Power of Myth

We’ve been in Alabama for a week now.  Its a whole different world here compared to the alternate universe that where we live.  One of the most shocking experiences for me is watching T.V.  Something that is not a big part of my life normally. 

I am surprised by how different my viewpoint of life, and of who we are as a people, a culture and a nation are as compared to who we are told we are on T.V.  In my world view, we are powerful creators bringing to Earth the majesty of Heaven.  We are worthy of worshipping the ground we walk on(and the ground we walk on is worthy of worship in its  own right).  We are people with hope, vision, and motivation.  We are crazy blessed with the best food on the planet and the power to cultivate strength in our bodies and minds.  Our Earth has given us everything we have ever had and have ever needed, and still does in spite of everything.  There is truly nothing we need outside of ourselves beside the love and support of one another.  We are harmonious and considerate, and working toward an ideal of tolerance and uncompromising compassion for each other, and a gentle and grateful relationship to Mother Earth.     We have the power to actualize utopia on this planet and then dance the night away in celebration of ourselves and each other.

However, according to television, we are in serious danger.   The threat of terrorists, gangbangers, liberals, bacteria, drunks, loss, dirty dishes, fashion police, wrinkles and fat are lurking around every corner and we cannot be happy until we have thrown money at every single problem.  The solution to these and many more threats is on sale 30% off the day after Thanksgiving or available as a perscription from your Doctor.  The good life is lived in a large beige house in front of  a screen. No need to leave your house whatsoever, because as we know it is a dangerous world outside and electronic products have cut out the pesky nessesity of the great outdoors.  One can play golf, go running, dance, and read thier baby a bedtime story on a screen.    Any discomfort in your life (and boy there really IS a whole lot to complain about!) can be solved by buying something, except of course for the threat of terrorists. Not only will buying things sove all of your problems, but it is also the greatest joy that life has to offer as well.  The more you buy, the better and safer your life will be. 

I don’t expect too much of T’V but I am surprised by the story it is telling.  Many people live in fear of things that don’t have very much actual realistic threat.  (odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 25 million, odds of getting struck by lightning 1 in 500,00) I wonder how many people are letting T’V tell them the story of thier world, especially when the actual day to day reality doesn’t exactly match up.  That is the real threat.  To remain powerless, afraid, disconnected, and moderately entertained by a bunch of crazy strangers (and these people are seriously insane!).  To let ones values be set by a false truth out of alignment with the laws of nature.  I hope we wake up, that we see that we have the power of our own myths, and the power to paint our own picture, and to create our own truths. 

 “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”


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!!!

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

You know those moments where someone says something and you respond only to walk away and think of all the other responses you should have said that would have been so much better?

Well of course you do we all have those moments, only I had a cyber version of one of those moments yesterday.

See I was entering in this giveaway for this seriously awesome e-book session thingy that I know will change my life forever and being the eager hasty me that I am I rapidly filled out my answers and then pushed post.  Shit.  Why couldn’t I have waited?!?!

So I decided if only for my own silly self-gratification I’d like to answer again please.  Right here cuz its my blog and I can do what I want to.

Your Name:Amanda Higgins
twitter: don’t

a) Give us a quote that explains how you see life.

Leap and the net will appear (I stand by that one! 🙂
b) What’s wrong with the world?

c) What does the world need more of?

bare feet and gardens
d) What’s one great businesses idea you wished you thought of?

Still Etsy
e) Name 3 people you admire and 1 word on each of them to describe why.

My Man, honesty, My grandpa, subtlety, My daughter, heavenly
f) What’s your cocktail line?

I live a gorgeous life with gratitude.  I’m a Mama, ceramic artist, writer.

g) What does/will your business bring to the world?

Inspiration bulging with love.

h) What problem do you solve for people?

i) What are your current or intended revenue streams?

Currently crystals, intended? I think the possibilities are endless.
j) What did you used to believe that you now think is silly?

(Same answer) That what others think define me.  I know now that I define me.
k) What’s your biggest entrepreneurial obstacle, and how will The FSS help you turn it to ashes?

Lack of focus and self-confidence,  It will help me dive into the depths of my soul and return with some nuggets of gold.
l) What chapter in The FSS do you want to read first?

Identity and Branding
m) For you, what word is interchangeable with “success”?

n) What’s one business question you’d like to ask me?

How to balance being a Mama and being a business.

So there you go.  Do I feel better? Hmm just kind of.  Woulda coulda shoulda.

Tour of Artworks

I have been wanting a post of art pieces all compiled into one place.  Mostly for reasons of personal creative perspective.  I have heard at some point in time a saying about knowing where you are going by seeing where you’ve been.  So, I thought we could all take a tour of some (just some) of the artworks created in the last couple of years.  Its funny because I don’t consider the last couple of years to be a time of huge productivity in the art department of life, but apparently some things did get made.

A fairly old painting that marked the end of my wild scribbling with paint era.  This painting was informally titled “The Vagina”  Looking at it now I believe its may be upside down.  Actually, I could never decide which direction it should hang.

A bird.  Watercolor and marker.

A collection of tiny vases and fairy houses.  At first glance these appear to be successful pieces, but in fact they were all a part of a tragic kiln accident in which the temperature was held too high for too long.  Every single piece fired in the kiln (and its a big kiln, this was months of work) was melted to the shelves, and subsequently ruined.  But everything is a blessing, and this was a vivid lesson.  I payed a mighty tuition that day to the gods of the kiln.  I also now have an excellent and highly experienced mentor to hold my hand through sacred kiln firing.Some fun sketches.  Paper-dancing, I like to call it.

A petal?  Or an updated version of La Vajeena?  (the j is silent)  Created in my recent wildly goddess phase, that I’m still in.  Though the phase has morphed into an angel/insect phase, photos coming soon, and boy I bet you can’t wait!!

These two are paintings I made while sitting my big ole pregnant butt on the couch waiting for my baby to be born.  Its a little wild how the feel of them is so very different from each other yet the subject matter is essentially the same.  Also funny how I never noticed the similarity until now!  The pictures remind me of the tarot card “The Hanged Man”  how fitting that is for being pregnant, surrendering to a situation one cannot change or get out of.

And here is one of the first things I made after Cora was born.  Back in the days when she would sleep for about 22 hours a day.  It wasn’t long before she didn’t sleep all day long and she needed her mama all day long.  But I also know thanks to the bagillion people who remind me constantly that her needing me all day long goes by too fast as well. Before I know it she and I will both be enjoying clay time!  (and do already thought she has a slightly shorter attention span for it than I do.)

“Ode to the Squash Blossom”   Oh how those beauties made my heart soar this summer.  I made this painting recently.  And it makes me wonder why I keep trying to paint in acrylics when I so clearly am much more at home with the whole watercolor/ marker combo.  But I just keep trying.

And anywhooo… these days, weeks, months have really been all about the ceramics studio.  Very soon I’ll have a whole bunch of pictures to post here all about it.  In the meantime, a couple of sneak peaks…

Being Real

Soemtimes there is just so much to say.  I just don’t know where to start.

I am deciding to start with being real.

I wish I could say that this week has been a week of prolific creation, and in some regards it has.  But mostly it has been a week of me taking care of my family.  Holding my baby who is teething with an early autumn cold. And teething almost the very last of her baby teeth.

I’ve been taking care of a counter full of vegetables that I am very much committed to fully honoring.  They have been sliced and diced, cooked or baked and frozen.  Now I have a frezzer full of ready made cassoroles, breads, and soup.  As well as a few jars of raw pickles.   And man does that feel good.

My house is getting the attention that a house gets when the Mommy isn’t wearing side blinders in order to guiltlessly escape chores to get into the ceramics studio to make stuff.  This week I have been dilligently staying on top of the messes, the laundry pile.  Our bed is getting made.

On the flip side I wonder if I’m avoiding my studio and my creativity because last week I made a successful creative leap and I want to live up to the last peice and I don’t know if I can do it again.

or maybe I just need a break?  Or I just need to let up on myself and realize that I am a woman balancing all of the dream come trues of my present moment, with the dreams I am so excited to make come true.

There are mountains of projects and piles of dreams and ambitions longing to live outside of my being, that only have a fighting chance of being realized during an hour and a half at naptime, or after 9.

And instead of tackling those mountains, I retreat to the garden, because the days when I can do so without shoes on are numbered and I love to hear the buzz of the bugs all excited after its been watered.  They are my people.  It is my steady place against which I can compare the days to each other and notice that the air and energy is completely shifting, and so are the animals.  I get to observe slow things, like the leaves on the cucumber vine are beginning to brown on the edges and it is now in the shade earlier in the day than it was before.

I love being in the garden.  I am replenished there.  Nourished, and fed by those plants in so many ways.

And I suppose that that is just as important as the work in my studio, and my projects and dreams and ambitions.  So these days I’m enjoy my garden while the season lasts.  And being present for my baby while she’s still little.

Welcome Home

Its been two months since we’ve moved into our new home.  I thought it was about time to take a tour!!

This is our kitchen.  It is as clean as it will ever be, which is what made me grab my camera and capturing a rare moment when our home is mostly clean.

This is mys special reading and writing corner 🙂  Complete with original artworks, happy house plants, oracle cards, and of course a whole bunch of crystals, oh and books.

Our living room and painting studio.

Le Bathroom… our place for quiet serenity and daily soulful nourishment.

Our bedroom. or at least one side of it.

And the other side.

And of course……My Studio!!!!  This room has been getting a great deal of time and attention from me these past couple of weeks.

This is Todd’s side of the studio.

So there you have it, the inside of our new home.  It is honestly one of my favorite places I have ever lived.    I love how the spaces are supporting a lifestyle that I’ve always wanted.  My studio is right off the family room and so its very easy to just pop out there and steal a few moments.  Me and Cora are spending so much time basking in the glorious outdoor spaces here, petting horses and feeding chickens.  The garden is our daily classroom along with the kitchen.  We spend our days picking vegetables, and making food.

This blue plastic lawn chair sitting in the garden is my absolute favorite place in the whole world.

And these are some of our new friends.

Love the Infinite

The Greatest Power in the Universe + Infinite Supply = LOVE

Life is just so overwhelmingly gorgeous sometimes, you know?  And sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what exactly to say about it all.

Our days right now are consumed with enjoying every last drop of summer while it lasts, long steep walks and gorgeous views with friends, precious moments with a precious little girl (always!), a whole lotta clay throwing (yay for me!!, and the most beautiful and divine cucumber vine that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

P.s.  AND I got a new camera!!!!!

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..

Be Generous

If I were to offer baby parenting advise to anyone (and I probably wouldn’t, but this is my blog, I’ll say what I want to)  It would be this…

Give all of yourself.  Give every last morsel and every last crumb of love that you can find and then crawl around on your hands and knees, and find some more.  Be a total fool in loving your baby, give her all of you.  Trust her voice.  Listen to her grunts and grimaces.  Hold her when she cries, even if you cannot stop the crying, just to tell her that you will always hold her when she cries. Don’t be suspicious when she needs you.  Don’t ask questions about why your baby needs your love and patience all the time, day and night.  Just give it.  And then give some more.  Let your baby tell you exactly what she needs.  Tell her you’re listening.  Let your baby find out exactly how to get what she wants from you. Let her know that all she has to do is ask.

People have said that if one gives a baby everything she asks for then she will know how to manipulate you for the things she wants.  The exact opposite is the case.  If you give her everything she asks for (within the realistic confines of health and safety and um reality),  She will know that in order to have her needs met, all she has to do is ask.  Communication is simple.  Straightforward.

If she is not listened  and responded to she will have to get creative.  She will out of necessity be forced to manipulate in order to have her needs be met.  Communication becomes complicated.  Life already offers many opportunities for her to learn that she doesn’t always get her way.  Why create more of them?

Trust your baby, trust her body, trust her voice.  In turn your baby will trust you.

Be Generous.

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