Daily Walks


I’ve been wanting to share with you all for so long the magic I encounter on a daily basis whenever I venture out of doors here.  But how could one possibly put it into words.

I realized I have a bunch of photos.  All mostly of the same views in different light, seasons, weather.  Because I can’t stop taking pictures of this place.

This walk is a daily ritual of healing, replenishment, and light and color therapy.

One may think that since the onset of winter it wouldn’t be quite so beautiful, but au contrare, my friends.  These sunsets are putting on their show just before dinner time, and we attend faithfully for a daily dose of awe, fresh air and movement before the quiet of evening time commences.

I’ve come to rely on this daily dose of Aaaah, like a medicine of the most powerful kind.  Sometime our walks are ambitious and we climb a hill, but more often they are a stroll to see the white dog that herds watches over the flock of sheep that live just down the rode, and then to our friend Ebony, the horse.   Sometimes they take us to the field on just the other side of the creek and we do more mosey-ing, or sitting than walking.  At the end of summer we picked blackberries all along the sides of the road, and then after the first frost of late fall we would stop at the rose bushes and eat fresh rosehips.  And now we enjoying the flocks of robins, the tiny flowers peeping out of sandy places and the buds emerging on tree branches.

The Practice of Kindness

For the past 8 weeks, on Monday nights, I have been attending a bellydance/yoga class.

Each week we gather and we connect to our bodies in movement and stretching.  We gather for the purpose of learning and experience of working towards a goal.  The atmosphere is special, and we are all taking our lessons quite seriously.  Our passionate leader and friend, Monique Manning is soulful, experienced and doing what she was born to do.  Several of us are mothers, and this night is a precious one of enjoying our bodies, and connecting us to the realms that only breath and movement can reach.

Tonight I came to class feeling flustered by an off day.  I realized I hadn’t eaten in hours, and my mood was just less that shining.  I complained about it to a friend and then complained about my body, whose landscape had been permanently altered by childbearing.  Each week I have become increasingly critical of my body in that space, and so cruel that it is sometimes just painful to look in the mirror.  I berate myself and it feels awful.

We began our practise, breathing and moving like the ocean.  And then Monique said something…..

Something about reconnecting with our intention for being there.

It hit me like a smack in the face.

I don’t show up at bellydance each week to berate myself.  I don’t even show up to sculpt my body.  These are not my intentions for being there.

My intention for showing up is to have fun.  It’s to connect with women in my life in a way that is healthy and powerful.  It is to gain mastery of my body and to train.  It is to unlock my body’s secrets, to blaze trails in undiscovered muscles and movements.  It is to dance in celebration of blood and sweat, to join the heartbeat of life in the glory of rhythm.  It is to celebrate my body and experience the joy of dancing.

I am discovering a new and nesasary intention with this class.  It is to practice being kinder to myself no matter what.  Practice shining the light of love at my reflection in the mirror.  It is to find the place in me that can feel off and still give my heart to that intention, still be a contributing member of our dear, precious group in that sacred time.

This is a worthy practice.

Dear Blog,

I’ve missed you.  And that is a good thing.  This past week we have been visiting family in Alabama and I’ve showed you to everyone, mostly for the purposed of showing pictures of our life and it was oh so helpful.  But it made me realize that I really do love coming here to post our pictures and talk about my life.  Its helpful to digest what is going on, and to honor projects completed.  There are so many things that I want to do, and many of them may or may not get done.  That list may change as my needs and inspiration shifts, but writing is something that is always therapeutic no matter what.  One of the greatest intentions of this blog has been to provide a public writing space, to draw out a different voice than I know in my journals.  Its a lighthearted, no pressure space to write, in safety and freedom. 

A lot has happened since I’ve been here and then again, somehow life is still just the same old gorgeous steady rythm of baby sweetness.  I’ve made a lot of ceramics and that area of my creative garden is in full bloom.  In fact it has been getting the most of my attention besides Cora.  On the horizon, is a beautiful future of bellydance taught by a new dear fellow Mama friend, which will provide much needed connection with other women and with my body.  I have realized that I have been putting care for my body too far down on the list and I simply cannot be happy without lots of movement in my life. 

Since I haven’t been writing here, I haven’t been writing.  And I feel like I am not using a valuable tool.  But I have been reading and processing life in different ways.   When the season changes and the earth gets cold, the viels thin and shadows begin to show themselves.  Its beautiful, vivid but its so intense.  I have been feeling deeply.  I have been feeling and healing things that have really just been needing the time and space to be felt and healed.  Sometimes I don’t know how to be a public person when this is going on.  But I know that is just fine, and beautiful and mature to give heavy feelings an appropriate moment. 

Now, I am lighter, and I am so looking forward to the future, this busy holiday season, my ceramic show, a bellydance performance, a weekly hoop jam, Cora’s birthday, baking and making in warm cozy home.   I also have a illogical desire to make a quilt tugging at my heartstrings.  And I ask, what on earth am I doing wanting to make a quilt?!?!  But projects excite me, hobbies are my reason for being, and the idea of creating a practical (and otherwise expensive) object that will drape my child in a fluffy embrace of warmth and made by Mama love?  I guess its not so illogical afterall.  It just may be sensible.

Blogging Hiatus

You may have noticed (or not 🙂 ) that my posts are coming up fewer and further between.  I am feeling a need to take a break from blogging for the time being.  Mostly I am feeling stretched fairly thin these days, and I am beginning to realize the key to being productive- or lets say effective is focus.  I would like to concentrate my efforts on some of big projects that I am undertaking, including a blog for mystictradecompany.net.  Im not gonna stop blogging here, I am more or less officially taking it off that heavy scale called “things I need to do” that lives in my brain, and causes that overwhelm feeling that I don’t really need- who does!

So I’ll be back because this place, this space really does give me great support, and provides an amazing outlet.  So stay tuned and until we meet (here) again!!!

Bribe to Inspire

This morning I discovered I am not above bribery when it comes to coercing my little beam of heanvenly light into her car-seat.

Like all baby/toddlers, she has moments of strong preference that is simply in disagreement from my strong preferences.  Like every Mother on this planet I am learning how to tango with these moments.

This morning, I was not late for an appointment, and I did not have to pee.  And she did not want to get into her car seat.  Before when this has happened I’ve handled it in a variety of ways, everything from waiting it out, to talking her into it, and even using brute force and just letting her deal with it(cry it out:( )  I’ve decided that that last method is simply no longer an acceptable option, unless there is an emergency and I cannot do anything else.  I have realized that physically handling her, forcing her to do what she doesn’t want do is out of alignment with the relationship that I ultimately want to create with her.   Unless I truly have no other choice, I will no longer do it.

I’m finding Motherhood to be a daily stream of opportunities to find creative solutions to problems.  I do not wish to control my baby.  I wish to inspire her. I do not want to create moments her day where she felt powerless and her preferences and choices disrespected. I want her to know that I do respect her voice just like I did when she was a baby.  And that I will always meet her requests when they are reasonable and realistic.   I trust that when she is given the respect from me to allow her to make her own choices (within the bounds of reality and safety of course) that she will ultimately and eventually give me the same respect back.  I can use brute force on her now when she is tiny, but this will no longer work very soon.

I could use brute force or I could grow and learn and become more creative and more dynamic.

So there we were in the car, Cora standing in her car seat, refusing to sit down and telling me to go away. And me thinking, I really don’t want to bully her, ever again.  I don’t want that unpleasant black smear on a perfectly good morning.  And then I saw a book that we had just bought for 2$ at the sidewalk sale.

“Look what I have!!  “The Shy Little Kitten.””

She was interested.

“Wow, the kitty is playing! she’s having so much fun!  Do you want to see it?  Okay, sit down in your car seat and you can have it!

And just like that, she was in her car seat faster than I could say once upon a time.

No force. No tears.

And we rode home in happy peace, her talking to me telling me all about the friends we saw downtown, about lunch.  And I rode home so relieved to have one more tool in my belt, one that is gentle, non-violent, and non- forceful.  She was empowered to decide to sit in her seat, instead of being forced to do it..

My Inner Consultant

I have several critics that like to give their 2 cents, and sometimes 5 dollars worth of advice while I am in the process of dreaming and creating.  Most of what they have to offer to me is stifling and destructive, not uplifting and creative.  But I have been working on integrating these shadow sides of my life, and I have been thinking about the gifts I receive from my inner critics.  Namely, I appreciate that they help me have higher standards than I would without them.  I just think they don’t need to be quite so mean about it.  Tonight I have decided to replace the least helpful, and most grueling old sourpuss of an inner critic there ever was.

I have a critic that sounds much like an old crabby grade school teacher who has been at it way too long and no longer remembers that she once liked children.  Her patience and energy is about a dime thick. She has short gray hair, worn in a smart perm, and wears only sensible clothing.  She prides herself on never having broken one single rule in her entire life and whatever creativity she once possessed was long dismissed.  She gives me advice like,”why on earth would you bother to make a thing like that when anyone could just go to Walmart and buy it for less than half what you could sell it for!  Pottery is not supposed to look like that, and you should have gone to school. I don’t know who you think you are!” She makes me feel like I should buy a new wardrobe of sweatpants, turn on my TV, and spend the rest of my life answering phone calls in an insurance office forty hours a week.  With this woman on my side there really is no use in trying.

I would like to replace her.

My new inner critic is a wise woman with long gray hair and gorgeous flowing clothes made with luscious fabrics, and fabulous prints.  She wears big funky jewelry and has a wonderful sense of humor.  She has spent her life working with children because she is enchanted with their creativity and is energized by their imagination and enthusiasm.  She delights in helping people turn passion into finished product.  Her home is filled with precious handmade objects, rich colors, and magnificent art pieces.  She values the spirit that inhabits things made by hands, by artists, and is happy to pay for it, especially when it means supporting another’s dream.  I will call her my inner consultant instead of inner critic and I will consult her regarding my wild big dreams and ask for her help in turning them into reachable goals.  When I visit her she will make us licorice root tea served in cozy ceramic mugs and we will sit on her red velvet couches and get excited about the infinite possibilities that the future holds.

Aaaaaaaah.  Much better.

Pep Talk Time

This morning on a treasure hunt for my passport (ain’t moving grand?) I came across an old sketch book.  It hadn’t been used but a couple of times before Gypsy the puppy decided to chew it up.  There was a small sketch inside of it, one that I had done on the first buying trip to Tuscon we made right before we opened our store.  It was a drawing of a wildflower.  It was a purple flower with lots of lines and intricate funky details that look like a cross between a henna drawing and the inside of a mechanical device.  The drawing was very much my style. And right then it struck me.

I have a style.  I had almost forgot.

See, a couple months ago I (ambitiously) committed myself to participating in the annual Clayfolk show in November.  It is something I have so dearly wanted to do since moving back to Oregon 3 years ago.  I just haven’t made it happen, yet.  In the last couple of weeks the fact that Clayfolk is in 3 months has hit me like a heart attack.  I seriously need to get my a** in gear.  Like yesterday.

But I have been floundering in the studio since I started taking classes last spring. I have been forgetting to send those sourpussed old hags that are my inner critics to the library to shush happy excited children.  Worse I have been listening to them telling me I should really just get real.  Doesn’t Walmart and TJMaxx offer dishes?  So people really need more stuff in thier lives?  I hadn’t found the roaring surf to quiet unhelpful voices. I hadn’t found that old flow that I used to know how to ride.  Until today.

Finding the sketch helped me remember that I am not walking into this totally blind. Such is the birthright of every person on earth, I have a wellspring to fish, a voice to sing, and a flavor that is all my own.  I also remember that I am not walking into this totally alone.  I have the power of Great Spirit, God, and a thousand angels.

I also have the experience I need.  Not only have I set up to sell, I have sold dozens of things I made.  I have been preparing for this for a long time.

I think this post would have been so much more interesting if I had a picture to share of aforementioned sketch.  Alas, I think I am going to do a mondo major post called “Ghosts of Artworks Past”

Just as soon as I get a camera.

Its all apart of my new declaration.  Inspired by this woman.  I hereby declare myself an artist.

Cherish the Blogging Journey

“Writing is a form of cherishing”

-Julia Cameron, The Right to Write

Now that I don’t have my camera I am finding myself constantly wanting to take pictures of things.  Most of the day I have a constant blog-o-matic blog writing voice chattering away inside of my head- all the posts I hope to write one day when the subject matter finally emerges and comes together.  I usually take pictures all day-  But without a camera I have decided to find an opportunity to convey the majesty of my days in words.

When I read the quote above I immediately thought of blogging because that is what it is to me- cherishing my life, recording all that there is to cherish.  I am also practicing sharing.  Something that is one of my greatest challenges.  I’m good at being private.  Im good at being alone.  I’m good at staying busy enough not to need a lot of company.  But that is so distancing somehow.  Blogging is a way to reach out.  To convey the things that touch me.  I am on this blogging journey to make records of those things that I do, and the things that interest me, the blessings present and all that I have to be grateful for.  I am blogging to push myself to have something somewhat formal in a life that I have created a whole lot of informality.  I am trying to create a public creative outlet in a life that I have created to be so very private.  I am reaching out.

I am writing to cherish not only what it is I am writing about but also to honor that which I am here to do- that which I am still not so sure about yet.  I am here to share, and in being here hope to uncover what it is I really have to share.  I want to open up.  I want everyone to open up.  I want it to be safe to do so, and I am realizing that I am the only one who can make it safe to do so.  Not with the guarantee that everyone will love and accept me but with the strength to love myself deeply enough to recover when they don’t.  For way too long I have not been putting myself out there because I decided it is not safe, I don’t have anything valuable enough to share, and I cannot be trusted to handle myself or anything else appropriately.  So I didn’t put myself out there and doing so got scarier.

But now I want to.  I want to stop running from what intimidates me.  I want to stop running and let the waves of my fear crash over me so that I can stand solid like a rock.  I want to stop and let them make me strong.  I want to experience having a dream and believing in it even when other people don’t. And when they do too of course. 🙂

When I think of my dreams, I can’t help but think that I am living a great deal of them right now.  In fact so many of my dreams are true.  And there are many more to come.

I dream of writing, a whole lot more writing! of my ceramic studio in full swing, of gardening, canning, baking, biking.  I dream of bee hives, and worm farms.  I dream of turning our website into a full-time job for yours truly once Cora is a little older.  I dream of canvases being painted and a dream cob house being built by us in the forest.  I dream of dresses being sewn for my little girl and sweaters knit and Halloween costumes, and easter egg hunts.  I dream of family traditions being started, and nurtured year after year.

Oh yes I have dreams.

Most of all I dream of opening, opening up to the world like I haven’t been hurt by it.  I dream of being the fool, trusting, naive.  I dream of sharing more.

Crystal Thursday- Crystal Magic

Today, I am working in our little treasure box of a crystal shop sitting here wondering how I can possibly begin to put into words the profound experience of crystal healing.  It feels like I am setting out to capture a rainbow. (Ironically that is something that crystals are prolific at doing, maybe I should just ask them?)

Iceland Spar- calcite
I have experienced crystals in many different ways.  For me they are enchanting, beautiful, soothing, energizing, fascinating, and precious.  But there is even more to their magic and beauty than meets the eye, or even the heart.  Crystals have the remarkable ability to heal, support, connect, inspire, and ignite passions within us.  The magic of crystals is subtle, but it is profound
Crystals become activated by our willingness to become transformed by them. When we hold a crystal or even stand near one and become silent inside we enter vibrational conversation.  They speak to us and we respond.  Not in words but through sensations they transmit ideas that are pure and whole and in sync with universal truth and with universal order. Our stories are transmitted and the messages that get sent back to us are the gems of our experiences.  We learn that in the painful moments of our lives that there is always an opportunity for transformation.  We can re-vision our hardships until they are no longer problems, no longer blockages but perfect building blocks of a solid and wise foundation of now.
The crystals themselves are molecular structures fitting together in perfect formations, formations following universal laws of creation.  Like all objects of matter, they have an emanation, an aura, as do we.  It is here that our paths cross with the crystals.  It is here that we relate to them.  They are a bridge to a more perfect union with the divine order of creation. They support vibrations of perfect order, they hold the light when we feel dark.  Our energy, our vibrations can absorb and mimic that of the crystal.  They teach us lessons of sacred geometry and they give us a window into what it can feel like to be in sync with the vibrations of the universe.

Crystal Thursday- Peridot

This week I wanted to write about August’s Birthstone, Peridot.  Its happy fresh color and energizing friendly vibe certainly do conjure up the hot days of summer in my mind.

(Photo by lilbullgirl)

Peridot has been used in jewelry and healing since the time of Egypt (and probably before that) as a symbol of the sun and is associated with warmth, illumination, expansion and growth.  Peridot’s bright happy green color is aligned with the energy of abundance and with the 3rd and 4th chakras. This stone is cleansing of the aura, and energizing to the process of healing.  It can accelerate growth as it helps us face our past mistakes, release guilt and accept responsibility.  It promotes self forgiveness and acceptance which can in turn help us become open to receiving with grace. It reminds us to look toward our own higher selves for guidance and to be released from old unhealthy patterns and habits.  Peridot is a stone of moving forward, leaving guilt behind, taking the wisdom and growth that only experience can bring.

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