Permission to Let Go (a poem)

And then

All of a sudden

She found herself quite tired

So she sat down.

Why all the madness?

she thought to herself.

Do I do so much just to keep busy?

Do I do so much so I haven’t time to think?

What do I fear if I have time to think?

I might find peace.

Do I need to give myself permission to let it go?

Have I convinced myself that the only way is this way?

Is there more I have yet to discover because I keep looking back?

Keep walking back

Keep turning around and heading back

Do I keep looking ahead into the fog and muttering

what if?

There was nothing but time, of course

and a comfortable chair and a lovely steeping tea

a good book and a cat curled up on her lap.

There were pasts to leave behind and old memories and old habits and old

And there were futures and memories and friends and children and laughter

and everything that seemed so imperative just kind of drifted away

For she was quite tired, you see.

So she sat down to rest.  and the birds sang.  and the sun shone.  and life went on.

The Secret Power of Gratitude

20171031_182428This is the time of year that we speak of gratitude.  Gratitude is a secret ingredient to a happy and content life.  Even if it seems like not one more thing could go wrong, simply sitting still with a cup of tea, the sun on one’s face, or even just with eyes closed, thinking of the things we are really grateful for changes the energy around us.  We exhale.  We smile.  We know it’s going to be alright.

20171012_111725Fear is the opposite of gratitude.  Fear is based on losing something.  If we just flip the wheel and see the things we do have, we can change our attitude, therefore our perception, therefore our life, and the feeling is contagious.

20171022_134338Every day for the next three weeks consciously do something to encourage gratitude.  Some ideas might be:

Call a relative you would like to visit with.

Make a huge pot of soup and invite neighbors or friends over.

Drink a green juice to help heal your body.

Write a poem about the sunrise.

Compliment a stranger.

Do something towards a dream or goal you have.

Put some money in a coffee can and start an emergency fund at home, little by little.

Do a twenty minute yoga video.

Meditate quietly on all the things you love about yourself.  About your life.  About your circumstances.  Allow yourself to grieve and then watch the grief fly off on an imaginary butterfly.  Allow peace to come back into your heart.  Smile.

Walk in nature.  Really, this does wonders!  Walk around the block even.  Get out and be near Mother Earth and the great vast sky, and the trees.  Laugh at squirrels.  Listen to your footsteps.

Write a letter, hug your loved ones, eat nourishing food, breathe deeply, watch the sunrise and sunset, turn off the news, stretch, smile, live.  Gratitude for our health, our loved ones, our life, our experiences, our time with those passed, food, shelter, clothing, animals, friends, candlelight, joy….all these things remember.

20171011_124929Whisper “thank you” often.

I am thankful for my readers.

Life with Squirrels

 

squirrelWe have never been known to have underfed animals, and that goes for wildlife too.  Where most folks purchase squirrel proof feeders and shoo them away, we set out welcome signs.  We have a long history with squirrels.

It started with me as a child and teenager at the park feeding them and talking with them.  I didn’t think it strange, I still believed everyone spoke to animals.  Our first home we had together in Parker had a lot of squirrels, one particular was named Pierre, and he had a large bowl that we kept on the table in the back yard filled with bird seed and squirrel food.  The birds could still get to it and we didn’t have to mess with feeders.  One time we heard him yelling so we looked out our window.  There he was with his empty bowl.  He caught sight of us, showed us the empty bowl, then threw it on the ground.  Yes, squirrels are not much better than toddlers, I am afraid.

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We moved to Elbert county, and to our surprise found that there were hardly any squirrels!  We had one that visited us on the porch in the mornings as we had our coffee when we lived in Elizabeth.  His name was Pedro.  When we moved to Kiowa, there were even less!  We were delighted when we noted the squirrel nest in the tree near the road.  Unfortunately one baby fell out of the nest.  I carried him in my shirt tending to him, trying to bring him back to health.  But, I fear he had too much internal damage.  As I gently held him on my lap swinging in the back yard he had a seizure, scared me so that I tossed him.  I felt so bad, I held him close to me again crying as he passed into the next world.

You may have noticed we are not particularly scared of rabies.  Rabies is one of those rampant fears that is actually quite rare in reality.  No one seems to be scared of dogs and cats or people.  They could all be carriers!

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A few months back Shyanne brought to the shop a squirrel that she had rescued from the street.  We didn’t think he would live the night.  His held was tilted to one side and he made slow circles when he tried to walk.  We thought it was spinal, but began to believe it was neurological.  Every day without fail, the squirrel allowed Shyanne to give him his medicine.  We make very good animal medicines, and he received his twice daily doses of Arthritis and Anti-Parasite.  He took to us rather well, particularly Shyanne.  She could be seen out on her smoke break in the back with a squirrel playing at her feet.  Every day he wandered further and further, she would just call him and he came prancing back to her, gaining strength each day.

Soon he was well and we knew it was time to release him as he looked at us as captors instead of friends.  Shyanne drove him to a nearby state park and released him.  She sat on a rock watching as he climbed a tree, came back to her, climbed a tree, fell out, climbed a tree, looked at her with thanks, and was gone.  Through tears she made her way back to her car.

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Healing animals is one of our favorite aspects of our work.  We are glad that we did not raise our children to fear animals.  We adore these creatures that share the earth with us and they have made our lives so much lovelier, even the wild ones.

On our new homestead here, there are two rather fat squirrels that have been working very hard, despite the black birds, to build a nest in a hole in the tree outside our kitchen window.  We leave them bits of toast and greet them.  Perhaps we will have some young ones scampering around the yard and house.  I better get a bigger bowl.

Embracing Your Wild True Self

Today  is usually when I write about farming.  I will write about it tomorrow.  For this blog and lines of prose are written from my soul and much as a diary.  I am not afraid that the world knows about our ups and downs, about our work, our life, our children.  I write because every cell in my body prompts me to do so after half a cup of coffee.  If my words speak to someone then it was the day to write those words.  Today is not a day to write about watering more.  That can wait until tomorrow, for there is more on my heart today than hoses and rabbits eating the peas.

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No, today we are standing tall, pushing our chins up a bit higher, and embracing the miraculous gift of self.  And the bravery it takes to step out of the mainstream expectations of peers, friends, and society to really become one’s true self.

There will always be biting tongues when you decide to enter your own, to fulfill your destiny, for the mirrors of what could have been reflect and others get defensive.  People hide in their religions and contain themselves in their caves of denial and fear, or regret, and if someone is not just as they are, they must be working for the other side or must be unstable.

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Goodness, how does anyone ever get the nerve to stand up and embrace their destiny, their unexplainable gifts, their sides of enchantment and wild when there is someone in their family or friends ready to snap them back down to their cubicle, church pew, and norm?  This is detrimental to a soul that is traversing this land during this life with really only a handful of minutes finding and discovering their true essence, discovering frequencies above the norm, and seeing the immense beauty in the world that is unexplainable, magical, and beautiful.  Let folks be.  Embrace your own magic.

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There is great harm in not letting someone become their own true self.  There will be work undone, people and animals not helped, blind eyes turned.  But, one cannot convince another to open their eyes, their minds, or their hearts.  I can only speak to those of you that need courage to embrace and become your powerful and gifted self.  Creator by any other name is still Creator.  We are created to be so much more than destructive forces saving souls while killing spirits.

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When you decide to stand up and show your true colors, when you decide to accept your gifts to benefit mankind and the natural world, when you decide that you are pretty incredible, there will be those that do not understand your work.  They cannot fathom what you do.  They cannot see why you are different.  It doesn’t matter.  Stand tall and choose your tribe wisely.  This means that there will be family who are detrimental to your peace and will affect your work.  Release them.  Friends must be friends that accept you for who you are.  If not release them.  Even if you are left with five people, they are your tribe, your helpers in this life, the ones that allow you to be your true self.  We should no longer be afraid of what people think.

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Stand tall.  Embrace your true calling.  When you are doing the work that you were intended to do, every door will open so that you can be your highest self.  The world is really quite enchanting, today notice a few more things you didn’t before…and stand strong.  You are amazing.

 

 

 

Fear and the Map to Your Destiny

The scariest emotion is fear.  Fear drives many religions, fear of loss keeps one trapped, fears can dominate and change our lives, can make us ugly or can keep us from doing what we dream of.  And that is a travesty.

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Dreams are put in our hearts by no accident.  Each thing we find passion for leads us to an outlet.  An outlet to live our life true and fulfilled.  The only thing really keeping us from those dreams and true life is fear.

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I stood before a great many people last year at the Sustainability Fair speaking about manifesting one’s dreams.  How to have no fear and jump ship.  I have written about how to manifest one’s dreams on this blog for years.  I, myself, have manifested many a vision.  I have also lost.

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So, I will admit that for a time I felt like everything I ever spoke about or wrote about or said was complete hog wash.  Indeed, I regret selling Garden Fairy Apothecary for $500 to my friend on a whim.  But I don’t miss the company, I needed a break to come up with better and different formulas, to spend some time learning from others, to spend some time developing, creating, figuring out my path and that allowed me to do so.  I am in love with White Wolf Medicine, and walking away from my last business allowed it to manifest.  But I do regret selling Garden Fairy to a friend.  Because even though she and her friend aren’t promoting it and haven’t done anything with it, they feel betrayed, and that makes me feel bad.  But, I don’t regret moving forward with my vision because it illuminated this new apothecary that I love.

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Every time one loses something, blessings and rebuilding ensue.  Losing so many possessions only served to lighten our load for the journey.  Taking away our farm dream only protected us from the obnoxious, larger than life, windmills that came up across the street and the fearful, unfriendly landlords.  All these experiences only narrow down exactly what we desire.  A light filled small home of our own.  A bit of land.  Towns to do farmers markets in and perhaps open another shop in the future.  A dream we had a long time ago and again and again.  We are busy painting our canvas what colors and whimsy we wish so that our dream will unfold as such.  The flip side of it is that we help and help heal and we have a great gift to offer no matter where we roam.  Our dreams are leading us somewhere where we are needed.  Perhaps right where we are, perhaps down the road a bit.

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Waiting until the “right time” only serves to delay the dream.  Jobs end, money is never guaranteed, paths change, people pass.  Grandma said you have to put a deadline on dreams.  Otherwise it might be too late.

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This life is so beautiful.  Do not let fear keep you from manifesting your dreams.  You are needed in this world and your dreams are your map to fulfilling your greatest endeavors and helping the world.

Freedom or Fear? (what to do when everything changes)

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There are no laws saying that one can’t lose their farm in June.  It seems that one should be able to move in winter so to avoid missing even one precious day of the growing season, but that is not always the case.  Our plans, goals, and dreams could be coming together in one incredibly synchronized song only to have the universe shake things up a bit.  Nothing is permanent.  Death, job loss, or home loss could change everything.  Or a letter.  We lost our home and our job in one swift typing of words.  One couple had the power to crush what we were building.

We took a risk and spent almost all of our money on the wood stove so we wouldn’t freeze again this winter, and in advertising to build this farm and homestead.  We have school groups scheduled, classes filling up, events that folks are excited about.  I felt like this was really going to work.  But I should know that even if you manifest something it doesn’t mean that it is a given to stay.  Nothing is permanent.

I knew something was coming.  There have been many signs that a farm and family here is not what they had envisioned after all.  By simply doubling the rent, they made a fine statement.  It is their property and they have the right to do so.  We could get desperate or angry.  We could panic.  We could feel like martyrs in the great world of small farmers trying to make it.  But, then we wouldn’t see the opportunities that the universe is obviously bringing forth.  Nature provides everything we need.  I am not afraid.

These are the possible scenarios and choices that we have:

1. If anyone could change someone’s mind, it’s Doug.  He is the most well-liked person I know.  Everyone loves Doug.  He wrote a letter back.  I, personally, cannot see it changing their minds, but you never know.  Well, I kind of know.

2. We miraculously (which is our middle names sometimes) find a farm this very week and get the gardens moved, get moved, and classes just get moved.

3. We find that piece of property someone will let us homestead, finance a shed and move on in.

4. We update our resumes, give up on all this simple living, and head back to suburbia and jobs.  Or jail.  You may as well send us to jail.

5. We sell everything we own.  Head out driving across the country.  Travel like we always wanted to do.  Go visit friends, family, fellow bloggers, and farms along the way.  We will document life on small farms across this beautiful country on our blog.  See how other people live.  Meet new friends, get inspired, find out what our next move is, write, be a couple, see the stars.

If the universe sent in a strong ripple that upset your entire life, lifestyle, plans, goals, and dreams, what would be your next move?  Would you be brave and pursue something that could really impact your life?  Or would you play it safe?  What would you do?

Daily Bits of Happiness, Added Silliness, and If You Had No Fear…What Would Your Life Look Like?

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More and more of my to-do lists include things that will make me happy.  Instead of working myself to death over say, dishes, I want to include more day to day activities that bring a smile to my face.  Like smelling the orange blossoms in my window.

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My daughter gave me this journal a few days ago.  I love its cork-like cover and its simple but profound words.

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Do one thing every day that makes you happy.  Enjoy a cocktail on the porch watching the sunset.  Read a great book.  Be with the ones you love.  Take a walk.  Indulge in a bit of chocolate.  Dream big.

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We have done a great job of creating a life here that brings us profound happiness.  There are horses and mules that come to greet me at the fence line in the evenings.  There is peace and quiet and good water and sustenance to be had here.  It is spiritual medicine out here.  We live great and we help people for a living.  We spend a lot of time together and we get to be near our granddaughter often.  We talk to our children often.  We live a great and happy life.

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I have worked hard to incorporate more silliness into my day to day.  It does not come naturally to me!  I was the oldest.  I have always been responsible.  I am more serious than silly.  My husband is the ultimate goofy person.  Lord, if he needed another job a comedian would be suitable.  He is a happy-go-lucky man and it rubs off on me.  Laughing and silliness should be a part of our day to day.

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I may be forty years old, but I have lived through much more.  I realize that life is whatever you make it.  This journey is to be taken lightly!  We are to love the Creator and our fellow creatures that share this Earth with us.  We are meant to be happy.

The passions that are put in our hearts are there for a reason.  A bit of a guide map, if you will.  What do you dream of?  What do you want to accomplish and do?  How can you get to that point?  If you had no fear, what would you do?  It’s scary just saying it.  Maybe it is skydiving or something like moving to Brazil.

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If I had no fear…

I would sell my Apothecary.  There, I said it.  I don’t utter it because I don’t want folks to think that I am not putting as much effort into it.  My recipes are amazing.  And I believe that my medicine is the best out there.  I really do.  I think it is stronger than pharmaceuticals.  I feel blessed that we have been able to help virtually thousands and thousands of people around the world over the years.  That was my calling and I achieved that.  But new whispers are being quieted in my spirit.

If I had no fear I would sell my apothecary, my recipes, my name, my website, and I would teach the buyer everything they need to know to pick up where we are right now and run with it.  We have a huge client base.  Doug looks terrified when I say these things.  How will we make a living?

I don’t know but I know that I want to farm.  I want to throw myself into farming.  And teaching.  I love teaching!  I want to keep my Herbalist School and my Homesteading School.  If we got enough to live for a year or two from the sale (this hypothetical sale…do people even buy businesses anymore?) we would have enough. We could see where the Creator leads us.  I think there is something around the corner.  It’s exciting and terrifying and often seems completely preposterous.  But so did closing my dance company to become an herbalist.

A few things come to mind…when I wake up I am not excited to make medicine and fill orders anymore.  I am excited to get outdoors, to be in the soil, to teach students, to share my enthusiasm, to grow fresh food.

And while we’re at it, I want to publish a book.

Alright, now it’s your turn.  How will you add some silliness to your day?  What will you do today that makes you happy?  And if you had to fear…what would you do?

The Life of a Healer- Part 3 (the darkest hour always passes)

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The fire didn’t catch and the raging husband grew bored and went to break other things.  He would regularly destroy Wildflower’s things, her paintings, writings, photographs, anything within reach.  During this time Wildflower was very confused, for she had never experienced anything like this and it all seemed quite odd to her.  Abuse is when someone hits you, right?  This was not like that.  It seldom is, she would later learn.  It almost always starts with signs of anger, lowering the victim’s self-esteem, estranging her from family, calling names, throwing things, yelling in their face…and then it escalates.  Wildflower got through those particular few months while she was pregnant with her baby girl by praying fervently.

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She remembered the year before when she was at a church and her asthma had been healed.  She had been working for an animal shelter and was taught incorrectly when mixing chemicals to clean and a horrid case of chemical asthma ensued.  The company did not tell her about workman’s compensation and was pleased when she decided to give up the job because she couldn’t breathe.  Many trips to the hospital, nights trying to catch her breath, she now found herself sitting in that church, unbeknownst to her of what would occur, the pastor began naming off people and ailments and even though he didn’t speak to her, she could feel her lungs healing and from then on the asthma was gone.  She often wondered why God had chosen to heal her twice of horrible ailments.

During those dark hours, locked in a bedroom, locked out in the snow with her son, dodging things being thrown at her, wondering why he was so angry at her, wondering what she had done, she listened to tapes from that church and in a month or so he went into a nice phase.  This happens quite often too, she later learned, there is always a make up phase.  Roses, apologies, will never happen again.  When couples that had been married a long time would tell Wildflower, “We have been through some tough times but we made it!” she thought they meant what she was going through.  Half of her family had already been isolated by the raging husband and the other half didn’t believe her.  She no longer had any friends.  Only her little boy, who meant everything to her.

During the nice phase the little girl with the big blue eyes was born and then another.  A little red head.  Beautiful as the other two.  The raging husband and the doctor decided that Wildflower was having too many children and she was wheeled into an operating room after giving birth to the red head and was no longer able to have children.  She didn’t feel like she had a choice.

Over the next few years Wildflower lost her identity.  She loved modeling and was very successful after the little red head was born.  But after awhile she opened her own company and struggled to make it work.  The raging husband saw that several of the models were exotic dancers.  They made several hundred dollars a night and he decided Wildflower should do that, just once so that they could get caught up on bills.  Just once.  She did not want to go but he told her it would be her fault if they ended up losing everything.  Just once turned into three years as every time she tried to quit, his tyrannical rages and guilt trips convinced her to stay.

There were bright lights in this time though.  One was her cousin, Faith, who began dancing with her.  It became a game.  They put on fake eyelashes and hair extensions.  Lots of beautiful makeup and pretty clothes, and since they were both real dancers, would make it a real show and have fun.  They both acted like ladies and did not do anything that would be considered in bad taste (except, perhaps, the dancing!).  Wildflower spent most of the time each evening listening.  Most of the people that were there were widows, divorcees, older gentleman who just wanted someone to talk to.  Wildflower learned to listen and console.  Her job became listening to and comforting the lonely.

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Over those years at the house of the raging husband, unbeknownst to everyone else, there was terrible unrest.  Wildflower was so fearful of losing her children and animals if anyone learned what was going on.  She lied to the veterinarian.  She said that her cat had fallen out of a window by accident because she was afraid if the vet found out that he had been thrown down the stairs and had his leg broken she would arrange to take all of her animals away.  Cats were being thrown against walls.  Wildflower’s beloved childhood cat often hurt.  Dogs hurt.  Horrible names were replacing Wildflower’s name.  Rapes.  Volatile outbursts.  And worst of all, silence.  After a day in the hospital following a particularly harsh fight, after her head had been repeatedly slammed into a headboard and her arm twisted around her body until she was certain it would snap, she called the police.  Her only thought was escape… but could she?

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