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Coconut Certified as Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Turning your dog into an emotional support animal, or ESA, can be a bit controversial as some people use the certification to bypass “no pets” laws for housing and getting their pets into hotels, airplanes, and other businesses that are generally pet-unfriendly. When researching the topic, I found folks on both sides who were happy to share their thoughts on what is right and what is wrong when it comes to certifying your animal.

Ultimately, I decided to turn Coconut into an ESA dog for a few reasons. While quietly overcoming my own Post Traumatic Stress from a foot injury that resulted in hospitalization, the near loss of my foot and a long rehabilitation process,  I discovered that Coconut was a big help in speeding my recovery. Once home with my family again, it became apparent to me that we all needed her around us. She’s part of our family and her presence not only calms me down but always brings smiles to other people around her.

Coconut certified as an Emotional Support AnimalIf you want to legitimately certify your dog (and I suggest you do it this way) you have to go through a process that, while not regulated by the government, is monitored by healthcare professionals. Not all of those applying for the ESA certification are guaranteed to receive one. I had to take a battery of tests online and then interview with the counselors and psychiatrists who make a determination as to whether or not your situation qualifies. Clearly, Coconut’s presence helps tremendously with my emotional well-being so I proceeded with the ESA certification process.

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Slowing Down to Enjoy Life More

It has been called to my attention that I move fast; expressions like, “the grass doesn’t grow long underneath your feet” are ones I hear frequently. Until recently, I was proud of that — I thought it was a GREAT personality attribute. It wasn’t until a run in with a venomous scorpion fish (that penetrated my foot deeply in five different spots) that I realized I needed to start to slow down.  This self-discovery started as I was healing from the wound and ensuing infection. With time to sit and heal, I started to think about the urgency with which I do everything and decided it needed to change.  I wanted to slow it down, think more about cause and effect, and give myself the necessary time and space to make the right decisions.

Sounds easy, right? Well it wasn’t for me. For the past year I have had to constantly remind myself that what I am doing in the present, no matter what it is, is the right thing to be doing — as long as I am feeling nourished and the people around me are all feeling equally attended to. It sounds strange, but this one notion has helped me focus and has helped me slow down. Here are three techniques I use to help me live my life to the fullest each day and leave me feeling satisfied and complete when I shut my eyes at night.

  1. Focus on the important and not the urgent. Dig deep inside and make a list of what is really important to you. Make sure you review the list with someone you trust. Now pick one or two of those things that are non-negotiable to have in your life each day. Urgent things are not always the important ones and it’s OK to say no sometimes. Read the rest of this entry »

Countdown to our Rincon Paddleboard Yoga Retreat!

Only two weeks until a dozen lucky people head to Rincon for Paddle Diva’s famous Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Retreat with Jessica Bellofatto.  If you’re just tuning in, we’ve been offering these amazing getaways for five years now, and they just keep getting better and better!

Unbeknownst to us, one of our February 2013 retreat participants was a writer for the Associated Press, on special assignment compiling a review of active spa getaways.

But we already knew that Liz was enjoying herself – we even used footage of her in Rincon to narrate our Best Retreat Ever video!  If you haven’t seen it, check it out – it gives you an inside glimpse of what it’s like to spend a few day with the Paddle Diva/Kama Deva Yoga team, enjoying the sun and surf, eating delicious, healthy food, and rejuvenating your body and spirit to power you through the rest of the cold winter.

Spots are filling up fast, but we may have room for a few more, so if you’re interested get in touch ASAP!

Hamptons for the Holidays

The summer crowds have been gone for months, and the only ones left to enjoy the magnificent East End of Long Island during the holiday season are us locals. While summers dazzle with activity and celebrity, winter in the Hamptons dazzles with brightly lit storefronts and twinkly stars in the cold night sky. For us, the holidays mean giving back, finding peace and looking forward to the New Year.  In that spirit, we offer you a few things to do with family, friends and loved ones if you happen to find yourself in the Hamptons for the Holidays this year.

A year-round favorite, the Duck Pond on David’s Lane has special appeal in the winter. The pond is situated within a nature preserve, so there are winding trails all along the creek and bridges that kids love to explore. Not to mention feeding the hungry ducks! Bring cracked corn feed — that’s what the ducks LOVE — and invite all your friends and their kids for a winter stroll. Read the rest of this entry »

Gifts that Give Back

Holiday shopping can present you with a moral dilemma: you want to shower your loved ones with beautiful gifts but it seems entirely contradictory to the spirit of the season: that is, remembering the poor and suffering and giving back, or at least donating a used coat or an hour of companionship to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Karma Notes

But this year you can get your goodies and give back, too, if you shop at sites like the brand new UNICEF Market. Their prices are great – we love these handspun silk scarves from Thailand – $22.99 for the pair!  It’s what UNICEF calls “Triple Win Pricing.”  #1 you save because there aren’t layers of middlemen getting the goods from artisans to consumers; #2 children benefit since a portion of the proceeds help fund UNICEF’s programs providing lifesaving nutrition, medicine, education, clean water, emergency relief and more to children in need; and #3 UNICEF Market artisans set their own prices and control their own businesses. UNICEF Market offers artisans a free platform to sell their work throughout the United States.

They also have this “Karma Notes” recycled glass carafe with glasses, made with upcycled glass collected from the beaches of Bali.

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