Vision Quest: How to Envision the Life We Want to Create with Recipes

I started 2016 in Venice, California, which was truly amazing as I got to meet so many people within the community who are committed to living an authentically conscious life.


My first night in town, I had the privilege of attending a Vision Quest Circle. I was welcomed into a warm space with close to 20 people in attendance.

Everyone was seated in a circle sitting upon meditation cushions. In the center of the circle was an altar where one could place special items like tarot decks, crystals, letters or affirmations.

We began with a group meditation, holding the hands of those seated beside us. Following the breathing exercises, we were asked to visualize what we would like to bring into fruition for the upcoming year.

We then went around the circle introducing ourselves and used one word to describe what we would like more of in the upcoming year. I believe my word was contentment.

The host did an incredible job with holding sacred space for all. Many of us who are more introverted felt comfortable sharing our stories, our inspirations, and engaging in the conversations.

We spoke about our futures and reflected on our past. Using those thoughts, we were guided through some journaling exercises:

  • Reflection: 2015 accomplishments
  • Struggles and challenges we faced in 2015
  • Who showed up for us in 2015
  • What lessons did we learn in 2015
  • What do you want to experience in 2016

We then got to indulge in some tasty and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dishes. Each person brought their own special treat in a potluck style.

Two of the recipes stuck out the most in my mind: someone brought a tasty Ayurvedic Kitchari dish and someone else brought some amazing Ghee Carmel Pecan Clusters. Here is the adapted recipe from Three Lily Farms:


Photo Credit: Three Lily Farm

Ghee Caramel Pecan Clusters:


  • 4 C.                 Pecans
  • 20                   Medjool dates, soaked for 20-30 minutes in warm water
  • ¼ C.               Melted ghee
  • 2-3 TBS          Honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp.               Vanilla
  • pinch              Sea Salt
  • 1 lb.                 Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for about 8 minutes or until the pecans are nice and toasty. Remove and let cool.
  3. Once the dates are soft, drain the liquid but reserve the water for later. Remove the pits then place the dates into a high speed blender along with the ghee, sweetener, vanilla, and salt. Blend well, until smooth and creamy, using the date soaking water to help achieve the right consistency. Once complete, transfer contents into a jar and set aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler then set up a few sheets of parchment paper over a cutting board or something sturdy in your kitchen.
  5. Start making the clusters by pouring about 1 TBS of chocolate onto the parchment. Follow that with about 3-4 pecans. Use less if they are large. Place in the fridge to set.
  6. Next, smear a tsp. or so of the caramel over the pecans, allowing the center to be a bit thicker than the edges. Place in the fridge to set.
  7. Finish by pouring a good amount of chocolate over the caramel. You can completely cover the caramel or leave a little exposed.
  8. Place in the fridge and leave them there until ready to serve.

Once we finished noshing, it was time to begin our ‘Vision Quest’ by creating vision board with everything we would like to manifest in the New Year.

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This was more of a social time as we each opened up and discussed what our dreams were and what we are doing to bring them to reality. We discussed art, yoga and spirituality while cutting apart magazines.

The evening ended with everyone pitching in and assisting with the clean-up and then came an impromptu dance party for release. As I have never participated in any sort of ecstatic dance, I found myself feeling slightly uncomfortable.

But, as I looked around at the smiling faces of everyone, I felt myself feeling left out and realized that no one but myself was stopping me from participating. I was holding myself back.

As this is something I want to overcome and release this year, with great determination I jumped into the middle of the circle and began doing the cabbage patch and probably mimicked something that looked like Carleton from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Once I began to move, I felt all of my insecurities fall away. Instead, I embraced the feeling of elation and enjoyed the festivities with my new found friends.

Returning to Northern California, I began to realize how much I have put myself in a self-imposed cocoon, hibernating alone and how much I have missed the feeling of sisterhood and tribe. I also realized the main culprit was fear.

I don’t know how many other people out there must feel this way—disconnected and disengaged. The whole experience made me realize that I am a social person and that it makes a difference being around those who share your dreams, your visions, who celebrate your accomplishments and hold space for you in your times of disappointment or failure.

“My sisters remind me by their very steadfastness that truth, beauty, and goodness exist in the world, and that, no matter what, there are and always will be people loving people through thick and thin.” ~ Anonymous

Author: Mary Rogers

Editor: Emily Bartran

Vision Quest Circle :: Ayurvedic Kitchari 


Photo Credit: The Local Rose

Adapted from The Local Rose:

“I love me a good bowl of Kitchari! I usually prepare this Ayurvedic dish some when I feel I need a reset or to help my body cleanse and heal. It is such a comforting, nourishing dish, that it feels almost like a maternal hug from the heavens. I always add extra ghee to enhance the glowing skin benefits! The combination of spices make this truly a balm for the digestion and system.

My dear friend Alexa Gray has combined her talents with Kristin from Dahlhouse Nutrition, to create a 21 day cleanse during this month of healing. This 21-day transformation is about opening up to a new way of being, shifting the relationship with your mind-body & spirit, and creating a life of optimal health and vitality. It’s an opportunity to energize your body through clean eating, integrative fitness, and higher thought patterns. This community oriented program will nurture you and give you new insights & practical wisdom for modern healthy living. Ayurveda means “the Science of Life” and was developed in India over 3,000 years ago.

Ayurveda is based on principles of creating harmony through our senses, the 5-element theory, seasonal eating, and spiritual wellness. Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment- body, mind, and spirit.

This Ancient healing recipe is a balanced and wholesome meal. It’s the perfect option for a 3-day cleanse or whenever your system needs a reset. Kitchari is comforting and offers endless spice variations. You can use a variety of vegetables and spices to make it unique to your taste. We made it in a rice cooker, but have given instructions for stovetop as well. Cut the proportions in half for a smaller batch, which would be more appropriate for a single person. Happy Cleansing!

Ingredients ||

::: 2 C organic split mung beans

::: 1 C organic basmati rice

::: 1 (heaping) tablespoon of each spice: organic Turmeric/Coriander/Cumin/Ginger Powder or fresh root

::: ½ – 1 tsp. each of fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds & cinnamon

::: 1-1.5 tsp. ground mustard seed

::: 4 C chopped vegetables (I usually use 3 or more of following: bok choy, kale, broccoli, carrots, celery)… but you can use ANY vegetable

::: 2-3 tsp. Himalayan Salt to taste ::: Lime (garnish optional) Chopped cilantro (garnish optional)

Method ||

  1. Wash the rice and mung dal well. If you have time, let it soak for several hours before  cooking or overnight. This will aid your digestion later on.
  2. Heat about 2 Tbps coconut oil (or ghee) in a pot. Sauté all spices including salt for a few minutes until spices release aroma (be careful not to burn). 3. Add the rice and lentils until everything is mixed and well blended with spices and coconut oil ghee.
  3. Add 6-8 Cups of water (or vegetable stock) and chopped vegetables and bring to a boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. Adjust water to your liking. Should have a soupy or stew-like consistency.
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Garnish with a good squeeze of lemon lime (and chopped cilantro – optional). *This recipe is slightly easier to make if you have a rice cooker. Put rice, dahl, vegetables, water or stock and squeeze of lemon or lime into the rice cooker. Gently simmer the spices in coconut oil (or ghee) in a small pot on stove and when the aroma is released, pour into rice cooker. Give a good stir, put lid on and plug it in. Voila!
1 Comment
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