Holistic healing, energy work and compassion clearings

She has a kind of grace, calmness and wordless compassion that sets the energy and pace of the entire session she will be working with you, on you. She has a soft, soothing, gentle touch of a healer yet does all kinds of Asian bodywork that involve intense, firm body massages. She is quite well read and her knowledge of arts, music, culture, history, bodyscience and metaphysics is equally impressive. She is a vegetarian, environmentally conscious, very generous. She can sell herself short but will not overcharge her clients…in fact, none of her sessions run exactly on time because she is so generous with her time.

Veena Saraswati Lucas, massage therapist, energy-worker, compassion healer, herbalist, nutritionist…she wears many hats and am glad I met her in 2012 when I had scheduled my first ever massage appointment having looked up online. All of her services are highly recommended.

Veena speaks softly, listens intently and remembers every detail of her client’s condition, as well as her own recommendations, prescribed methods of healing, recovery etc. She attends to her clients needs even when she is not working. She works incredibly long hours to be able to run a successful business between two cities, commuting at least 8-12 hours every week and dreams to have a work cum living space, so she can raise her daughter near the bay, where both mother and daughter love to live. She plans to have her own apothecary, and make organic herbal concoctions, ointments and lotions and have her own range of healing products one day.

And that is to say only a little of what I know about her. I wish her all the best, she’s such a kind, compassionate soul.


Veena with her lovely daughter Nadia

Please visit Veena at: http://www.bodycontinuum.com/ and http://veenasaraswati.com/  for more information!!

Beautiful people that inspire me on a daily basis

My co-worker sits behind me munching on cauliflower heads and whole bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes all day long. How do I know he is eating a raw cauliflower? I smell it!! Right. And since the day I turned around sniffing the foul smell and said, ‘Kev, what are you eating cuz it is smelling pretty bad here’, he has started being secretive about his eating business n he brings his cauliflowers in airtight containers. And I started burning scented candles at my desk!! So when he says, ‘Hey Joyeeta you smell anything?’…I say, ‘Yes, my candles!!’ :-) But seriously, seeing him eat from a bag of salad like it was a bag of chips, witnessing his major weight loss ( he was like 250lbs couple years back) has been pretty awesome. He now walks six miles a day rain or shine, has joined Tai Chi, is learning Reiki and makes the best choices possible for a healthier lifestyle including learning to cook gluten free for himself and his kids. And all this after he went through a tough divorce. It isn’t an easy thing to eat right, and exercise and smile when you feel like crap. But once you see the results of healthier living, he bets your body demands it. And then you continue to make choices that make you feel good. And then you smile!!

One of my wonderful dance teachers I have had the opportunity to train with is over the age of 50 (not that age matters!!), started dancing at a very early age and has trained in various dance forms including Ballet, Odissi and Bharatnatyam, maintains an extremely disciplined lifestyle, dances everyday, practices yoga without fail, goes into splits, including standing leg splits anytime without having to stretch!!! The best and most beautiful thing about her is that she wears such a genuine, beautiful smile on her face.

My TKD environment is a mix of all kinds of people and its not hard to get drawn to the ones with talent, commitment, dedication and hard work. These people are crazy about their diet, nutrition and exercise. They motivate me in many different ways. But what I love the most is that they wear an amazing attitude. They work out with their families regularly setting up a great example for their kids.

We train at the best Martial Arts school in the area (in my humble opinion), with one of the best Martial Arts teacher who is very young, has had a tough, disciplined life and been fiercely devoted to one single form of Martial Arts…. Taekwondo!! No matter what situation he faces, I find him cool, calm and controlled. No matter what life throws at him, he appears grounded, centered, balanced.  I am sure he is as normal as anyone else and gets angry, irritated, frustrated. And I know its not easy to hold up a controlled front like that when you are mad.

I know every time I have tried to, I have failed. When I am mad, I am mad. Even if I think am controlling my anger, my stupid face says it all. People come and ask, ‘Hey are you mad?’…and before I say anything they ask more determinedly, ‘Why are you mad?!?!’ That makes me even more mad!!!

I have seen instructors get agitated, impatient, angry, condescending. Or they just wear this ‘do not mess with me’ OR ‘i simply do not care’ OR ‘life sucks’ attitude!!!

Not Mr. Mota. I have seen him deal with a lot of crap with grace.

Not Mr. Stoffel either. He is pretty cool in his class.

And certainly not Grandmaster Robinson. I wish I had the opportunity to train with the Grandmaster when I was young and acquired some of the invaluable traits of Martial Arts early on.

As they say, it is not the problem that is a problem, but how you choose to react is!

These are people from all different walks of life and I am constantly inspired by the choices they have made, and continue to make for themselves and those they care about.  These are beautiful people, not just by how they look outside. Having a toned, sculpted, muscular body may help us feel good confident, proud, beautiful…but without a great attitude, a calm, controlled mind…. it’s like having a beautifully wrapped present with nothing inside it.

Burnt rotis don’t hurt, harsh words do…

Share the good stories ‘cuz kindness matters…..

Ex Indian President Dr. Abdul Kalam Says:
“When I was a kid, my Mom cooked food for us.
One night in particular when she had made dinner after a long hard day’s work, Mom placed a plate of ‘subzi’ (cooked vegetables) and extremely burnt roti (type of Indian bread) in front of my Dad.

I was waiting to see if anyone noticed the burnt roti. But Dad just ate his roti and asked me how was my day at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember I heard Mom apologizing to Dad for the burnt roti.

And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burnt roti.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy, good night & I asked him if he really liked his roti burnt. He wrapped me in his arms & said:
“Your momma put in a long hard day at work today and she was really tired. And besides… A burnt roti never hurts anyone but HARSH WORDS DO!”

Love the people who treat you right & have compassion for the ones who don’t.

In love with Martial Arts

and this school!!!

My friend asked if I had taken a tour of other Martial Arts schools around the area since I loved the energy of Martial Artists so much. I said yes, I have and I didn’t like the places I have been to. The teachers/instructors/assistants seemed too formal, superficial, overly competitive, pushy, aggressive…! Not that they are not successful schools or good teachers. There are students who are seeking what these schools have to offer…and they do tremendously well in those surroundings, and environment.  I just can’t appreciate or stand an egoistic attitude.

At our Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade center, I find no attitude just plain good vibes, a great learning environment, well behaved students and cool instructors. Grandmaster Robinson is the coolest one. He commands authority just by walking in, is warm to talk to, approachable, accessible and he strives for perfection without aggression.

Grandmaster was our guest judge at today’s belt testing. I wanted to take his picture but didn’t dare go before him cuz I wasn’t in uniform and wasn’t testing…!!!

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Get well and get back…

For the last one and a half years that we have been training with Mr. Mota, he has been a huge source of inspiration, motivation, courage, confidence and moral support for us. With him around there is nothing I can say I can not do. The first time he sent me for a tournament competition, I felt like he was making a very bad judgement. I felt like I failed him when I got a second place. But he never made me feel any less, sent me to the next one and demanded a gold. I got a gold in every tournament he made me compete after that.

I had never imagined in my wildest of dreams I could break boards. In the past year, I have broken a board with a punch, hammer-fist, ridge-hand strike, back kick, side kick, round kick, jump round kick, jump side kick with a bag between me and the board!! ‘Now break it with your left’, he often says giving no acknowledgment to my sinking heart and just walks away after I am done breaking. Each time he has left me with this amazing realization of what I am capable of!!! I broke a concrete brick with an elbow strike after he said you are not going home without breaking it. I just do it even if I don’t believe I can. I like the challenge and appreciate that he shows confidence in his students. 

We had our Belt Test today and I was all prepared to test having broken the board several times with many tries over the last week. I wasn’t at all prepared to test without my instructor though. Am kinda worried he will be mad that I didn’t test. And it is wierd that I would need him around to perform…all I know is I didn’t feel I could do my best today.  The good thing is I was able to take pictures and videos of my kids which I normally can’t cuz I am always testing with them.

At times you just need to let go of this need to do the right thing and do what feels right!!! Right?? Breathe, relax, let go and see what happens.

Get well and get back Mr. Mota, we missed you today!!

Walk in Sacramento Midtown

The weekend before last, took a long mid-morning walk with a friend who works extra long hours including weekends. She barely has time for herself but chose to spend the morning with me, showed around the beautiful neighborhood in midtown Sacramento, a place I am not very familiar with. I have always wanted to stop and stare at the lovely Victorian houses but driving in downtown is not something I enjoy, and usually get in and out of the place as quickly as I can. We bought coffee, and walked leisurely feeling a crisp, mild chill in the air. And I absolutely soaked in the beauty of the place. We walked past a house that had an avocado tree in its backyard. There were so many different varieties of Camelia. Found out Sacramento is the Camelia Capital of the world.  The Magnolia flowers were blooming and were breathtakingly beautiful.  We stopped by one and just stared at how perfect and unique they were. Azaleas were everywhere adding such burst of color. We found scented geraniums and my friend gave me directions on how to make herbal concoctions. She wishes to have her own apothecary one day. The Japanese maple trees were blooming in pink hues.  There weren’t any roses in the rose garden at this time but the place looked really nice with an arbor placed for wedding events. We bought the best tasting muffins and scones from a local bakery…and walked back.

I had left my mobile in the car so couldn’t take pictures. Didn’t miss it.  Memories like this are etched in the mind.

Answers we seek are right within



Pic courtesy: Pinterest

Worrying is like giving myself something to do while I realize I have no control over whatever it is I am worrying about. And that’s when I feel the need to be still. Meditate. Accept what is graciously.  Give up on expectations. Let things unfold. Be a silent spectator.


Gaining trust, respect, friends for life


The above column is written by Grandmaster Clint Robinson who is the owner of Robinson’s Taekwondo for a past issue of the Health and Fitness magazine.

Even before I met the Grandmaster, I had formed a great amount of respect for him. It was shortly after me and my kids joined Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade Center that I began seeing how well efficiently it was run by his former student Mr. Mota (whom he has trained personally for 20 yrs and inevitably who is our master now). I know that Grandmaster has been and continues to be a great influence in Mr. Mota’s life. There is an indescribable sense of loyalty in him for the Grandmaster, and this school. They represent an exemplary master-student relationship. Same must be true for many others among the thousands of students who have trained with the Grandmaster since 1975 when he started this school. The kind of trust and respect you build when you work with your master for decades is immeasurable. I sincerely believe for the time and money we spend at the dojang, we yield a lot more in return than a Black Belt around your waist. We find friends and mentors and we form great relationships, motivating and inspiring each other, keeping our goals in sight. And sometimes these bonds last a lifetime. I find that invaluable, priceless.