Today I'm interviewing an artist and superheroic woman, whom I have loved, as we say, Long Time, since our boys were only several months old. Wendy Cook is an amazing and dedicated mother like none I've ever known. She brings her gift of deep nurturing and craft to her family, as well as to groups of a dozen girls several times per year on her property.
In the Mighty Girl Tipi, she reminds them of the most important thing they should ever know: THAT THEY ARE SACRED. It's my belief that Mighty Girl should be available to every 'tween girl in. the. world. What could be more precious than the future generation of women gathering in circle and sharing truth, beauty and sisterhood from the time they were nine?
Wendy is giving away two spots in her currently running Mighty Girl Spring E-Session, which, with access for the full three-month season, gives you plenty of time to create with your daughter(s), family members, neighborhood girls, every girl you can gather 'round! Together, we're also giving each winner one of her beautiful handmade nest necklaces.
What were your motivations for creating MGA?
When I created MGA it was with the intention of serving others in a way that was soulful and personal.
That seems to come so easily to you. I mean that. You give from a place that is holy inside of you! I've seen it at work! Tell us what it was like to create MGA:
The course sat on the back burner for many years until the time was right. The incubation period was very introspective. I excavated memories and referred to old journals then took note of my findings. I examined closely old wounds and figured out how I healed them. I searched for wounds that I unknowingly neglected and addressed them. I explored any obstacles and traumas and examined the way I navigated through them. I mapped out periods of my life when I felt the most vulnerable and then asked myself "what skills, tools, a/o wisdom would have been most helpful at that time". I took special notice of when I felt most confident, inspired, and content. In short, it seemed as though I had two traveling companions on my life's path...intuition which serves as my compass and creativity that serves as my healer . So, I decided to use those tools to serve others. I chose to work with tweens because they are at that vulnerable age between girlhood and womanhood. Was there a catalyst? Yes, but not just one catalyst, but rather a combination of them. Heartaches, joys, disappointments, discoveries, obstacles, and triumphs. They were all teachers. The interplay of everything I have experienced in my life is intrinsic to the whole - and is my life's training. My art schooling and the teachers who guided me there. My work in the medical field, all the modalities, practitioners and patients - they were teachers too. My journey into motherhood, and all that encompasses being a caregiver and learning how to mother - this too was my teacher. And all of these teachers enable me to do this work I call Mighty Girl Art.
How would you describe your relationship to MGA and your work in the world?
Well, Mighty Girl Art is very much a part of me - of the girl I was and the woman I've become - it embodies these facets of myself. It is quite literally what I wished I had when I was a tween - a kind of conscious creativity guided by intuition. We use tools like art journaling for creative visualization, reflection, and self expression. We create crafts that are symbolic. The intention evokes a sense of sacredness and purpose.
How do you love it and how does it love/take care of you?
The love I have for my work is ineffable. In fact, when people ask me if I have any children, I say, "I have one son named Satchel and a daughter named Mighty Girl Art which is actually many daughters". The girls that come to me are kindred spirits and I see parts of myself in each of them. Thus, when nurture them I am also nurturing myself. When they feel seen and heard, a part of me feels seen and heard.
How do you balance being mama with doing your creative work?
Since I chose to become a mama at a late age, that role comes first for me and I juggle my work accordingly. I announce the dates of MGA Summer after my son has chosen a session of his beloved nature camp. My husband takes partial leave that week to cart our son to and fro. My husband brings my son home just as the Mighty Girls are leaving and my then heads to the office to finish his day. The wintry session meets on Saturday mornings and that gives my husband and son an excuse to go out to breakfast and have some time together. We make it work in a way that feels right for our family. MGA is a business, only with more flexibility and a whole bunch of heart. The work I put into MGA, planning, researching concepts and projects, is exorbitant so I don't punch a clock, but I use ical to keep me on task. I try to accomplish as much as possible while my son is at school. I keep my family life uncluttered so as to leave room for spontaneity, because the unexpected is so dang magical.
What does a typical day of creating look like for you?
Oh I have my own sort of rhythm. I wake early, usually an hour or two before dawn. I tiptoe down to my studio and begin my self care, i.e. 30 minutes of cardio on my elliptical machine, followed by Kundalini yoga. I drink some lemon water, then a cup of coffee with almond milk. In the early hours that follow, I try to get some tasks done until it's time to get my son ready for school. I make him breakfast and I make myself a smoothie before driving him to school where I also volunteer in his art class once a week. While he's at school I do my own work - reading, studying and research and other assorted tasks for MGA. I tend to my own creative explorations during that time as well. And yes of course, errands, and daily housework and meals. It's all part of the dance. It's rather ordinary, yet woven into all the minutia are handfuls of beauty that inspire me - like when the fox came and napped at the tree line outside the studio, or when the sun rises and a shaft of light somehow pierces through the tall trees and illuminates the floor of my studio stopping at the foot of my art table, or at night when my son is asleep, and I step onto the deck to look at the sky and I hear an owl or a deer walks across the yard. These little things, so entwine in my natural rhythm, they move me, shape me, inspire me.
Do you have any special rituals that you do before you get to work?
Yes, (giggle) I do actually. I like to walk in the woods, I mist myself with some Lotus Wei or rub essential oils on my feet, and then I turn the music on. It's pretty much a gaussian blur after that.
What inspires you to show up season after season for the girls?
The way the girls light up...create fearlessly, move with confidence. The way they support each other, encourage each other. The way they hug me and thank me. Their joy is palpable and blesses me. Also, my son. I want to inspire him to do what he loves, to be himself, to share his gifts with others.
Share a story about a significant experience you've had related to your process or an interaction with one of the girls. You have some good ones!
Yes, I have many stories. Here's one: When I picked up my son from school recently...one of the Mighty Girls came running up to me and hugged me tightly then she said, "you are the light of my day". So I said, "you are the light of my whole life". And she started crying and told me what a horrible day she had at school and I just stood there in the lobby hugging her tightly while she cried. Then she smiled through her tears and said, "thank you" and ran off. I was so grateful that I was there for her to lean on. BUT here's the best bit...the following morning there was this email from her...
"WENDY TODAY I REALIZED SOMETHING!!!! We were DESTINED to know each other! I decided to go to the Used Book Store. There I found your letterbox book. Only I didn't realize YOU made the book until I opened it THEN a memory strikes: years ago, before I even knew Mighty Girl Art existed, I was at the Used Book Store and I found your book and I LOVED it and REALLY wanted to meet the creator of it but I thought that those chances were pretty slim and forgot all about it.... Until TODAY when I saw it and I suddenly realized - Wendy Cook - I KNOW her - and I realized we were destined to meet from the beginning. And to think, I found out about MGA because you gave away one of your cameras on freecycle and my dad took your camera and you put one of your MGA post cards in the box - Wow."
So I wrote back... "THAT is SO cool! I totally agree - and precisely why I keep journals...because when I go back and read them, I am always shocked by all the synchronicity in my life. The first time I discovered this type of interconnectedness, it just blew my mind because I realized that too many details had to line up for these events to happen - it wasn't random - it was a path. It is sort of like looking at a really large painting and how when you're standing close to it, you see only the seemingly small details, but when you step back - HOLY GUACAMOLE - you see the big picture, the whole enchilada. We are all connected, Mighty M, and this life isn't random...it's a mysterious journey, a path with purpose. If I could give you one more extra pearl of wisdom it would be a quote from Maya Angelou, "Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it". In other words, you wanted to meet the creator of the "Elephant and Artist" letterbox, and you willed it so. The timing is irrelevant because as the great Albert Einstein once said, ""People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
It amazes me that this child figured out in 11 years what it takes most people a lifetime to learn. How lucky I am to witness that!
You are lucky and Mighty Girls are very lucky to have you as their guide and mentor. Thank you, sister. I love sharing you with my readers. They would do well to...go wherever you are. Have a great Spring E-Session!
**Enter to win a one of two spots in MGA Online Spring E-Session AND a nest necklace handmade by Wendy, by entering a comment here. Share with us WHAT YOU WISH YOU HAD AVAILABLE TO YOU AS A 'TWEEN. Share on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and be entered an additional time for each share, just let me know in your *one comment* here where you have shared.
Let's let everyone know how sacred a young woman should be held!!
Winners will be drawn on Sunday, April 7.
***CONGRATULATIONS TO EDITH AND MAEGAN!***
The keys to transformation reside within us. We must open our minds to the possibility of fluid, sometimes dramatic shifts in life, but our hearts tell us when it is time. We may not be able to understand the mystery of transformation, but we can learn to recognize it's signs. Every woman knows the feelings of boredom, detachment from one's creativity or direction, the deadened malaise that trumpets the need for something new. And when the window of change begins to open, we feel it as a literal opening in the chest, accompanied by rapid-fire cognition and imperitives to act. At the heart of transformation is the paradox of surrender and control. Control means to order, structure, force or mold to certain expectations. One can dictate change, but not transformation. Transformation unifies and integrates us, moving us to a state of awareness that is universal, timeless, and potentially ecstatic.
-Elizabeth Davis and Carol Leonard, The Thirteen Archetypes of Woman at Her Fullest Power
This week I launched a painting course that I've been wanting to teach for a long time, but had to listen to the heart prompt before I could. When the live version of this course at Esalen sold out, I felt ready to build an online sister for it. With the help of Animyst, Visual Quest: A Shamanic Painting Exploration came to life. To say that I feel proud wouldn't cover it. I feel quietly on purpose, and ready to give my all to share what has been the definitive transformative process of my life. I feel humble and honored to have this opportunity. Reg is open and class begins last week of July.
In other good news, Bamboo Magazine featured SouLodge at their blog!
I hope to visit with you in person soon, loves. All this building behind the scenes while Spring is sprunging has made this wild mama feel a bit cagey. I have so many, many good things to share and transformations of my own occuring that I would love to tell you about.
Shift happens, as they say. :)
Each month, I bundle up my favorite seasonal tools and the teachings from one animal and present it to my annual SouLodge participants. These women purchased a year's worth of SouLodge teachings at the end of last year, but you can still get them month-by-month at the SouLodge site. This month we're working with the immense abundance of Sister Buffalo and reframing what living abundantly looks like. With just a tweak of our thinking and a realignment of our purposes on Earth, the path to prosperity and open-hearted generosity is unclogged and clear for inflow and outflow.
Above are the featured stones for March, and here is what I wrote about one of my favorite crystal allies:
Citrine is a golden member of the quartz family. It dissipates and transmutes negativity, and is one of two minerals on Earth which transmute negative energies and do not hold it. It's also a balancing stone, who raises self-esteem, and is a workhorse for the third chakra at the solar plexus, the place of power as well as the place original woundings settle, disempowering us when triggered. It is a creative problem solver and adept at dissolving fear. It is a stimulant and associated with wealth, and with sustained income. Like clear quartz, citrine is a cleanser, and can be used in a similar method. Working with it on issues of prosperity that stem from childhood or early adulthood hardwiring can resolve blockages to abundance. I often associate citrine with the recharging properties, warmth and generosity of the Sun, one who eagerly assists with new beginnings and fresh starts. I prefer, personally, to work with citrine in raw, rough form rather than tame and tumbled.
Citrine has made it's way into our March bundle to remove destructive tendencies around spending, consumption, and taking on too much, as well as to see us into the powerful and transitional Equinox. It's here to aid in the resolution of issues around money and abundance, to energize and stimulate new patterns, to cleanse, to empower and to support the work we do with Buffalo by allowing the release of that which no longer needs to be carried and opening the path for all forms of abundance to flow freely. Work with her point-down, at the solar plexus.
I use Citrine in the Springtime when I'm working with strong new beginnings, Eagle medicine, Bobcat, Mountain Lion or any of the solar allies. I think of it as a power boost and a compliment to the level of heat and action typically associated with Summertime, but also to warm up the cool periods. She's a gorgeous helper during transition and can shine a bright light upon times of transition.
Several years ago, when I set out to (re?)identify myself as an artist a human being, Style Statement fell across my lap. Someone who was someone recommended it for "re-branding", which I wasn't sure what that meant, and I'm not sure I do now. When you are what you do and you do what you are, branding is kind of a funny concept.
Anyhoo, I worked that book cover to cover, with Ivy strapped to one side of me or another, until I could narrow all of my notes and notions down to two words. That's all they give you-two words in the end. I really wasn't sure about what I ended up with, it wasn't something like an archetype that had always been with me, in fact, I'm pretty sure the opposite was true. My Style Statement (double-affirming nod, because it sounds so official) turned out to be FEMININE VITALITY.
When I was a vegetarian (and a bit of a vegan, for eleven years total) I was nothing like a green goddess, and I'd had to be adopted by a clan of mothers to know what "feminine" even was. Vitality...was that how I felt after sleeping until ten + a double espresso dance party before having kids? I took a long time to know what non-artificial vitality felt like, and those moments were as short lived as the second-trimester-glitter-phase of pregnancy. There are a good many of us who were not brought up with the core value of taking care of our health. I've searched inside of myself high and low and have yet to find a meter for self-care welded into my rib cage. In fact, my people seem hardwired for self-destruction in one form or another, which is another reason why I was surprised at my Statement.
Only some tongue in cheek aside, it spoke to the work I would be unearthing in myself, and also hosting for other women stirring underneath the covers of the status quo: working all your life doing something you kind of took an interest in fifteen/twenty years ago and sounded like it would be stable income-maybe with benefits.
Transformation is my passion, that is, making things more alive than they once were, more beautiful, meaningful, co-creative. Commitment to Feminine Vitality is what was waking up within me with the Spring birth of my daughter, and the pairing of words was more of a lighthouse to keep me on path with everything I'd ever create and collaborate in than I'd realized. It was also relevant because of my new need to show someone, a very special little feminine someone, how. It's one of my gauges, the concept, having worked to install the missing mechanism myself, by which I choose projects and collaborators to work with.
I should say that feminine, to me, is a pretty broad concept. It is the Earth Mother herself, all of life - the divine feminine being an affirmation of reflection of creation and life. It is what I do, and increasingly so, it is what I consume. I put it together that if I am to live the privileged mission and dedication to Feminine Vitality, mine and yours, that I must also be made of it. Having bouts with fatigue and Qi Deficient, as my tongue seems to indicate, is not helping me with my superheroic cause of supporting women's creativity and spirituality.
You may see more smoothie shots, scary tongue charts, and recipes, than usual in my public spaces these days, along with photos of my children sporting green mustaches, and you'll know why. Superheros require super food. We who are gifted with the blessed western life all have an opportunity to be feautured in the game of Transformation, to be Magicians who leave things in a state more beautiful than they found them, and to create vitality in bodies which were not always wired for how. It might seem like a no-brainer for some folks rocking the scene, but not for this lady. I have to work hard to prioritize my health and put things in my body (and mind) that result in wellness. That's my little true confession for today.
To make the green goddess experiment-gone-well, stuff your blender loosely with de-stemmed black kale, 2 c coconut water, 1 ripe banana, 4 chunks frozen mango, 2 tbs hemp powder, 1 tbs maca root powder (adults only!), 2 opened capsules spirulina, 1 tbs coconut oil. Garnish with tangerine or lemon. Voila! Serves 2.
Crazy! That is the only way to describe the joyous chaos that has been this week. Last weekend was a big adventure in the wild woods with Michelle Madden Smith of Animyst and Stacy de la Rosa of Clover & Sage (and some other very helpful folk) cooking up a pot of amazeball soup...I can't wait to show and tell, but for now I can only tease.
image by Stacy de la Rosa
In quite the opposite climate, Christine, Melody and I are off to Matrilumina for a week of building and shining with 21 of the brightest lights in women's spiritual creativity to, well...rule the world, of course.
March SouLodge is live and up and with a free podcast, to boot. Chill out and listen to twenty minutes of pre-Spring Buffalo medicine from yours truly.
See you on the other side!
Today I'm giving away two of the desert inspired aromatics I have created for Gatheress. Both of the giveaways hold special magic, as people who have spent anytime in the desert will remember, the smell of rain on the dry earth, the scent petrichor.
The first fragrance can be found in the plant known as creosote, chaparral or botanically as Larrea tridentata. It is the most common plant in the desert near my home and it seems so magical to me that a plant in the desert is the keeper of this fragrance. The winner of this item will receive The Gift of Petrichor, 10 ml LARREA + a creosote wand.
THANK YOU, beautiful!
Leave a comment to enter, and if you feel called, share a bit about your relationship to the Plant People-to which do you feel a strong connection? We'll select two winners on Sunday!
Meanwhile, enjoy 10% off in the Gatheress shop until March 01, 2013 with coupon code LOVESONG.
***Congratulations to KIM and MADELEINE!***
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Saw this over at Skinny LaMinx this week, and it keeps coming to mind. The bit that stands out is, "the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work."
Looking back on my artwork after a year of creating in a very different way, I just keep trying to sit down and learn again. It's fun, invigorating, and also rough going at times, and my mind does flip flops at night about the body of work I'm creating now. Is it clean enough? Am I allowing it to speak for itself or am I interrupting? Coaching it to be more pleasing?
Working hard gets missed sometimes in our super-paced lifestyle of often oddly rapid rewards (or face-plants). I enjoy working, and so I just keep doing it. I like the pace that I'm growing at as an artist and gatherer of women, and I'm happy with most of what I've created. I'm with Ira, although, I think I'm going to try surrendering my way through. I think I've spent quite enough time fighting with myself in one lifetime.
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
― Ira Glass
If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don't really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.
-San Bushman, as quoted by Jon Young, What the Robin Knows.
Connecting matters. The soul knows that we are all kin, and it seeks to form the threads and ropes that bind us together to creation, with it's mystical origins and evolutions. Connecting to each other, but also to the natural world and creatures around us, helps us repair our relationships to ourselves and to one another. It broadens our scope of vision and makes more room for differences, and yet honors our sameness: our drives to be fed and full, well-exercised, and furthering the goodnesses of life.
The old ones remind us how to make the ropes, if we can only sit still to watch and learn.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
Besides creating secret artwork for the book project I'm working on, Shamanic Painting as a Process is being developed more deeply than I'd imagined it could be! During the workshop at seaside Esalen, I'll be leading my group through a unique process that I created, complete with auric visioning and painting your guides from journey meditations. With as much focus on seeing with the intuition/psychic abilities as in technique, the week is going to blow the doors off of our big yurt. I know I'm going to learn so much about my own process just formally teaching it. I've never had the time or space (or resources) at a workshop to teach it ALL, which means this gathering has me all bouncy.
Once the creative floodgates open to a thing, there's nothing to stop it. I love the rush that comes with flushing something out into the open that's in total alignment with higher purpose. Do you know it?
Monday is hippity-hopping off to quite a start this lovey dovey week.
Celebrating the pivotal points of the Sun during the calendar year and honoring the transition of the seasons is something I love to do-which is why it's so fun to share this giveaway today.
Prolific and vibrant mama, Elisabeth Stone, is giving away THREE seats in her upcoming Spring Equinox course for The Mama Earth Project.
I’m Elisabeth M. Stone – a 20 year old mother, wild woman, coach, lifestyle blogger, herbalist, nutritional consultant, and Earth activist. I chase after my two daughters, Eden and Ostara, full time while simultaneously running my personal blog at www.elisabethmstone.com. I write e-courses and workbooks when I’m not doing consultations, putting together postpartum care packages for local Seattle mamas, or crafting herbal goodies for Wild Mother Organics.
Young thing! Your life is just beginning! It's such a HUGE blessing to see your generation rocking mama consciousness.
I am also the creator of The Mama Earth Project community blog.
How do you balance being mama with doing your creative work?
Hehehe… I don’t. I have basically trained myself to thrive on 4 hours of sleep at night. This way I can devote myself to the girls during the day and manage to achieve some kind of a “work day” once they’re asleep. I am also learning to schedule my days of the week as themes. One day I will focus on research and writing, the next I will focus on formatting blog posts, the next crafting, etc. It is a creative endeavor, finding ways to involve my oldest in my magic-making.
What does a typical day of creating look like for you?
Seriously, it looks like Pandora cranked to maximum volume on the Louis Prima station, Ostara eating lentils in her high chair, and Eden and I running around making artwork, doing photo shoots, tending our plants, practicing yoga, etc. In the evening, it is utter chaos to my husband. But he doesn’t understand that, yes, I am able to function perfectly well doing 7 different things at the same time. He just thinks I’m crazy. In a good way.
In a biologically wired for multi-tasking way! Gotta love us gatherers.
Do you have any special rituals or a sacred practice that you engage before you get to work?
I cannot bear to function without my vision boards (smothered in magazine cutouts and doodles), a quick 5-minute meditation session, my full-sized whiteboard with an array of marker colors for visual planning, and something raw and crunchy (like carrots) to mindlessly devour while I work. Usually I’m so frazzled after a busy day of singing the ABCs and stepping on wood blocks that I just need to cleanse my mind with burning some sage and cleaning the house before I even wrap my mind around peeking at my email inbox. Rearranging and cleansing my surroundings always helps me to find my center (especially when the house is dark and quiet).
Leave your comment to enter and tell us how you celebrate seasonal transitions, or how you would like to this year.
Thank you for sharing your creative, seasonal practice with us, sister!
Elisabeth's blog: www.elisabeth-stone.com
Home from three juicy trips to the bay area in less than a month, and I am ready to simmer in my nest-pot. This place of gathering has gone quiet with all of my off-screen movement, and it has to be okay. The paintings that will accompany the words of my book are busy weaving themselves in color, while a part of me remains observant...in the margins in black and white, stirring soups, reading stories, kissing boo boos, and noticing life's endless circles.
Wishing you moments this winter which take your breath away, an unseasonably sunny day to go outside and soak, to milk the soft, still season by being tender and aware.
I'm having loads of fun with these giveaways while I'm writing and painting away on my BOOK :) Interviewing creatives and mamas is keeping me grounded during that process, and it's really fun for me to bring others into my space regularly again. Thank you to all of you who show up to appreciate these women.
This week's giveaway is pretty special because Stacy de la Rosa is one of my dearest friends. Witnessing her evolution from stuck and low to vibrant and prolific has been a tremendous gift. It always intrigues me when a person grows into a place where they can find delight with working with what they've got and doing what's in front of them to do in the most magnificent way. Stacy's taught me a lot about staying connected to the present moment, and I'm so happy to share her course, Getting Naked with the Now: Rooted in Gratitude, with you today.
What were your motivations for creating Getting Naked?
I know from experience that in healing ourselves we can also heal others which is why telling our stories and sharing our truths is vital to the growth and healing of us all. I decided to share what the whole of 2011 was about for me by making it into a six-week photography based e-course on the value of gratitude. My jewelry business Bella Wish was birthed in this same way in 2008 - I created a talisman for myself while pregnant with my first daughter. It really helped me hold on to hope during those months and I wondered if something similar would help other women as well. It turns out the answer to that question was yes.
How did you begin this course? Was there a catalyst?
In 2010 I gave birth to my second daughter. When she was around 8-months old I found myself exhausted and depressed, and guilty for feeling this way. I was unhappy in our home life and my husband was working long hours. I found myself depleted, isolated and resentful being home alone with two babies ten hours everyday in a tiny apartment. I was desperate to change our situation and see my life as more whole - I knew this time was precious yet I was having difficulty being present to it. I've always loved photography since my first class in seventh grade but it wasn't until I lost my second pregnancy in 2006 when I discovered my camera was also a healing tool. While on a walk with my girls one morning, I brought my camera determined to see something new. I followed an old photographer's exercise of shooting a photograph every 100 steps to shift your perspective. Those steps awakened something and brought me back to myself. It became the catalyst into a year long study of using my camera and my journal to completely change how I viewed my life from the inside and the world around me. It rooted me down in gratitude and as a result continues to expand my life in wildly wonderful ways that I couldn't have imagined at the time. It's brought me out of survival mode and into a space of thriving. I am now someone who is madly in love with her life - the peaks and the valleys.
How do you balance being mama with doing your creative work?
In two words - I don't. Balancing motherhood with work of any kind is a constant dance that I admit I'm not always graceful at. However, I recently moved into a studio space outside of our home which seems to bridge the two a bit easier at times. I found that giving myself an actual work schedule, one that separates my home life from my work life, is the closest way I can find balance. Plus I am eternally grateful to have a flexible working schedule so I can be present for my girls. I wish to model for my daughters, and all women, that they can create work they love and follow their dreams, but I also can become quite stressed if I don't have focused, quiet work time where I can recharge. That stress is not something I wish to model for them, having my own work space and a few hours to myself creates harmony for my entire family.
What does a typical day of creating look like for you?
Now that my girls are in school three mornings a week a typical day might look like waking up before my family and meeting a friend for a sunrise walk around our local reservoir. This sets the tone for the day, I find ideas come to me in these early morning hours and I find being up with the sunrise and moving my body is wildly motivating, I love starting the day by greeting the East and throwing some gratitude to the sun. I then come home, perhaps check email and Facebook before everyone wakes up and then make us breakfast, pack lunches and get my girls ready for school. I get them settled into their co-op, grabbing either a coffee or a smoothie somewhere and heading to my studio for a 3.5 hour block of focused work. I say focused only because I don't have much time or internet access in my studio which creates space for actual production. I see this as a blessing. I have recently scheduled out my work hours which has helped me tremendously with efficiency. What this looks like for me typically is packaging Bella Wish orders on Monday mornings and heading to the post office - I also use Mondays to plan out the week ahead. Wednesdays + Thursdays I focus on writing, blog posts, administrative duties, content creation and coaching sessions. I pick up my daughters from school at 12:30 and afternoons/evenings are dedicated to them. One weekend day I have an 8-hour day in the studio. On these days I tend to play more: peruse books and magazines for inspiration, brainstorm, write, journal, edit photos from any shoots I may have done, turn up the music and dance wildly - this usually gets my creative mojo flowing. Saturdays are the days I make my necklace orders from the week before and generate most of my course content. After the girls are asleep is when I take care of internet related work that needs to happen from home where I have internet access.
Do you have any special rituals that you do before you get to work?
It's not very exciting but I find having a beverage (coffee, tea, green smoothie) is a must before I get into a work groove. I've just discovered lavender lattes. I find I usually have one of those or a coconut-kale smoothie by my side. Indulging in gorgeous beverages is part of my business plan. ; )
What inspires you to do your work?
Connection. I have a vision for how I want to live my life, the way I want to feel and what I wish to contribute. I keep my "North Star" dream posted near my work area. I love what I do and am inspired by what I am building whether it be through photographs, writing, jewelry, space holding through e-courses or coaching. Even in my forties in many ways I feel as though my creative career has only just begun. My long-held dream has been to create meaningful, sustainable work in the world that serves to inspire, rise and heal people through deep connection.
Do you have a story you'd like to share about a significant experience you've had related to your process or an interaction with a client?
I think the one thing that surprised me about my work is how much it would touch people and go beyond something as simple as a piece of jewelry, a photograph or a coaching session. The stories I have received and the trust with which they are given is not anything I was expecting when I first began, but I hold each one as sacred and is what inspires me to always keep going - infusing everything I do with loving energy. One of the lessons I have learned is that whatever work we do is not limited to what we produce. Meaning I am not just designing jewelry, or taking a photograph, or writing words or holding space, it goes much deeper than that. What we create and release makes an impact on others. I will share one lovely story with you: I have had one Bella Wish client whom I've become quite fond of and close with over the years. She orders many custom items from me whenever celebratory milestones come up for her. She ordered a custom baby bracelet from me last Fall to give to a friend of hers. It turns out her friend is a published author and is featuring the bracelet on the cover of her upcoming book - that is how much she was touched by her daughters handmade bracelet. Stories like these are significant because they remind me that this is what creativity is all about, this is how we connect in deeper ways. We are not here as islands fending for ourselves, we are here as community making a difference in each other's lives.
Stacy is giving away one of her famous Bellawish word-of-the-year pendants, as well as one seat in her Spring session of Getting Naked in the Now: Rooted in Gratitude. You can also use coupon code SouLodge10 in her Bellawish shop through February 1st.
Leave a comment in the usual way, and check back Sunday evening for a winner! Tell us how you stay present to the precious moments in front of you.
Thank you, Stacy! Follow her on Facebook here.
Hemp Gathering Smock, the most worn item in my closet. With pockets!
I'm so excited for today's giveaway. Rose is responsible for many of the hand-dyed and sewn hempy organic clothing I've been wearing for years and sharing her with you makes me really happy. She's a hardworking mama who cares deeply for the Earth, and the impact that functional items have on the planet. I'm grateful to Rose for the work she dedicates herself to, for our bodies and for the planet.
Rose and Conscious Clothing are giving away a pair of her Organic Cotton Skirted Yoga Pants which you can design in your own colors and fit to your gorgeous body. Stylish movement sounds mighty good for the new year, eh? Freedom to *move*.
What were your motivations for creating Conscious Clothing?
I began sewing after I had an accident which left me unable to walk for nearly 2 years! Talk about overcoming obstacles! I need to keep busy and I started piecing together fabric for quilts, skirts and tie tops. I quickly realized that I had found a path to express my creativity, but I never expected it to become my livelihood!
When my first daughter was born, I began making clothing for her as well as diaper covers and blankets. They were a huge hit with my friends and sisters who were starting families and it grew from there!
Now with 3 children (oops, 2 children and one teenager) I am able to be home with them and support my family by doing what I love.
I love being able to be home for the kids. It is a top priority that they see me here in my studio and know that I am available for them whenever they need. They all know how to sew and inspire me with their unique ideas.
What does a typical day of creating look like for you?
A typical day would be waking up with Luna at 6:00am to get her off to school on time. I use the quiet still morning hours to sip tea while I answer emails and plan the day's work.
Tigerlily and Ian wake up at 8 and I spend an hour making them breakfast and packing lunches and backpacks and get them off to school. Then the day begins in earnest.
2-3 days a week I have help in the form of my sister Bridgette or my friend Angela. I dye all my fabrics and cut all the patterns while they help by sewing them together. Its so nice to have other women in the studio to chat with and run through new ideas with! They are indispensable as this company grows!
At 3:30 its time to go to the post office to ship out your orders and pick the kids from school. Then its homework and dinner and chores. If we're lucky we get a game of Monopoly or Uno or time to doodle together before bed.
What inspires you about your medium?
The best part about Conscious Clothing for me is designing new pieces. I love taking my most popular designs and changing them slightly, using new fabrics, or adding to something I already feel works well!
I enjoy coming up with new colors and mixing dyes for unique shades. I absolutely love the way hemp takes color. The texture of the fibers make me feel connected with the actual plant and the earthy hues are so warm and inviting.
Hemp is truly an amazing plant and the hemp fabric has all of the unique characteristics of it, including being mold and mildew resistant. Its fibers expand and contract with the change in temperature so it has the ability to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There is no other fabric or medium that I enjoy as much!
Thank you, busy mama!
I'm experimenting with my mobile post app, and while the posts are a bit spare, it allows me to more easily check in from the road (or my reading corner).
Ever-fascinated by writings on humans vs. nature, I recently picked up Barry Lopez's book, Of Wolves and Men, long on my wish list, and have just begun to graze the pages:
It is a convention of popular sociology that modern man leads a frustratingly inadequate life in which hunting becomes both overcompensation for a sense of impotence and an attempt to reroot oneself in the natural world. As man has matured, the traditional reason for hunting-to obtain food- has disappeared, along with the sacred relationship with the hunted. The modern hunter pays lip service to the ethics of hte warrior hunter-respect to the animal, a taboo against waste, pride taken in highly developed skills like tracking-but his actions betray him. What has most emphatically not disappeared, oddly is the almost spiritual sense of identification that comes over the hunter in the presence of a wolf.
Here is an animal capable of killing a man, an animal of legendary endurance and spirit, an animal that embodies marvelous integration with it's environment. This is exactly what the frustrated modern hunter would like: the noble qualities imagined; a sense of fitting into the world. The hunter wants to be the wolf.
The wolf crisis continues near Yellowstone Park this year as eight research wolves, five collared, have been killed by hunters just outside the park.
I'm in constant receipt of conflicting information about the wolf situation. I'm always grateful to hear from those who live in Wolf Country and are willing to accept reestablishment of the species, and show a willingness to work with conservationists to creatively problem solve.
I'm also grateful for those of you working with your local organizations, Defenders of Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy on behalf of the wild creatures and open spaces.
Here's hoping 2013 will find a shift in legislation and human hearts, so that the wild can remain wild for the next generations to witness.
Home follows me around like a spiral shell on my back; faded spots, chips, and little cracks becoming more charming with time. My family and I have outgrown our shell here in my hometown, which you've heard before here, it's no new story-but hopefully one that will soon have a happy ending. We moved here in 2005 to build a nest for the babes to be born in and ride out the housing crisis near to my parents. Now that baby birds are ready to fly, (and so am I) progressive cities with lots of access to nature are calling.
It can feel exhausting, the search for Home, until I realize that home is not *somewhere*. Home is US. Looking for a place to live, to do daily life, and thrive can sometimes feel like looking for a place for one's heart or family heart to belong. I'm determined that it not feel like a dramatic life or death choice. Choosing what kind of community to raise the pups in often does feel that way, though.
I'm releasing my fear around it...right now. I can trust my heart this time.
Embracing Slow Life at Home
The new year, and all that's pencilled neatly into the calendar each month, still reveals plenty of vast open spaces this time. Space that I long to allow to simply remain unfilled.
For staying in bed.
For sitting silent in nature while the Kestrels dip and dive over the pasture.
For building fairy houses.
For the sake of open space.
For love of life standing still.
For daydreaming about tiny houses and BARN houses.
For doing nothing when nothing can be done.
For breathing instead of holding.
For spreading out instead of closing in.
For watching the grass grow instead of getting things done.
For letting things unfold instead of soldiering through.
And for reading poems instead of the news.
When we're driving, in the dark,
on the long road
to Provincetown, which lies empty
for miles, when we're weary,
when the buildings
and the scrub pines lose
their familiar look,
I imagine us rising
from the speeding car,
I imagine us seeing
everything from another place — the top
of one of the pale dunes
or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea —
and what we see is the world
that cannot cherish us
but which we cherish,
and what we see is our life
moving like that,
along the dark edges
of everything — the headlights
sweeping the blackness —
believing in a thousand
fragile and unprovable things,
looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping
barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me.
We have a family tradition of doing a tiny bit of everything we want to do during the year on January 1st.
My list includes:
Claiming a bit of SOLITUDE
Going out for really good food
Ceremony/prayers as a family
Making my vision board that has been tucked under my bed for over a year
Drawing tarot cards
The kids have said they want to:
Dig in the Earth
Bake (which we got a bit of in today with Ivy's now-famous dog cookie recipe)
Go for a walk
Spend time with their grandparents
Look at our catalog of photos
Play with make up
I'm grateful for 2012- for the intensive teachings, the adventures and experiences, for gatherings with women leading the light paths, for the deepening of relationships, for the growth. I'm grateful to have seen Miles lose three teeth and teach himself to read and draw to his own satisfaction, to have loved two creatures so much while letting them go, to see Ivy meet her first best friend while dancing and begin preschool, to see a very proud Brandon hit millions of plays on Pandora, my mom celebrate eleven years of sobriety, and the births of several babies born to close friends, just to name a few highlights.
2013 is bringing a transformation in consciousness with it. From my vantage point, this has been the toughest year in a very long time. I've witnessed more death and hardship on the world around me than ever in my life! My only hope is that there can be hope. And, of course, there can always be hope.
The word/concept I'm working with this year is HOME. Home is all around me, in that list above, and the cheeky faces that greet me each morning. And yet, there is a house, a town, school groups, a physical community, and a more rooted place within me, waiting to be met. I trust the Mystery, and I'm also ready to take action when shown what to do, once the warmer, more active seasons come in.
I'm taking the cold season off where I can, to flesh out my book and curl up with my family as much as possible.
How will you spend the Winter? What little bits of JOY and ALIVENESS can you fit in tomorrow to write the melody for the rest of the year?
The time has come to step up and talk to men...about men. I've successfully buried myself in a sea of awakened and awakening women honoring the sacred feminine and I'm now being called forth to venture into territory I've not addressed in public yet.
Being married to a man and raising a son means that I, like many of you, encounter male energy daily. Being a strong woman, I expect to and want to be surrounded by strong men. The wound of the feminine has been examined by many generations, this one being no different. My task is often to do a thorough excavation of what goes underground for women, fragmented and lost for ages. My personal work is to walk the path of the sacred feminine, also to encourage balance with one's inner masculine reserve so that when one needs to show up as a warrior, she has it at hand. We have met or are actively meeting our inner queens. It is possession by the animus which we women are learning to navigate.
As a woman leading women, I find myself looking to men and seeing that there is work to be done here, too. A piece of the collective soul has been sacrificed and it must be repaired, renewed, re-strengthened. Something must be returned to men by the culture that has been lost for at least a hundred years, maybe since the time when the sacred feminine originally went missing (that is to say, shoved out, or burned at the stake) and psyches grew whacked out of proportion for a lack of it.
When I dig into my heart, I see men in suffering. They don't get what they need when they're young, as often the repressing of emotions begins long before speaking does. "Boys don't cry", "Don't be a sissy." Coming of age seems to bring hardship as adolescent men, questing for their armor, are still shackled in mother's garments, receiving mixed messages from the women in their lives about what women want, and what it takes to be a man. Sometimes receiving little or no guidance from adult men about how to navigate rage, hormones, tender emotions, relationships, careers, and physical confidence, leaves him loaded with no place to put it. An acceptable man today might simply shove confusion and repressed emotions down even deeper. An unacceptable man will get even for childhood lack by acting out his imbalances or troubles in battle, in the workplace, on women, or perhaps his children.
All this to say, what I'm hungry for is the male VOICE. I hear the voices of women loud and clear. I want to hear men speaking out for men, helping men in the areas that they need strengthening, creating critical mass-level messages for young men that reach their ears in plenty of time, and stick. I don't want to be a strong woman in a sea of Nice Guys or inflated illusions. I'm asking men to give us the truth. I'm ready to support you in all of the areas you need me.
I am ready to champion your cause.
Join Maggie Hollinbeck, Hannah Marcotti, David Tejeda and myself, in an open discussion about the wounded masculine archetype. Men, please bring your voices. They're more important than ever. Let's rock this Solstice 2012 transformation by learning all we can. ♥
Date: Thursday, December 20, 2013
Time: 9:00-10:30am PST
Phone number: 805.399.1000
Medicine Bear, by Dark Natasha.
Reflective and ready to hibernate is how I'm feeling...being pulled into the warm Earth as her surface cools. There is a deep need for me to hole up and root down with the Grandmothers to gather medicine for the new year.
Grandmother Bear is our first guide for January, as I set out for the Vision Quest that helps me to co-create our lessons with the animals for SouLodge. Annual memberships are still available for $99 through December 31st for the entire year-find out more here. I bundled the membership together with the Medicine Animals & Totems e-Guide after an enormous uprising to get a head start from those who missed the Thanksgiving weekend deal. If you registered after that time and didn't get your copy, let me know so I can send it to you. It's a good primer for where we're going in 2013. Thank you for your readiness to gather. We are bright transmittors in the form of community.
I'm preparing for my annual vigil by the firepit for Friday's Solstice, to hold the light energy all night on the darkest day of the year, as was done last year. It's my family's special time to share ritual, and also my time to rattle, drum, and make a long night of prayers for the community and world.
If you would like me to carry a prayer to the fireside for you, feel free to list it here in the comments and I'll keep them near as I make my prayer ties to be burned in the flames over the course of the night.
Thank you, relatives. Bless all of us for honoring the cycles of the Earth and in ourselves.
She is our mirror.
Today was a most tragic day and I've not found much wisdom yet. I've peeled myself away from the news to pray dozens of times, to light candles, beat drums, hug my children tight and love them so deeply, sending up waves of empathy for the fallen little ones and their loved ones, and feeling my own vulnerability as a parent hyperstimulated.
I've been in circular arguments with myself and others about gun laws, a sensitive subject in this country which values freedom over everything else. I come from a gun-owning family, my husband and I don't own weapons, and I have found myself pondering why self-defense is an obsession for so many. Today is an example of why people resort to feeling a need to fiercely protect.
Raising a son, I've asked myself what can be done to make sure he knows the difference between feeling his anger and acting it out. Bringing up small children, I've wondered how I can best protect them.
I've wondered why mothers collect guns, and how it is that they don't notice that their young adult sons are unstable and need psychiatric help. Did the school teacher mother of the young man who did this feel a need to protect herself from someone? His father? Him? What was needed that didn't get met?
Would gun control remedy tragic losses such as these, decrease them, or simply create the illusion of safety and a reason to go back to sleep about the fragility of life and the need for massive structural support of children, young adults and parents?
I am left with questions around why these events take place in school rooms, malls, and movie theaters. I wonder why white men are often the ones who commit these particular kinds of crimes.
I realized I don't feel any safer flying on airplanes post-911, even with an increase of airport security, though I am told I should. Having flown dozens of times since that fateful day, I still see windows of opportunity for the clever and dangerous to do harm should they choose to. I pray my way through those moments of fear and mistrust and I will still never be able to anticipate or prepare for everything. I realize we are caught in the midst of a strange and torturously slow evolution. It's difficult to accept.
What I keep coming back to, the medicine I hold most dear, and would like to use my voice here for, is deep soulwork and awakened, non-violent parenting. For encouraging the tending of wounds instead of acting them out. For facing the soul in truth, for honing the intuition to return to a time of being able to perceive real danger whenever possible. For allowing the expression of big feelings with the voice rather than the hands.
Evolution is slow. I don't ever believe that nothing is changing. It is very slow and I am sometimes impatient. Big wake-up calls hit us at least once a year in this country and every day worldwide. Violence does not beget positive evolution. And some families may feel that being left so vulnerable, without a plan for defense, is to leave their hearts too open. Pain such as what was felt today seems unbearable.
It leaves me with many questions that I do not have the answers for. So, I end this day with my heart heavy for those in suffering, hug my children tightly, I connect one last time with friends, and my beautiful SouLodge community. I think about what I treasure most and hold precious. I take the time to honor all life by burning sage and cleansing my own negativity. I try to see where I can adjust in the areas where I lack appreciation and clear perspective, areas where I have become presumptuous.
Dear readers, I'm asking that we all light the candles together when called forth to. And that we hold every child as so, so precious.
The light is about to return, but not before it becomes the darkest it's been all year. This is one of my family's favorite times of celebration, because we gather around the fire with connectedness and intention together to honor each other, and to release the old and greet what's new.
Here are some ways you might consider honoring the darkness and welcoming back the light:
Write the old aspects which are ready to be released on slips of paper and burn in your fire or bury in the Earth (seeded paper works beautifully for this, and brings flowers in Spring-learn how to make it right here).
Release regrets and resentments into the darkness and the fire for transformation and forgiveness.
Wear white or gold in honor of the Snow Queen: for renewal, peace, and any new promises you're making.
Sit in the quiet darkness and recall the times in your life when time spent in the dark and cave-like womb has given birth to lightness and ease.
Light candles while making a promise to yourself, your family, your community and to the world for the coming year.
Read or share your favorite poetry or writings which have been the most transformational or uplifting for you. Post a copy to carry you through the year.
Build an outdoor fire (where permitted) and gather around for storytelling, warm drinks, and marshmallow toasting.Singing Here Comes the Sun and You Are My Sunshine (my kids love this!)
Decorate with tiny stars or wait until Solstice to place the star on the top of your Christmas tree.
Bring greenery indoors, such as evergreen, holly, bay, laurel, rosemary or your favorite herbs to put around your table and your candles.
Plant a tree or nurture a potted tree that you will plant after the thaw. Hang tiny wishes from the branches.
Feast with your family and put a spirit plate outside under a tree with an tiny bit of each item from your table as an offering and an honoring for new beginnings.
Make a sun cake, or corn cakes, which are a beautiful spirit plate offering, and yummy, too.
I make my corn cakes relatively simply, and this recipe is capital B basic. Add ricotta, tomatoes, herbs, onions, cheese, squash, black beans or pumpkin, and make them your own.
1 1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 c cooked corn kernels (I've also used canned and raw and I like both, but raw rules)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c milk (or milk substitute, including water)
5 tbs sunflower oil (or meat drippings as the old ones did)
Combine dry ingredients, then add milk and 3 tbs of oil. Coat a cast iron pan with the remaining oil, turn flame up to medium, and spoon drops of batter onto it. Fry up like little pancakes.
Serve savory, with cilantro and sour cream or with butter and honey for a sweetie.
Remember to honor yourself, each other, and the miracle of life!
Happy holidays from Pink Coyote! I'm checking in on the fly here to make sure you know that registration for 2013 Annual SouLodge closes December 31st.
Want to give SouLodge as a gift? When you gift a subscription or sponsor anonymously through the holidays, I'll match your gift and sponsor another woman's journey under the flap. Many women need help this year, especially single mothers! Simply purchase the annual membership here and type GIFT into the comments section. If you are gifting someone specific, be sure to include an email address for her in the Paypal comments, as well.
THANK YOU, shining community, as we gear up for another deep and insightful year around the Medicine Wheel!
So much awareness. Combined with trust of one's intuition and trustworthy guides, it would seem that the application is one which serves as a checks and balances system for what motivates one's work in the world. Owl is here to help.
Is Owl connecting with you this season?
What are you championing, and what is at the root of that cause?
I'll be talking about the work that's being done in the world and how Owl medicine plays into it. Join me this Friday at 2pm Pacific to listen in and do a bit of Q & A. These calls are really loose, fun and affirming...and FREE.
Something I've been giving a lot of thought to lately is how I know my loved ones. Losing a young soulmate during a young relationship takes a toll on a soul, and so it seems reflexive for any person to inquire more extensively in order to stay connected. We know one another in the physical world so well: touches, kisses, snuggles, hugs, conversations, but to know someone's spirit is to be able to interact with them on a level that takes us beyond this dimension together.
I was surpised to be approached by a sweet and gracious intuitive counselor to ask me if I would like her to conduct an energetic session on behalf of Morgan, my spirit dog that crossed over several weeks ago. I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't have hopes about what would come. What really took my breath away in the end was Bridget's compassion for those who leave this physical plane. She brought up something very simple, but so needed, which was to know Morgan outside of her body. Writing it brings me to tears because while I feel I do, I would have said that indeed, I did, I wish I'd brought more of that consciousness to our relationship when she was here. I, of course, as humans are apt to do, must have believed she'd be with us a long time like our other fur babes, somewhat sheltered creatures that they are these days. And so much of my experience with her was of innocent and daily joy. Because her passing was so sudden, the loss of her was like a blindside-the kind I've seen friends and family experience, but had no real way to relate to yet.
Bringing this wisdom back to the hearth, with the experience and new vantage point I was carrying, has found me digging a little bit deeper into the impermanent aspects of connection that I have with others-listening for essence rather than showing up at the level of face-value. Being a mother to two young children, life can be rife with fears. In fact, I just read the scene from Harry Potter tonight in which Mrs. Weasley encounters the boggart, (pesky buggers that take the shape of ones biggest fears), who appears as each one of her children in succession having died. It reminded me, yet again, how much quiet fear we can carry when anticipating the physical loss of a child or beloved. We don't dare speak it (for fear of laws of attraction?). We can really get eaten up by these fears, to the detriment of the time that we do get to spend with our loved ones. I find that I can't even go there, it's so erosive- though I know too many for whom this is reality.
What I'm seeking out when I interact with my loved ones now is to see them in a spirit way, the way that they might always be, in or out of matter. I'm only just beginning to flex this muscle in a truly conscious way, but it's had a way of easing things already. I can see that I am less fixed on what is in front of me, and more enamoured with the way someone moves through the world. I imagine the essence of my loved ones, and it lightens my heart.
Being human can be challenging on a body and a mind. We come bursting into the world with a stew of personality, going on to gather imprints from childhood, develop ethics that grow out of experiences, gun-shyness from the lessons we've learned, medicative obsessions,and beautiful strengths, too-a tangled, and equally worthwhile mess of humanness. We are most commonly perceived by others based on how we present in this dimension. And rightfully so, we have to be responsible for these aspects and how they affect others. Yet, spiritually, we are actually none of those things. What must we peel off to let spiritual substance shine?
I'm guessing that many of us hobnob with the unchanging aspects of *essence* in this community of artists, parents, healers, and medicine keepers. It's certainly spoken of plenty. I seem to know a few folks who seem to be blessed with this kind of vision naturally, unencumbered by the constraints of mortal coil. Children are particularly good at this kind of seeing.
Each event or lightbulb that wakes us up a bit is another opportunity to move closer to what a spiritual quality in a living being looks like in ourselves, and cherished others- and our fundamental relationships to them.
What extracted core can we acknowledge that is most meaningful?
How can we perceive authentically in order to let some of the superficial go?
I'm totally not a Black Friday person in any sense of the word. I've already lazily eaten leftovers, sloughed about in my slippers, and unplanned my day.
I shan't leave the house. But I do love giving things away for free, (and so many of you turned up for the giveaway!) that it occurred to me that it would amazing to offer you my Medicine Animals & Totems e-Guide though the weekend, so that you can get started connecting with your helpers before we begin on January 1st. The guide is packed full of inquiry and information to bring you closer to the Earth, whether you live amidst nature or urbania.
Here's a bit about the e-Guide, free with your purchase of SouLodge Annual through Sunday:
Medicine Animals & Totems e-Guide is an abundant range of information designed to introduce you to new ways of interacting with the creatures that show up in your dreams and in the world around you. It's focus is to help you discover your power animal(s) and take you through a technique called journeywork, a method of meditation in which to meet and commune with your guides. It covers a wide range of tools to help you see and think symbolically, and to help you step outside of linear thinking in order to make soul connections with your spiritual allies.
Creatures are all around us: in the air, on the Earth, in the trees, underground. There is a growing fascination for how the animals can teach us to walk closer to the Earth, as well as help us gain insights about our individual human condition as we experience it day-to-day.
The 15 page e-Guide includes:
Introduction to Animal Medicine Video
Observing Animal Behavior & Interpreting Animal Behavior Worksheets
Smudging Ceremony Video for creating sacred space for your journey meditations
How to Journey Video with links to shamanic drumbeats and Mindful Bear app
Journey Prompts Worksheet
30-Minute Podcast by Pixie, which contains insights into how to work more deeply with your totem(s), and answers the most common questions about walking a path close to the Earth with medicine guides from the creature realm.
**When you purchase your subscription to SouLodge between now and Sunday night, be sure to note in the Paypal comments, if different, what email address you would like your PDF of Medicine Animals & Totems to be sent to, so that you get it without issues.
Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm so beyond grateful to all of you who come here shining your light so brightly. It truly does feel like building a big fire each time Lodge is held. Watching you walk up and stand in circle feels like ((**solidarity rising**)).
Bowing to the sacredness and power of a woman willing to excavate her own soul to find her wholeness....
***THIS JUST IN***
Thank you all for entering the giveaway-your words are such a contribution to me and to each other about growth...so many gorgeous declarations and clarity in the comments! It is always a bit heartbreaking not to throw open the doors and welcome the flood of you in at once. I chose seven winners because I just couldn't stop at four....blessings to ALL OF YOU precious and sacred people, and thank you for sharing the light of Lodge with your friends. I hope to see as many of you as possible in the coming year. The dark age is lifting! 2013 holds so much promise for integration and movement toward beautiful wholeness and illumination.
The seven seats go to:
susan: please send the friend's email that you'll be gifting to and cc her on it.
Will you all please send a message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can add your name to the annual roster? Welcome to SouLodge, ladies! I hope that it serves you well and adds spiritual and creative dimension to your year. SO much love!
Sisters! This is your chance to hop on board the SouLodge train and ride for free. Do you know about the change in format for next year?
Here's the skinny from the website:
On the first of every month of 2013, you'll receive the following in your email inbox:
There will also be seasonal crafts, rituals, altar projects and ceremony sprinkled throughout. Addition to the high-integrity, private SouLodge Facebook group brings to you a community discussion forum. This is an excellent place to share your journey work and questions, as well as connect to women on a creative, spiritual, healing path.
Membership for the January-December 2013 calendar year is $99- NOT per month, but for the entire year.
What we're doing here, women, is CREATING CULTURE. Thank you for your awareness, and for your contributions to a healing process that is nothing short of global.
SouLodge 2013 will be like receiving twelve virtual medicine bundles over the course of the year. Maybe a bit yummier. ♥
*Leave your comments, and this time I would love to hear about what kind of support you require to shine spiritually, creatively. Don't be shy, now. The giveaway for four spots will close on Wednesday afternoon PST. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and let me know how many times to enter you.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm so grateful for this sacred community of healers, seers, seekers, creatives, renegades, mamas, lightbringers, gatherers, space-holders...all of you.