Welcome to My Blog!
Since 2011 I’ve developed my Youtube channel Kiki Says where I’ve shared a weekly short video on Natural Lifestyle that now totals 165 videos, 17,000 subscribers, and 80,000 monthly video views. I’m busy interacting with viewers via Youtube comments, emails, Facebook and Twitter. I happily thanked each of my first 1000 subscribers. A community has grown up around these videos that is just the best thing about Youtube – a community found what they were looking for and continues to grow and gather and you like what I like and I like you!
Of course Youtube is best known for cat videos, media gaffs, frat boy humor, and trending videos. But those of us who share lessons in crafts, cooking, music, or other areas of expertise create content known as Evergreen. This information never goes out of style. Dry body brushing is just as important for health today as it was a year ago. And in one year my little video will continue to teach the health benefits of this traditional daily ritual to 100,000s more viewers.
Natural Lifestyle is a term that best defines how I live and what interests me and makes me happy. This includes green living, organic beauty, healthy food prep and yoga, as well as health and wellness insights from many world traditions including Ayurveda.
The ideas that I have now are the same ideas I had from a young age and I suppose they are influenced by deeply personal feelings as well as various experiences and sensitivities.
I grew up in a sensible home. We didn’t get dessert unless we ate our dinner and then dessert was usually a baked apple or an oatmeal cookie. My mom kept no junk in the house – like Twinkies or Marshmallow Fluff and we were allowed soda only on special occasions. My sister and I were included in cooking and cleaning chores and followed many old-fashioned tenets – turn off the lights when you leave a room, don’t waste food, and keep an early-to-rise and early-to-bed schedule. We also did lots of art projects and special baking around birthdays and holidays.
My Mom was pretty adventurous in the kitchen making dishes that weren’t necessarily popular in the 1960s and 70s, like spinach salad and homemade pesto.
She grew up in the Midwest with a weekend hunter/fisherman father and spoke about her mom dressing deer and gutting fish, which made it hard for her to eat those dinners. I think that’s why she did not make typical American dinners for us. We rarely sat down to pot roast or pork chops with potatoes, and when we did it always look like too much meat.
My father was as far from hippie as a Nixon supporter could be but he had strong feelings about littering; he’d tell anyone on the streets of New York City to pick up their trash and put it in the garbage can! And the way he said it, they usually did. And if they didn’t, he didn’t hesitate to pick it up and do it himself. My Dad also chased down muggers and returned handbags to little old ladies, so you see, he had a strong sense of civic duty. Though he never really understood why I spent extra money on organic food or went to India so many times.
I became vegetarian when I was 19 and began yoga not long after. I profoundly felt yoga clear my mind, reduce anxieties, and heal my knee from ACL surgery. So I crafted a practice from what I learned and did this nearly every morning even after late night bartending, long school days, and exhausting theater rehearsals and dance classes.
I moved to NYC’s East village in 1983. It was a land of outlaws and artists on the periphery of downtown Manhattan. But at that time – to be a vegetarian, shop at a health food store, eat organic, and practice yoga were also outlaw activities.
You eat tofu? People badgered me with disgust.
Organic? Only a fool would spend more for that.
I paid pennies more per pound for my food – but this didn’t seem foolish to me. I nourished my skin with organic sunflower oil, not paraben laced pink cream in a plastic jug! I felt pretty smart.
These choices upset the mainstream; it was like telling a convention of gun collectors that I was a pacifist. It never deterred me. I felt so nourished by all I learned and practiced that I just kept seeking and learning more.
Of course I found communities of friends that shared in yoga and natural lifestyle. We were a small tribe and we all lived downtown and East of 1st Avenue. With no internet to search out niche groups, there may have been a vegetarian yoga person Uptown who wore vintage dresses, sewed her own curtains, and walked blocks to recycle, but I never met her! Although our tribes were forerunners in a global movement, we were so isolated, it seemed we trailed the race.
Today these practices have moved front and center and here I am – a woman of experience!
I am most asked, how do you think up all your videos? I actually don’t have to “think them up”. I have not done a video yet on something I haven’t known about. These videos are all my favorite things or areas of my interests and concerns. They are all natural things I’ve learned to alleviate suffering that bring relief and happiness and make life more fun and tasty.
Now many of you are asking for a blog and longer videos.
My close friends and students must be shaking their heads saying…oh no, here she goes with another story or recipe or cure. If some one asks for a penny’s worth I’ll always give a dollar!
This New Blog.
Here I go.
Please join me here.
And know that you have a friend encouraging you to throw out all your junk and make natural choices that support your wellness and goals as well as support a sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants.
I profoundly believe that natural choices and natural solutions are our path to discover and know our essential self and to cultivate the calm and confidence to live our hearts’ desire and express our unique gifts in every aspect of our lives and share with those we love and care for.
I wont stop being mine!
(Umm, it’s too late for that.)
Kiki wondering – darn I wish that Mailchimp weren’t so annoying! photo by Valerie Shaff