, as humans, have a beautiful soul. We have just forgotten how to a build a relationship with it.
When you get pass the chatter in the head, and filter through the media of the mind, you can visualize radiating green and follow the silence into the heart. 
Then visualize indigo spiraling up in triangular geometric shapes into and out of your third eye.
Once the third eye is activated, go back to your radiating green heart and sit under that growing tree of openness and relax. 
Just relax and watch the birds of thought fly by. 
Watch the clouds of society roll in and on. 
Watch the storms of emotion affect your being. 
Sit under that growing tree of your nervous system and allow it to morph into a divine machine. 
Just sit and relax. 

Then one day while reading the book of your life you will notice a peaceful dove of wisdom sitting on your perch. 
Look into it's eye and smile. "Thank you Dove for visiting me today."  And continue to enjoy the weather of the day. 
Another visitor of wisdom will join you eventually, maybe this time as a peacock. "Thank you Peacock for joining me today." And continue on your heart journey of knowledge. 
Yet another friend will come into your space, maybe this time as a lion. You may be timid by it's grace, strength and mighty presence, but sit with it and know it is there to simply share space with you.
Feel its calm strength energy and sense the mighty heaviness of its presence.  If you can calm yourself, you can even see the moment reflected in its eyes. 

Each day listen for that new visitor. Be humble when they arrive, not saddened when they don't.  
Each day cleaning the mush in the mind and body with colors and geometry. 
Each day simply being grateful for the opportunity to breathe. 
This is how we find our beautiful soul and eventually this is how we allow it to speak into our reality.

We can not silence the ignorant evil of humanity. 
We can not stop the violence humanity does to nature. 
We can mend the connection of life only within ourselves, one day at a time. 
Eventually the divine voice will emerge and guide us into the steps necessary to overcome the greed, war and anger.
But first we must overcome greed, war and anger within ourselves. 
First we must breathe the pure breath of heart love and face the wall of deception built by aggressiveness. 
Behind that wall you will find unruly weather. 
When that weather of emotion clears, you will find that peaceful dove waiting to perch on your shoulder. 
in the meantime….
Smile, it's good for your health. :) 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Food For Thought

For me, plant powered living has created a holistic awareness to my being. It has connected my mind, body and spirit in a pleasant, simple way.

On a physical level:  My digestive system doesn't have to work so hard to process food & my nervous system has relaxed.
On a mental level:  My mind is flowing with more positive thoughts & freedom.
On a spiritual level:  I asked the universe for a heart felt life guided by compassion and the next moment I was plant powered and seeing the karma associated with the food industry.

It has been an easy transition for me since I am surrounded by the amazing support of the people of Plant Powered Living, my husband and my neighborhood in San Diego (within 10 minutes from me there are 7 vegan friendly restaurants, and two vegan ice cream shops). I understand that the choice to go plant powered is not as simple for all. Some do not get support from family and friends and in some areas there are no plant powered friendly restaurants in site.

Awesome news!   Things in this world are slowly shifting into compassionate awareness of all beings and I see real health, fitness and consciousness growing in society and its every day moments.

Love, Light & Aliveness with tons of Gratitude,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Activate Your Health and Your Spirit

Life is filled with adventure, health, food, sensuality, silliness, fun, philosophy, love, culture and imagination.

Share in the abundance and activate your health and spirit.

As we are breaking out of our robot shells we begin to feel the human experience. We are loosening the bricks in the architecture of our minds and beginning  to feel  the celestial beings living in this human body. As we experience our deep selves, and begin to really FEEL  this human experience,we allow the garden of our hearts to flourish and take over the machine. In doing so we give permission to nature to take over the walls and buildings we have created internally and we begin to regain balance.

We are here because we chose to be here. We are here because we choose to be here. Liven up your life.  Loosen up your life and feel! Doing so will require you to analyze your values, morals and day-to-day responses. In turn this will cause you to step out of your routine and breathe. It is frightening and there maybe some ugly hellish realities to face, but in the end there is always beauty and love. In the end all of nature will open up its arms and embrace the child and his/her dreams.

Artist: Akira Chan

Are you ready to start living the life you deserve? Are you ready to embrace all that life has to offer? It all starts NOW, within you. It all starts with a deep breath of appreciation for all you are and all you have experienced.

Follow these 10 steps to change your life.
Step one: Breathe.
Step two:  Say to yourself "I love you"
Step three:  Repeat that for eternity in your mind and allow it to erase fear doubt and self loathing
Step four:  Say to yourself  "I forgive you"
Step five:  Repeat that for eternity sending it throughout your body and allow it to bring back blocked memories within your body.
Step six: Stay here for a while forgiving your self for being human and begin to feel.
Step  seven: Say to your self  "I am sorry"
Step eight: Find the child within and apologize for any harm you have done. Call the child back into your being and vow to protect her/him from here on out.
Step nine: Repeat all the steps together, intertwining them all; feeling where they take you.
Step ten:  It's okay and natural to feel.  It is okay to be afraid.  It is okay to face the perceived ugliness within. I forgive you. I love you. I accept your apology with an open heart. We are one. I feel you! And I will be here with beauty on the other end armored in love.

Watch this video by my sister, Adelaide, and film maker Akira Chan.  You will enjoy this!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unleash the feminine divine through dance

The following is meant to be read like a poetic prose.

When I dance, I allow all I thought should be, could be, will be, has been, go. I allow all time to slip away. My only clock is the heart beat within the drum. My only fuel is the wind of the strings. My only attachment to this earth is the physical body I dance within.  

When I dance, all emotion flows through me and the crystalline body dissolves into water crystals of love.  The music helps carry the gunk from my bones and flows it into the ether where all is neutral, leaving me an open source for healing. 

When I dance, I set boundaries of protection around my stage with eyes of fire and breathe of wisdom. I create liquid chi fields of energy that absorb goo and transform it to peace. 

When I dance, I caress the meridians of the audience and smooth out blocked passages of light. With mudras and form, I spring tendons of negativity out of their aura  leaving room for joy. 

When I dance, vibrations of sacred geometry resonate in my body, intensifying my projection of gratitude to the music.  

When I dance I unleash the goddess of me. When I dance I release the authentic me. When I dance I simply am me..... So what's the difference between the dancing me and the everyday me?  Where did the separateness settle in and when did I put "me" in a staged box of performing? 

On stage I found a perfect way to be present inside the moment. But it isn't just me, it's the musicians as well, we are all present in that performance moment together and we create it together. In that moment of performance all chakras are spinning, kundalini is rising and our bodies are in tune with it self and each other.  By choosing to be in that moment together, we have chosen to be tethered to time by the drum, to be fueled by the strings and be attached to the earth only by our physical form. 

On stage I found the perfect way to bring the audience on the journey with us by creating emotional awareness of movements that hypnotize the viewer in empathy. From stage I feel their excitement, their jealousy, their love, their sexuality, their insecurity. When I dance I am able to guide that emotion  into the ether of neutral acceptance of humanity.  .... So why just on stage? 

Because on stage we have all set up a sacred space for performance. We have all ( the musicians, the audience, and myself) set permitters for creation. We have set the allotted time, the allotted energy, the allotted attention span. We have all committed to be in that moment together with the parameters of the reality we are in. Unknowingly we have created a sacred space for connection. (Whether we choose to keep that space sacred is a different story.)

In every day life could we create that same space for authenticity or are their too many walls of resentment for the self within?  Is it possible for humanity, as a whole,  to look deep enough within to find acceptance for the Human within. The Human is ugly, shy, silly, beautiful, messy, greedy, jealous, lazy, smelly, hungry, childish, lovely, sacred, sweet, sensual, sexual, flirty, crazy, mean, kind, gentle, hurtful, wounded, broken. The human is covered in societal norms and filled with tar. The mind runs in mazes trying to make sense of it all, building walls and rivers just to ease the broken heart. That broken heart:  broken by it's own self. Broken by the neglect of self. Broken by the violence of fear.  That broken heart cries at night for the simple love of universal oneness. The broken heart craves addiction so that no truth can seep in and unravel the distant self hidden deep within. 

In everyday life I could love you. YOU. I could love YOU. I could fall deeply in love with anyone of you and forever be in bliss. And you could love me. We could all be deeply in love with all, even with our hatred. In everyday life I would always be connected .... if you were connected....... You go first...... no wait me.... no wait.... damn I'll see you on stage. and in that moment we will feel the power of chi{life force energy}.

REVISED ENDING 2/7/12:  On second thought : I will go first. I LOVE YOU in all your humanity. I love it when you are sad, depressed, angry, emotional, happy, full of life, crazy, silly, down, up, picky, strong, divine, weak, simple, sultry, wild, mundane, silent, authentic. I LOVE YOU always because I know we are all doing our best in every moment to find that solace of life that makes us feel alive.  I love you because I love me and I know we are all one.   Not only do I love you, but I hear you in every tear, in every laugh , in each breath. I hear your soul awaken and it sparks chi within my core and I feel alive a bit more.

I open my eyes and see that life is not only for performing. Life is for being present in the moment for being raw and wild: Wild as a flower is wild. Wild as a stream is wild. Wild in love with the moment: Growing. Expanding. Nourishing.  And just plain being in the element of the moment.  Life is about being still and fluid in the moment.

So yes I will go first. I have stepped off stage and into the real of Human. I will still see you on stage and yes that will be grand. And I will see you on the street and that shall be just as grand....if you open your eyes with mine and take the time to notice. I'll see you when  you see we are all one in the breathe of stillness.  And in that moment we will feel the power of chi{life force energy}.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012 : A Manual of Ancient Aztec and Mayan Wisdom

Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012 : A Manual of Ancient Aztec and Mayan Wisdom 
by Carlos Aceves; published by:  paso al sol 2011

Book Review, Recipes and Story by Leilainia Penix

  Video: Hal Marcus - Tezcatlipoca Codex Videography by: Akira Chan

 "This is a wonderful time to be alive and aware," writes Carlos Aceves in Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012 : A Manual of Ancient Aztec and Mayan Wisdom.  "Our ancestors throughout the world spoke of this age over 5,000 years ago.  This is a moment of celebration primarily because we are aware of the infinite possibilities." Aceves is a teacher and author. His Nahuatl name is Yolohuitzcalotl, which means crow with a hummingbird for a heart. He believes each day is a moment for celebration because we "have an opportunity to change the vibration of human existence and redirect our connection to Mother Earth and the Great Spirit." He teaches that "being grateful is the beginning of celebration."

 The book is an amazing manual for this human existence. I was blown away at how simple yet meaningful and to the point this ancient wisdom is. It hit to the core of the human form discussing the energetic process within the womb, our journey to death and everything in between. It starts out full of  numerology, which was a bit overwhelming, but as Aceves continues to explain the knowledge carried down from the ancient ones the numerology made more sense and the wisdom within the numbers was made clear.

 There is a full chapter dedicated to the Seven Warrior Foods. At the top of the Seven Warrior Foods pyramid are Maiz (corn), Ayotli (squash), and Etl (beans). Then there is Metl (maguey or agave), Nopal (cactus), Chilli (chile), and Huactli (amaranth).

"Over five thousand years ago, the people of central Mexico decided the birth date of corn," Aceves writes. "They made a covenant with a thistle-like plant called teocentli so that she would transform in a way that would feed the people and that they would always plant her seeds. In this way both species would survive." The ancients  had a special heart-felt relationship with all the plants in their lives. "Our ancients asked permission from a plant when cutting any part of it." They even called the Nopal ( cactus)  plant "Tree of Life".

 In honor of the ancient ones, on 11-11-11 my husband, Gabriel Penix and I catered a ceremony in Escondido, California, for 47 people. The ceremony was led under the stars around a fire pit by a shaman (Dr. John) and was adorned with fire dancers (The Shimmy Sisters and Riff). The next part of the evening was held in a yurt where a casual explanation of the importance of 2012 by Dr. Duncan Earl and Artist Hal Marcus was given.  On cue as we entered the yurt, the clouds began to roll over the mountains and rain began to purify the land. Everyone settled into the cushions, carpets and comforters and allowed the knowledge to settle in as I danced the transformation into 2012. I danced the removing of the mask that needs to happen in order for us to step into this new paradigm where we are able to see the clear path of light. Through dance I tuned the meridians of the community with mudras and movements and left the room lifted with a beautiful healing aroma. And when the morning sun peaked through the curtains it woke the bodies and we all gave thanks to the land with a walk in the orchards where we picked fruits, avocados, and nuts and created a plant powered breakfast potluck.
*** check out photos from the 11-11-11 event on facebook.

The emergence into 2012 has been filled with blessings of knowledge coming from listening to the inner light within and stepping outside into nature. As Aceves says "In nature [Mesoamericans] found lessons that taught them a healthy path for living. The basic duties and functions of humankind, such as breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping,or love making are integral to our relationship with Mother Creation."

  Learn more about the Seven Warrior Foods  in Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012 : A Manual of Ancient Aztec and Mayan Wisdom " Buy the Book It is a great guide to interpreting our journey as humankind. 

 "Long ago people practiced the Tao. They maintained balance of the body and mind. It is not surprising that they were able to live over one hundred years." ~ The Neijin Suwen

 For recipes I created for the 11-11-11 ceremony check out our food Blog at

Maiz Salada (Corn Salad)                                          Nopalitos (Cactus) 

"The Doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." -Thomas Edison