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Meet Melisa Verrecchia, our featured student spotlight!
Melisa is a dedicated and inspiring yogi that represents All That Matters well.

melisa Verrecchia
What attracted you to yoga? Why did you start? After having worked in fashion in LA for 10 years, and being laid off, I had a total identity crisis. I realized I’d always been concerned with what I looked like, rather than how I felt. I needed to refocus.
Yoga provided a safe place for me to connect with myself spiritually, physically, and mentally, rather than aesthetically. On the mat, I found what made me FEEL beautiful was a peaceful heart & a quiet mind… that “inner body brightness” radiates outwardly no matter what I am wearing!

What is your favorite style of yoga: Anusara yoga truly speaks to my heart. It lifts me up! It has taught me to be grateful. It’s where I come to pray.

What other activities do you enjoy: I’m a new mom, so long walks along the wall in Narragansett with my baby, Madeline, are lovely, weather permitting. And admittedly, I’m still a fashionista at heart, so I never pass up a good shopping spree!

A great inspiring book you recommend: An Everlasting Meal :Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler has changed the way I prepare food, and inspired me to eat more vegetables. I have so much more respect for the trove of treasures this earth yields to us.

Favorite sound: Madeline’s laughter!

Least favorite sound: Her cries—they break my heart. I’m also not a huge fan of thunder.

Favorite meal: My favorite meal to eat is my own home-made basil pesto, over pasta or rice.

Favorite meal to eat: Well, I come from a big Italian I am partial to my mom’s homemade pizza. It’s the BEST pizza ever. But as of late, I am also pretty obsessed with making yummy green juices for myself and baby!

Favorite place to be: long as my family is with me.

What keeps you doing yoga: Yoga is the one athletic activity where I don’t feel any pressure to be better than anyone else nor to compare myself to anyone. It’s a community of people who gather together to practice rather than compete, and to encourage each other rather than compare. There are no opponents in yoga, no losers. Everyone always wins.

Advice to beginners: Laugh when you fall down. Don’t worry about being “flexible.”

What do you like best about All That Matters: Nikki Juen… the most luminous, down-to-earth goddess I have ever been blessed to meet. And the store with all of its lovely trinkets and treats!

Any other words of wisdom: Just keep learning something new everyday.

So here is what is coming up at ATM ...let me tell you some cool stuff about each.
2/26 Gong Sound Healing... Our Gong events are usually sold out...for good reason, they are deeply relaxing and is you opportunity to learn more about the power of gongs.

2/28  Be Deliberate: The Power of Vision Boards *This class was sold out last time too. I spoke to a few folks who have already manifested a number of great things on their vision boards from that class.  Have some visions create a board. No vision? Come get your ideas going.

We are so excited to have these next two teachers coming to our center.
If you have pets and are ready to communicate with them more...Danielle is the expert. Last time she was here everyone wrote the best comments on her work.

3/2-3/4  Living in Balance; Balancing Your Health with Ayurveda & Daily Tools for Healthy Living "Hilary is amazing" says our Massage Therapist Tara. Tara has been studying with her at Kripalu in MA. We will add to that the the study of Ayurveda is amazing and really offers wonderful and useful tools for understanding our bodies and our health. 

Workshop Trilogy Connects Humans with Animals

South Kingstown - February 15, 2012 - All That Matters, 315 Main Street, Wakefield, RI is pleased to announce the upcoming arrival of Danielle MacKinnon, expert in animal communication and animal healing. Three great programs will be offered beginning March 2, 2012; the first is called Is Your Pet Trying To Tell You Something. This program explores why pets have chosen to come into our lives, and how we can become better human beings with them.
Learn how intuitive animal communicator Danielle MacKinnon deciphers what our pets are trying to tell us through traits and misbehaviors, and what to do when we realize that an issue has arisen. Danielle will also offer animal readings to some participants. Danielle can communicate with deceased or living pets of any species. Visit for ways to prepare. This program will run from 7 to 9 pm and costs $35.00.
The second program, Beginning Animal Communication, is an interactive course that will explore telepathic communication with animals. Participants will learn how to identify an animal's illnesses by feeling it in their own body. They'll find out how to delve deeply into a pet's personal connection with its human, in order to discover what's really going on there while learning how to understand what changes the pet would like to make in its own life - changes with which its owner might be able to assist. Danielle will also teach you about Soul Contracts, the mode of communication pets use to help their humans become the best they can be. By the end of class, participants will have communicated telepathically with at least three animals! This class runs Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 9am-12pm; this class cost $65.00.
Finally, join Danielle for Animal Energy Healing on March 3, 2012 from 2 to 5pm. Students will explore the physical and energy bodies of the animal. They'll learn how to discern healthy energy versus unhealthy energy; how to use their hands and Universal energy to help move energy toward health; how to rebuild, remove, and replace energies that are no longer serving the animal, whether an animal is in the room with them or on the other side of the world. Students will work on several animals during class, and gain an entirely new perspective and relationship with the dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, ferrets, snakes, goats, and other animals in their life - for the rest of your life. This program costs $65.00; combine all three of Danielle MacKinnon's animal communication classes for discounted price of $149.00.
Danielle MacKinnon is an internationally known Soul Contract Intuitive, Animal Intuitive and Intuitive Coach, recently named one of Bob Olson's "Top 10 Best Psychic Mediums." Using Soul Contracts as a foundation, she offers a fresh perspective on working deeply with pets, relationships, developing intuition, and spiritual growth. Danielle has been highlighted in newspapers, magazines, webzines, and radio shows, and her client base spans the globe. She was most recently featured in John Holland's new book Spirit Whisperer and in Elevated Existence magazine, and she has taught at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY with colleagues Colette Baron-Reid, Robert Ohotto, and John Holland.

Gong Bath

Did you know each month we have a special event here. It is our monthly Gong Bath...that is round you get to lay down and rest in bath of sound! Here is a link of our homemade video on it. But to really enjoy it consider joining us Friday night the 17th.

So often we rely on food as a source of comfort rather than a source of restoration. Kitchens serve as a place to grab a snack, to heat a packaged food in a microwave, to shovel in take-out, to display photos on the fridge. Yet it can be a sanctuary to nourish us at all levels. A place to go when we want to be at highest expression of health. Embrace your kitchen as a “farmacy” where one can replenish energy and heal.
Reclaim your kitchen and experiment with smoothies because:
  1. they provide a platform for increasing the nutrient density and vitality in our daily diets
  2. they are so quick to prepare that the excuses of not having time to eat well evaporates
  3. they are portable
  4. they are easy to digest since the blender has already done some of the work for you
  5. they retain the fiber, unlike juices where the fiber is removed
  6. they can serve as a carrier for additional nutritional powerhouses such as flax seed for regularity and omegas and probiotics for intestinal health.
Components of a smoothie include:
liquid – 1 Cup
sweetener – 2 Tablespoon
berries – 1 Cup
greens – 1-2 Cups
fat (optional) – 1 Tablespoon
Smoothies are a canvas just waiting for your signature. Alter quantities to reflect your preferences and creativity.
Here is a great place to monitor calories if weight loss or maintenance is your goal.  Options include:
“Milk”-Unsweetened almond, hemp, coconut (not condensed in can), and hazelnut “milk” provide good nutrition, contribute to creaminess and serve as a     filling base for smoothies. I advise against soy milk as it is highly processed.     (Mentally trace the soy “milk” back to its original source, the edamame or soybean. It has come too far from its original source to be deemed “minimally processed”. Soy has also become so pervasive in processed foods that people are developing sensitivities from overexposure. Unsweetened products allow us to manage and adapt the sweetness to our tastes and body’s needs.
Milk/yogurt-Cow’s milk often causes digestive distress and creates mucus so it is not the ideal option for most. If you handle it well, then add it for the base for a heavier, creamier choice.
Coconut Water-Low in calories and high in potassium, coconut water is Nature’s Gatorade. Perfect for a post-workout option.
Tea-Chamomile tea serves as a delightful liquid base for a smoothie especially when our nerves may be a bit frayed. Green tea contributes to the antioxidant quality of the smoothie. Peppermint tea enhances our energy levels. Simply make some for the purpose of the smoothie or use whatever you may have remaining from your tea break.
Water-Always a healthy choice, especially when calorie load is considered.
Dates-Any fresh date delivers sweetness and health benefits of iron, minerals and vitamins. Dates minimize the effects of aging and aid in muscle repair following a strenuous workout.
Agave(raw)-Agave is a controversial sweetener in that it is processed yet embraced by raw foodists in search of an effective and delicious liquid sweetener. It is a low-glycemic option so can be used by diabetics and sugar sensitive people. I save agave for raw desserts because I am cautious about its processing and would like to reserve its use for when no other sweetener would work nearly as well.
Maple syrup-With only 65% sucrose, maple syrup is less harmful to the body’s natural mineral balance than processed sugars.
Fruit (non-berry)-High-glycemic fruits such as pineapple, mango and orange do the job of sweetening the smoothies beautifully. They add fiber, antioxidants and of course nutrients.
Honey-I advise using raw local honey if you suffer from seasonal allergies. The honey acts like a homeopathic remedy, providing you with a minimal dose of pollen and in doing so, builds up an immune resistance.
Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, strawberries, black berries all provide phytonutrients which aid in preventing numerous diseases including cancer. Fill your freezer with an assortment of organic berries when on sale because they can be pricey. It is important that you chose organic in this case since berries are exposed to high levels of chemicals and absorb the toxins readily through their fragile exteriors.
I know……..let this concept seep in, allow the rebellion to pass and then surrender. Greens it is. In blending all ingredients to liquid, smoothies provide an opportunity to enhance your nutrition exponentially; we want to take advantage of any chance to increase our green intake for their uplifting, cleansing and alkalinizing properties. Organic baby spinach alters the flavor the least although the hue will change to green. Rotate the greens to ensure coverage of all minerals and minimize excess oxalic acid intake. (Oxalic acid is naturally occurring in spinach, beet greens and swiss chard and depletes calcium from bones and teeth. It is Nature’s reminder to include variety in our meals.) Bok choy, romaine and spinach have the least impact on flavor but try experiment with beet greens, broccoli, kale, watercress, arugula etc. Depending on the green, you may want to adjust the sweetener.
Peel a banana, cut into small chunks and place in a ziplock in the freezer. Take out a few pieces of frozen banana to add creaminess to the smoothie. Bananas are wonderful sources of potassium, replenishing our bodies after exertion. They do however constipate and add substantial calories so I have been replacing my banana with peeled cucumbers. I know…. Here comes the resistance but hang in there with me- creaminess without the heaviness and with the skin glow and thirst quenching qualities cucumbers deliver. See recipe below.
FAT (optional)
Smoothies are a great carrier for nutritional supplements such as ground flax seed for omegas and regularity.  If you need a smoothie to serve as a meal or you are striving to gain weight, then I would advise adding some additional form of fat into the base. Fats to consider are:
Avocado-Wonderful for the skin, avocados provide healthy fat and a rich, satisfying creaminess to the smoothie. I adore avocados eaten fresh with lime and himalayan pink salt so to use an avocado in a smoothie seems like a waste of the ecstasy of eating a avocado in its full glory. Your choice.
Coconut oil-This fat provides a tropical flavor and the mouthfeel of decadence. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which can only otherwise be found in human breast milk. The immune building components make this a great choice especially when paired with mango, pineapple etc. for an island indulgence.
Nuts/seeds-I recommend using raw almond butter or nuts and seeds themselves. Peanut butter is not a safe option for many given the legume’s proclivity to mold. Nuts that have been roasted alter the health benefits of the nut itself and risk rancidity. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds for calcium, walnuts for omegas and brain health……the options here are endless.
Decadent & Delicious Smoothie
Serves 2
1 – banana, frozen in chunks
1-2 T – almond or cashew butter
2 – fresh dates, Medjool or otherwise
1 C – almond “mylk”
1 handful – organic baby spinach
1/2 C – blueberries, frozen
1 tsp – ground flax or hemp seeds (optional)
Blend all ingredients and enjoy.
Add raw cacao powder or unsweetened baking cocoa for a chocolate flavor and higher antioxidant load.

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From the guardian this week.


Top five regrets of the dying

A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?
From the Gaurdian
A palliative nurse has recorded the top five regrets of the dying. Photograph: Montgomery Martin/Alamy
There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'.
Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?