Goddess School- Week 1

This week kicked off week one of my Creative Goddess E-course.

It began with a pretty powerful guided meditation, involving a meadow, a mountain, a boulder in the path, a future Amanda wise woman, love showering, *ruby* gifting goodness. All in all it was a special, soulful journey. (not to mention that any time spent alone, breathing deep is pretty special for any Mama)

It continued with a walk, in the hands of serendipity and the Great Spirit. I brought my favorite walking companion, Gypsy Sunshine. It rained on us which was sensational. How often do we have that experience!? The purpose of our walk was to gather whatever lay in our path for a wild art making experience.

Then there came the wild art making experience. And luckily I took pictures!
Our little art station, and my favorite painting companion.

Here are some gathered materials, somehow they were all mostly blue/ turquoise. I let that guide the paint color choices and worked big goops of paint with my fingers, with sticks, toothbrushes, fabric, bits of this and that. Just crazy fun!
We had explicit instructions to do some smearing in the grass. So that’s what this is a picture of.

This is the painting after getting a rub down on the lawn.
This is my painted lawn 🙂 For some reason I love the thoughts of my neighbors wondering- what on earth is that kooky woman doing!

And this is the final product. I can’t say its my favorite painting I have ever seen (or made for that matter) But I resolved before hand to love it unconditionally, because that was the point of this experience. It is a relinquishing of control of the product over to process. To create in the spirit of fun, spontaneity, of acceptance and that is where real magic in creating happens, in wild reckless abandon.


My Miyagi

About 30 seconds after this picture was taken I unraveled this little future garment- a good four hours worth of work. It will be a baby summer dress, someday but at this moment it was missing a strap. See this wasn’t the first time I have gotten along in the project a little ways and then balled the yarn back up. For this particular project its about the tenth. But I am learning to knit from a vague pattern and a copy of the book “Stitch and Bitch.” And this is my first project more complicated than a washcloth.

The funny thing is that I almost didn’t mind it!! I LOVE knitting. The act of knitting is sensational. It is soothing, rhythmic and meditative. I can pick it up for a few seconds which is often how long I have to devote to a creative act, and I can put it down just like that. It will wait for me, there is no mess to clean up or put away. I can do it in the car (while Todd’s driving) on the couch, or in the bathtub! (yes last night I knit in the bathtub so Todd could put the baby to sleep. lol)

I am learning patience and mindfulness. I am developing a HUGE appreciation for just how much work goes into making clothes.

But mostly I am learning patience.

On a side note. My first hoop dance class is tonight- Wish me luck! I have been preparing this week. I think it should be a blast- even if I am the only one who shows up. Just kidding there will be at least one other person for sure. Fun either way right?!

My Father was in town this week, we had a wonderful time wining and dining, couch shopping, cruising through the redwoods, and hiking in the mountains. Lovely and blessed.

AND Goddess School has started (yesterday). I am totally in love with this woman who developed the course. and She gave birth to a dear sweet baby this week. All in all this is a BIG week for everyone I think!!

Hoop Love (or Why I Hoop)

If music is the universal language, then dance is the universal response, the cosmic ear of listening deeply, nodding with the rhythm of our bodies.

My own experience of dancing didn’t blossom until I found the hoop. My time dancing was few and far between. When I was a girl I took a couple of dance classes. And once I was older I would dance out in a club. There was usually alcohol involved in loosening up and letting some inhibitions go. I never thought I was a good dancer. And sadly, I secretly, desperately wanted to be a good dancer. The problem was that I was completely convinced that I didn’t have rhythm. And I thought that rhythm was one of those golden nuggets only bestowed upon a certain lucky few, just like talent. I have learned too late in life that having a “talent” for something means nothing. A person only becomes good at something with practice, time and commitment. Passion is what drives this. But that is really a whole other blog post. I also learned that all humans have rhythm. It is a language, and it is taught to us by our community, it is a language that communicates the story of our collective soul and I believe that this is why I craved so badly to be a part of it.

When I first found the hoop, I discovered the gentle rocking rhythm to be soothing, like ocean waves. My body became engaged in dance in a way that I had yet to give myself permission to do outside of it. When set to music I felt sensual- like the hoop had given my body a key to access the world of rhythm. As my practice grew and I became obsessed with hooping(and that is no over statement!) being inside of the hoop became trance inducing, meditative. As I learned more skills and techniques, dancing with my hoop became creative- it was a form of self expression. The hoop was the binding ingredient that connected my body to rhythm and my soul to the bliss found inside of it.

I write this now on the eve of teaching my first hoop dance class. I’m ecstatic. Mostly about the opportunity to share what has been for me a wellspring of healing and well being. I feel so honored that I get to help others discover the perfection of this symbolic dance partner.

For more information on hoop dance check out this great site

Food Could Change The World (of humans)

When I was 19 years old my girlfriend Alli and I stood in the grocery store produce section debating whether or not it was worth the extra cash to buy organic grapes vs. the cheaper non-organic. She was pro organic and challenged me to a taste test. The non-organic grape had a bitter skin and a bland juiciness about it. The organic grape? was divine, sweet, flavorful, it tasted more like a grape than any other grape I had ever encountered in my life. Since that day I strive to buy organic at all costs whenever possible. I have also learned that that are so many more reasons to spend the extra cash other than it is a superior product….(though isn’t that reason enough?)

That moment was a turning point for me. I was at the time working a minimum wage job and I really had no business getting extravagant at the grocery store. But I was beginning to realize some truths that hit me in that spot. You know that one, that spot in the core of your being called truth. The biggest truth was…

I love this gorgeous earth, and I am lucky enough to be apart of the generation that learned at an early age that the way that humans are inhabiting this earth is destroying it. We must change the way we live.

This moment at the grocery store was one of my first glimpses into seeing what I could do to make a difference. Pesticides are toxic, linked to neurological disorders, almost completely unregulated (YES THAT’S TRUE!!!) they are demolishing our ecosystems, devastating the populations of thousands of species. They are toxic chemicals that are leaching into our groundwater. And that’s not even the bad news. Conventional farming is a whole lot more expensive than organic. So why would organic food be more expensive at the grocery store? The large agriculture companies have great friends in Washington who are subsidising their large polluting, non sustainable agricultural projects. That means our taxes being spent to pollute and destroy our beautiful earth for low quality food. Yuck.

I am so blessed to live in a area where there are an abundance of local organic farms. By buying produce locally (and organically) I am saving thousand of gallons of fuel from being spent on shipping products all over the place. By buying local I am supporting so many people in my community to enjoy sparkling green moments outside in fresh air everyday, working for their dreams of a peaceful life close to the ground, contributing rich colorful healthy, sustainable food. By buying local the food I eat was picked ripe, and is packed with the flavors and spirit that the earth intended for them.

We still do not make a ton of money by most peoples standards, but buying high quality food is one value I our family is just not willing to sacrifice. It has challenged me to seek out different ways of cooking, and different ways of eating in general. I think that two of the most inspirational books on the subject of cooking and eating simply are:

The Art of Simple Cooking by Alice Waters
Tassajara Cooking by Edward Espe Brown

Life changing I tell you.

World changing. This is the great power that we all have. The power to live differently. The power to change the world.

Spring is in the Air

Hi there I just thought I would go ahead and check in. My oh my has it been a full week. Full of sunshine, abundance, new teeth, cups of tea outside, crystal cleaning, hoop dreams and a pair of new pants….

Clearly she’s thrilled about her new pants. ( I know she’s probably just excited to be outside in the woods next to a creek gettin pictures made of her cute self)
And these are my crystals getting a little spring sunshine on the porch. I’ve been hard at work writing about crystals the past couple of weeks for our shop so you may be hearing a bit more about them soon….
And this is a little water activity(ok its actually just a bowl full of water). outside. In a sundress nonetheless. Last week it was snowing. hmmmm. I won’t complain.

And this is where I have not been sitting this week. I really just wanted to show off my new chair cushion fabric. Springy and new.

My Screen- Free Sunday

I have begun to realize that this mind boggling, world transforming powerful tool we call the internet has become too big of a part of my day. I seem to always find reasons to pop my laptop open: I MUST look something up right now, I haven’t checked my email for the third time today, something has happened on Facebook I can feel it! Craigslist, blogs!! (which are my very favorite reason to hop onto the information highway really, they are captivating! but lets face it – time consuming) I was very inspired by this blog post. I need to focus my time on the internet, have specific goals, specific to do’s and not just meander. So this Sunday I took an official screen free day. I wanted to just experience a rhythm of the day without the internet. I was curious about how much I would think to go to my computer. I only thought about it a gazillion times. But I stayed off of it. And here are some things that happened!

I planted things…..

I sat.
and here…
And here. I looked up things in books on the porch (instead of on google with my eyes glued to a screen)( and of course I knitted things in these pretty little places throughout my yard…and I’ll being showing those in another post.)
I found this gorgeous hand thrown clay pitcher at a yard sale for $1, you know for watering all those new plants I just potted!
I also got to make another batch of my Chamomile Facial Cleanser…..Mmmmmm…

I also finally set up a Bird Sanctuary that I’ve been dreaming of….pictures to come…

I also finished the day with a solo knitting date, I had the salmon with a glass of wine, thank you very much. Me and Myself then went and had some ice cream too. Being alone has never been such a luxury as it has been in the last year and a half…

I’m shocked by how much more engrossed I could become when I didn’t run to the internet everytime it popped up in my head. It reminded me of when I first quit smoking and I realized what an interuption smoking was to whatever it was I was trying to accomplish.

I’m thinking of making this a weekly ritual…..

A Moderately Successful Cracker Endeavor

I say moderately only because it was not entirely successful. See I have had cracker making fantasies dancing in my heart for months now. If I made crackers I would put an end the piles of cracker waste our family was contributing to the landfill once and for all. I would make fresh homemade crackers with fancy organic exotic add ins like hemp seeds and nori….

This venture was successful for 2 reasons:
1. I remembered to take pictures during the mixing (and butter melting) part of it.
2. The baby ate them (!!!!!)

For my first try I thought I would make some easy cheese thins out of a very frustrating albeit informative book called Super Baby Food. I haven’t figured out how to link to Amazon yet, and I’m tired tonight, so I’m letting myself off the hook for that one 🙂

Whole wheat flour…… Oooooh.

Butter melting, on the stove because I have read some scary stuff about microwaves recently.

Adding shredded cheese…. and this is where the moderate part of my successful venture begins.

I forgot to take pictures of these next steps

Good thing to because the recipe reads, “Shape into roll and refrigerate overnight in wax paper. Slice very thin…..”

So I shaped the dough into a roll and refrigerated overnight.
The next morning, I hopped out of bed eager to make some crackers and as I attempted to slice very thin my cracker making dreams crumbled, yes, that pun was intended.

I tried slicing thicker and thicker, the dough stayed together if I wanted half inch thick crackers. I ended up smashing the dough with the side of a large butcher knife, gingerly placed the pieces cooperating and staying together and then just baking the crumbs.

I ended up with a few crackers. which tasted pretty good. I ended up with a lot more crumbs which will taste good on top of an olcasserole or something.
So there ya have it. I just may have to try that again…..

Aaaah Soup.

Tonight we relaxed into the warm embrace of a big ol pot of Potato Leek Soup. Is there a greater comfort than that of a thick, hearty, nutritious, delicious, steamy bowl of soup, gobbled up to the sounds of light spring rain pitter pattering away on the roof? (not to mention the splendor of cooking dinner in only one pot)
and the only thing that could make this even better?

A heaping spoonful of this smile to go with it.

Shine on.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?”

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us.

And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This quote was waiting for me in my inbox this morning. I bawled- because it touched that tender little spot called truth in the center of my being, because I have been shrinking in ways for so long and because I know that now is the time to bloom. So in the face of intimidation I am going to do the only thing that could possibly help me. I am going to pray. Pray and take small tiny action.

Sticking to it. :)

Ok. Now that I got that last post off my chest and out into the light of day I feel better, like I can just keep on moving even if insecurity and self doubt decide they want to come along. I’ll welcome those two- I’ll feed them love and understanding and they’ll grow strong and healthy and maybe one day they will turn into useful allies. They could grow up to become perseverance and freedom. Like two little stray animals really only in need of some tenderness and compassion. They could become my pillars of strength. That is the payoff of sticking to it.

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