Symptoms of our life, expressed in the way LIFE shows up right now, can be the best friend you ever had. The way we live has a direct correlation to what we have said “yes” or “no” to. When we listen, observe, feel, taste and touch, these symptoms can help us shift the way we express our Truth within ourselves, reclaiming the original ownership of “who is leading our life”—and who is living rent-free in our body/mind/heart.

Want to boost your immune system? Ask yourself three questions. Are your choices: Sustainable? Authentic? …and Truthful? It has to be three out of three, otherwise you are compromising the zip file and the hard drive you were born with. Honor you.

An Interview:

1. What is this whole business about the Epigenome? What is that? Such a long word and it describes what?

“Epi”-means above and outside of, and the “genome” is the set of genes you were born with–so how our diet, lifestyle and our environment affect our well-being. I call my program
“EAT. SLEEP. MOVE. PRAY. LOVE.” which has a direct influence on how our genes express themselves -either genes of degeneration or genes that are silenced. This is a functional, systems view on a deeply cellular level. It relates to life. From the inside out from the functioning mechanism of your very essence of how you work, play in your everyday and how it powers us to have a life supported, or suppressed.

2. Ok. When you say “cellular” how does that translate into our whole life?

There is an interconnectedness principle. This is the where, the why, the how and the what of how we choose to live our lives and its effect on all the areas of life. Such as being mindful and creating a presence with a charge for living your truth…this bleeds into every area of life and creates that interconnected soulful truth. The Truth is the World’s natural resource therefore a person in THEIR TRUTH is their greatest natural resource. It offers an authenticity, a true way of living who you really are. So when there is no discrepancy between what you think and who you really are vs. living someone else’s version of your life, immune systems become efficient, not compromised. This is based on “SYSTEMS THINKING” as in eco-systems or how business are run, this interrelationship. Our body is the microcosm of that greater phenomenon. So when one part of life is lived with an integrity, and integration of many high quality influences and choices–super charged, nourished and happy–then everything else aligns to that vibration. That offers healing and health, translated to well-being.

3. So, how do we know we are living our TRUTH, as you say?

AS KID ROCK SINGS….and quoted in “The Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte:

“If it looks good, you’ll see it
If it sounds good, you’ll hear it.
If it is marketed right, you’ll buy it.
But if it is TRUE, you’ll feel it.”

That is why I call my mission “A SOULFUL TRUTH REVOLUTION”— it is all about feelings. Our feelings. We own them. They’re ours, so they are our Truth.

Feelings come down to trust. “Trust is an inside job”—I guess that is where this all leads. There are so many things that occur in a day that we either choose to see, don’t see, or won’t see and refuse to see..and I mean “see” in terms of every sense-how does it feel, what is it’s smell, and the taste of it’s flavor, and can you touch it, and can you sense it? The whole vibe. How do you digest it?

I wish to share a very real, relevant deal in my life: The Anusara Yoga Scandal. I called it “Yogagate” when it first broke out in the news this past February. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Blogposts, online magazine’s covered it. It was a hot mess in the yoga world for sure, and even hotter for those who wished to poke a hole in the whole yoga empire. Its ramifications are still feeling the aftershock as it still continues it’s own half life. John Friend, the creator of Anusara had been a dear friend of mine since 1999. He helped me with an anxiety issue, vertigo, a torn labrum in my hip and general philosophy about living for over 13 years. When life was great, he was there; when the chips were down, he was there. I was always, along with my family, totally respected. In fact, John went the extra mile and did a private session with me at his hometown studio. I felt so supported.

Until…I realized that there was a huge debacle occurring, already exposing him and much of his life’s achievements. I felt awful. He had truly fallen from grace and I missed it. I had no idea how this was even true. Sexual, business shenanigans, lies, misuse of power, infidelity…and more…all being uncovered. I looked back and realized how I completely trusted, modeled after so much of what I learned, thinking it was really working for him -evidenced by how quickly his style of yoga penetrated the world, yet I really began to doubt myself and all my judgements. It was here my business name really affirmed itself: Real, Raw and Rowdy. I was mad. And this was not the first time I had a situation rear it’s ugly face..that was my symptom. Aha. What was I not seeing? I saw that I trusted anyone until I got ripped off, was told more lies to my face, expected less and accepted more bullshit. I allowed myself to get dragged through the mud, take the hits and think it was not me. But it is. I did not trust myself. Therefore all my judgements came from that place.

Well, what I did not see was untruths being told to me in more ways than one when I was little and it entrained me to accept more “bulls*%t as I grew up with greater and greater consequences. Bilateral infidelities, avoidance of financial woes, accepting less than I should have…everywhere. “Things are not what they seem” was such the common theme that I had gastriits and colitis when I was 15 years old. I could not digest living. I trusted all the adults in my life to give me the “real deal” when I asked or pressed, and I got back anything but the truth. I became a seeker because inside I knew something was awry, but never sure what. Then I got married, still things are not what they seem. More unsteadiness, more distrust. Then John Friend. It all made so much sense. I created myself by looking over and away from my”feelings” –translation: my inner compass. My compass got hoodwinked, blindsided, torn to shreds so I got real good at NOT LOOKING, NOT SEEING and MAKING it be what I wanted to see. Ah. Idiot’s bliss.

What came out of this, as well, is the awareness that when we trust those who cannot really be trusted, we hold their shame and we become less trusting of ourselves because feeling shame is not the real, authentic you. Knowing we did not do anything to provoke all this “shame dumping” we punish ourselves, not knowing still, until we realize that “Trust is an Inside job.”

Now, I am a Ninja Truth Monger. Give it to me straight. Not even over ice. Hard to accept things in life that fantasy tells you otherwise. I know now that to “deal real” is the greatest gift. I feel so clear, centered and on top of the world and connected to my truth when I know that TRUST is an INSIDE JOB and I’m in charge. No one else. So when I get that uh-oh feeling, or “things don’t add up in life and they are not what they seem”—–look again and INQUIRE. Shame is not yours, so give it back to who it truly belongs to. That’s trust.

Let’s use, for an example, living with a spouse or being in a relationship with someone who you feel you cannot just trust. You practically have to try and catch them time and again and have to ask questions in just the exact, specific way for you to get a shade of an answer you are looking for: the Truth. You know the deal, just ask your teenager where they were for the past three hours when you couldn’t reach them. OR ask your husband why the laundry he promised to do is not done. Or ask our government about the state of our economy and why. There is an uncomfortableness that you can palpate. They weasel out of things and do not want to take accountability and they just flat out lie. As a country we felt it during trials of famous people, or government officials asking for the truth to be told as they have their hands on- the Bible or not- to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

This effort, this corralling anyone into an answer depletes our immune system. Think about it…if you are trying to SHERLOCK HOLMES your way into getting what you need, then you must have OVERLOOKED a huge part within yourself. YOU DO NOT TRUST YOURSELF is evidenced by the mere fact that you are STILL involved in a pattern that is putting you, your “relationship” and your immune system on the line. WHY: Because you were not being authentic. Not being willing to do what it takes to ACT from a place of integrity the first time when you realized it and so the relationship just becomes a game of “cat and mouse”–who gets caught, when and how will it go? Then it becomes an engrained neuroscience distrust game. Habituated, why? Because you have not developed your own trust. So now you have the power to elicit the change and have trust everywhere because now you pay attention to what you have discounted overlooked, accepted, denied, embraced, deflected…and lovingly give back shame to it’s rightful owner.

This is not your Truth. To be a derailed, compensated you. It is not who you really are. We are much more than that and when our reality is so vastly amiss from the Truth of the Present Moment, we are, once again, invited back into our own trust. You can never again be in that seasoned situation once you override your senses and when you looked over and under it when it first became obvious as a symptom of uneasiness, or a feeling of distrust. Here lies the greatest opportunity to really dive deep into yourself. How can you create trust inside when the outside seems so distrustful, where things are not what they seem, and you know otherwise. Your innate compass is pointing to you.

4. This trust thing, how do we cultivate it? And how if we don’t– how does it affect the Epigenome?

We repeat the same technology and still get a life where we feel framed, set up, friends or people not coming from integrity…and we feel it.

The first thing we need to do is check our psychology. Where are we motivated and how are we motivated. We have to find the thing that will supercharge us to live our life fully, with no exceptions. No more playing small as that gives others permission to live rent-free inside of us and they live your life for you. What a waste of your birth, your given gift to shine. We need to take care of our physiology-like Eat, Sleep, Move, Pray, Love each being a zipfile holding a potency for more.

It is time to get Real, Raw and Rowdy and say, enough is enough to all this. Enough of empowering others to take control of your ship—without you even as a passenger. And all you get for it, is a load full of distrust-self-created and perpetuated by you.

So, I like to start with Foundational Foundations from the ground up and create a life from a “back to basics” attitude and action plan, creating alignment with the simplest of your own attention.

A. Make Space- make space for something new to come into your life AND make space for something NEW to come out of you. HOW?
1. Breathe 2. Pause 3. Soften 4. Listen 5. Receive

B. Awaken to the TRUTH of the MATTER–YOU. YOU MATTER. Trust that you have everything you need for your journey right in your own back pocket, it is not coming to you on a white horse ridden by Prince Charming.

C. Move toward what comes easy. Bragging rights for your passionate potential, so do what you absolutely love. Forget trying to be that square peg in a round hole. NOT HAPPENING. Do what moves you, what charges you -what makes you want to get up on the morning. Get up and run and do it with an “I can’t wait” attitude, and do it YOUR way. Right brained people are not linear thinkers and do not have box to go into…We are box-less, in fact, I do not even believe in boxes. I believe in SPACE — FORGET ABOUT FEAR and COMPARE.

D. Be the EXPERT on YOU. Why not show up as the authentic you? When you rock your Authentic Truth, you step into that “Soulful Truth Revolution”TM that feeds the TRUST that lives in you. A booster shot for your immune system. This is how TRUST is an inside job. Feel it and know you cultivated it. Try listening to a spouse or anyone throw you a mistruth, a deception or a blatant outright lie. It won’t fly. I promise. You will know what is quality living, THIS IS THE GIFT.

From here, your epigenome is happy, it is truth telling to it’s own cells. There is an efficiency to the functionality of the entire system as it lives in and on every word, thought and action and is riddled with oozing self love, passion and expertise on the ONE PERSON who makes all the difference…YOU. Why continue living that unlived life of someone else’s design? When you rock YOU and all of your traits—the good, the bad and the ugly, you are invited into the “Real, Raw and Rowdy you. There is STILL no one like you —so I say “STAMP YOUR IMPRINT” onto the planet and shift, by YOU being the expert on you and BEING JUST YOU. THEN you will LOVE LIFE in alignment with your highest good and then just that loving-ness CHANGES the WORLD…for everyone. That’s a gift.

5. So can you tie this all up as it relates to your business, Real , Raw and Rowdy? How did that name come to pass?

So glad you asked. It is my life’s work to feel more than enough and see Truth everywhere. As you know my Dad passed right before our last interview, last summer. What got borne from his death was this feeling of IMMINENCE. Like, NOW, NOW is the TIME, no other time but RIGHT NOW. We cannot wait to lose weight, get gorgeous, have a facial, get the right job, the right website, the the right man, the right house, the right family, the car etc…The TIME is NOW. As I saw my dad slowly passing over that period of two weeks, he had one thing on the forefront of his mind that was overriding his state of being. He had not even asked if he dying, nor was he told that he was at the end stage of COPD. He felt he had been wronged just about 20 years prior when he retired from his place of business. He felt betrayed by his garment center boss and who was supposedly my dad’s friend and my dad, his confidante. His boss’ dad and my dad’s dad, came from the “Old country of Greece” and was offered the honor of saying the blessing over the Challah at my wedding. I was confused then as I am now, because my own husband’s grandfather was sitting there probably expecting the honor himself. I said nothing then.

But here was this Boss Man who happens to call my parent’s house to see how my dad is doing in the middle of his semi-coma, after getting the head’s up from our Rabbi. My dad rallies because, after all, the BIg Man is on the phone. My dad tells his boss that he wants to ask him a question, and that he would like to call him another day. Then Dad handed me the phone to hang it up but I stood there wondering why he did not just ask this very pressing “question” when he already had him on the phone. I asked my dad, “Dad, what did you want to ask the Big Cheese?” And his reply was, “I wanted to ask him to pay off the mortgage for your mom so she doesn’t have to worry.” “Whoa,” I thought. Why did he wait until now? Now of all times. Literally on his deathbed. The answer I got was that he had huge fear. A FEAR that was bigger than life. My dad wanted to be liked so much so that he could not ask for what was his- a sum of money from an opportunity never offered to my dad who worked as his boss’ right hand man. My dad sat and served as his psychotherapist for all his boss’rage at everyone, and my dad, with his cool, calm and collected self-loved every minute of it. He felt important. He felt he mattered. He felt seen. He felt heard. He really thought he held value for his boss, personally, as well as in the global business. But what my dad really held, was his boss’ shame which fed into his feeling of not being able to be authentic and truthful for over 20 years. My dad did not trust himself enough to be out with the truth, years ago, and on his death bed.

So, I felt, why ever wait? Why wait for some stupid OTHER day when today is right here. Let’s undress the truth and get down and dirty. Let”s call it what it is, Let’s take fear and drop it on it’s head, because who really gives a F*%k ? The “deathbed context concept” really hit me hard and made me think: What do I have to say, and to whom and when and why and where does this all live and for how long has it lived there and what damage has it done living there? Phew. I was so DONE with all the BS I have allowed of my own creation. So it became about owning my life, because what you do not own- owns you. Just like dad. He died before he could make another phone call. For him, for me, my business and all I touch will always have MY SIGNATURE of REAL, RAW and ROWDY.

Interviewer: Thank you for being so REAL and inspiring. What three pieces of wisdom can you offer us?

AVE: My pleasure. My three favorite pieces no matter what area of life we speak about I ask: Is it Sustainable? Is it Authentic? Is it True? Just keep it real, keep it raw and get rowdy. Who cares? Be You. Love Life. Change The World. Trust You. (Oops, more than three.)