Finding Your Passion and Current Purpose-part 1

20180128_141816-EFFECTSHave you ever wondered what is next?  Where your path is leading?  What you will become next?  Some people work a career their entire life and then retire.  Some raise children and become entrepreneurs, like myself.  I have reinvented what I do so many times because I have so many interests but they all really dance around each other.  They are all interconnected.

I breathe in the cool morning air as the sunrise reaches rose pink across the winter sky and crows hover about.

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I lead an enchanted life of miraculous happenings, unusual animal and bird sightings, healings, and things happen to us that just do not make sense in the cookie cutter mind of our world.  This thrills me.  But there must be a reason why I see these things.  Experience these things.

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I have an influential voice.  That comes with responsibility to make sure that I am speaking and teaching what is compassionate and what is beautiful and what is real.  Before bed I ask my ancestors and friends to help me see answers to what is next.  The pictures in my dreams are always of me leading a group.  Or of me being a type of Martha Stewart with a compassionate twist.  I love creating; whether it be gardens or art or words or great food or inspiration or encouragement or a new life.

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The Universe has seemingly freed up some time for me.  I have time to do something.  I teach herbalism courses and shaman courses and I write and help with the shop and answer the apothecary phone and help people.  I’ll be on a radio show next week talking about my herbalism and plants in homesteading and promoting my book, Homesteader Pharmacy (click to see on Amazon).

There is more though.  I am on the cusp of something.  I am not just an herbalist.  Our goal is to pay off debt this year.  I want to work towards getting a farm and animal sanctuary in the future, but in the here and now….ideas swirl overhead like dust devils but don’t quite land.

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I fill my time just fine and come summer I will be really busy with gardens and wildcrafting and markets but there is just something below the surface that ties in everything that I do.  Something to give me purpose.  I have been working on a book for the past year.  I put it aside in order to write a novel.  I wrote said novel but I can’t say I am a great fiction writer.  I am a non-fiction writer.  This book keeps bobbing to the surface.  It just needs some dedication.  Writing a few hours a day has to make the to-do list.

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I know I am more than just an herbalist.  It used to consume twenty-four hours a day for me but my daughter has taken on most of the work.  Finding my other passions and moments of inspiration are what I need to ponder.  Something to tie them all together…

Now, where are you on your journey?

Winter Doldrums (staying inspired, spreading the love, great books and movies)

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This is a farmer’s time for rest and regeneration.  To allow our bodies the much needed extra time they screamed for last October.  To sit another minute in front of a sunny window, to read the books we wrote down so that we wouldn’t forget, to see the movies we missed because we couldn’t get to the theater (and renting is cheaper anyway).  We eat good, we sit longer, we find our friends that we missed in the summer!

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In the summer it’s all go-go-go!  Go to sleep, wait…get up!  Market, water, harvest, preserve, teach classes, make product, go to bed!  In the winter we have more time to think.  We learn more skills, read about new ways of doing things, think about what we want for the year.  I also have time to notice and work on emotional health and happiness.  I noticed that every time I looked at Facebook I became livid, would snap at Doug, would waste time thinking about responses.  Most people just share and post things without giving any thought to validity or seeing all sides.  They just post emotional, volatile, usually false articles and comments.  I was picking up way too much anxiety over it.  Movies would sink in more leaving me to either feel sad or stressed.  I listlessly thumbed through books then took them back to the library.  I was picking up the negativity all around me.  Even in my beautiful snow globe of a world out here, if I checked the internet, I was suddenly seething.

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We are meant to be empathetic and to understand others’ thoughts and emotions so that we may help them.  But the internet and media has opened up a whole new world of overwhelming information.  Our human bodies were never meant to take on the problems of the world.  We can barely take care of our own!  News from around the world that we have no control over, articles written from a skewed viewpoint, frustrated and complaining posts on social media, sad dramatic movies, only bad news in the press, it is enough to climb under a rock and hide!  Or snap at your husband over.

Our main source of positivity, Maryjane, our adorable and spunky granddaughter!

Our main source of positivity, Maryjane, our adorable and spunky granddaughter!

So, what can we do?  We can add more positivity into the atmosphere.  The more we add, the less negativity there is, the odds that the person you enlightened will spread it around are good, and by shutting out or buffering the negative, the more positivity can come in..

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We watched a great movie last night that I found at the library.  Based on a true story and very cheer worthy, “The Mighty Macs” was fun and enlightening.  A story about a girls basketball team, a private college, a bunch of supportive nuns, and a coach in the making, we were smiling the whole movie.

I removed a few people from my friends list on Facebook and I have more to take off.  I don’t have to read the feed either.  I can just post my blog, see what my closest are doing, and then get the heck off!  I can read inspiring information.

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I just started the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, not because I am unhappy, but because there are habits I could do to embrace more happiness.  When you are happy, it spreads.

Some things we can all do, please comment on your ideas, favorite books, movies, and inspirational materials…

1. Random acts of kindness.

My daughter was in the second hand store picking out clothes for her baby.  When she took them to the register, they were already paid for by a stranger.  For Emily, this really was an amazing gift as she doesn’t have very much money.

I don’t either but perhaps sending a homemade gift when it’s not a holiday or birthday.  Or adding a bigger tip than usual to a check.  Or sending a card.

I also love to compliment people.  I am kind of an introvert but telling someone they look lovely or that I like what they are wearing, or whatever strikes me (not making things up, but telling them what I notice) always brings a surprise smile to complete stranger’s faces.  This is important because that compliment could have negated the effect of an aggressive driver, a sick parent at home, or a fight with a spouse.  Who knows what folks are going through, just spread love.

2. Read inspiring works.

I loved Christmas at Rose Hill Farm; an Amish Love Story so much.  It had elements of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, well researched information on roses, and a beautiful story written with colorful characters and lovely prose.  That was the last book I completed.

Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie series, Under the Tuscan Sun series, anything by Jenna Woginrich, and many others top my list of favorite books.

What are books you recommend?

3. Watch inspiring films.

We recently watched “How to Train Your Dragon, 2” and loved it.  “The Mighty Macs” was great.  “Maleficent” was much better than anticipated and had a fabulous story line.  I highly recommend it.

What movies do you recommend?

What will you do today to spread more light in the world?

5 Ways to Make the New Year Better (write down yours!)

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I really enjoy my time with other homesteaders.  I find comfort in how much we have in common.  We don’t get to see our country friends too much because we are all so darn busy but now that things are settling down we’ll possibly have time for impromptu visits.  Yesterday our friend and neighbor from ten miles down the road came by to visit.  He didn’t call (country friends rarely do) and I was frazzled that the house was in such disarray.  We had the baby all day and I could either do dishes and clean or play with the baby.  I spent too many years cleaning and doing dishes while my children grew up without me playing with them so I opted to play.  She had just fallen asleep when Jim came by.  We had a nice chat in the sunny living room in front of the Christmas tree and talked about the snow coming, work slowing down for both of us, the holidays, he lost his dad and how sad he was, what medicines we were making (he was one of my students), and laundry.  Yes, laundry.  You can tell the weather out here by the clothes lines.  The day before a cold front comes in we all do our laundry so it will be dry by time the cold hits.  He had a load in the washer so couldn’t stay long.  I did too.  We had a pleasant chat and agreed to get together for cards soon.

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I am very content.  Despite the cold (which we can handle and are hoping to put in another stove) we have just the life we want out here.  As the new year approaches though I find myself pondering what I could do better, what more I want in my life, and how I want to improve as a person.  Maybe you are too.  Instead of calling these things resolutions, let’s just call them new additions (or subtractions!) from our life and make a personalized plan for success!  I have started them now.  No reason to wait.  Write these five things down on a piece of paper and start pondering them now.  They can be easily implemented throughout the next year and help you become your best self.

1. Learn Something New

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What would you like to learn in the new year?  Let’s not forget that learning goes on our whole lives and that learning new things is great for the brain, the body, and spirit.  I wanted to learn how to learn how to ride horses.  Now, I have rode dozens of horses on trails that the horse knew by heart and they were already saddled up and ready to go for fifty dollars an hour.  Or friend and family’s horses that were in a ring, and again, already to go.  I put out on social media that I would like to learn how to ride horses and was willing to barter for lessons.  I expected to learn western riding.  I would love to get a horse or two in the future (the sooner the better!) and expect to be riding western style.  But when one of my friends and past students offered me English riding lessons, I took it.  She already knows how to make medicines so I bartered for my husband.  His expertise anyway.  I let him know he was helping her design a facebook and website for her upcoming business.  He is a good sport.

You can find someone to teach you virtually anything and folks are happy to share what they know.  You will easily be able to barter or find inexpensive classes.  Or splurge and take up tap lessons or go to drawing school.  Just learn something new.

What skill would you like to learn?

2. Take Care of Your Body

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We can all do the things we love a lot easier if we feel good.  Identifying and implementing what we need to feel our best is very important and shouldn’t be put off!  We all have different needs and cannot just blindly follow the latest fad or phase.  For me, I need to change the way I eat.  A year ago, after twenty plus years of being a vegetarian, I decided to start eating meat again.  The prairie lifestyle and the organic farms around me, not to mention being out of things to cook, inspired me to try it.  It would be a more self sufficient way to eat as well since I could easily pack my freezers with friends’ harvests.  In one year, I became depressed, my face showed more wear and tear, my stomach always hurt, I had heartburn every night for the first time in my life, and I was lethargic and tired all the time.  My husband wasn’t faring much better.  His acid reflux came back, chronic congestion, and breathing issues ensued.  He gained weight and was also tired all the time.  Enough was enough.  I sold every bit of meat in the refrigerator.  We are starting our mornings with a quart of green smoothies filled with spinach, aloe vera, frozen berries and rhubarb packed away earlier in the season.  Apples, also from Aunt Donna’s, and bananas, pumpkin, spices, anything else I can find filled with antioxidants goes into the fabulous Vitamix and is already infusing our bodies with more nutrients than we have had for a long time.  The hole in my stomach is healing and I can sleep now.  All digestive ailments have gone away.  Doug is detoxing pretty harshly but will feel better soon.

Instead of buying veggie meats (I was trying to get away from them because they have so many GMO’s in them and are owned by the big companies) I am experimenting with more ethnic foods.  Dal, Curries, Mexican food, all different cuisines from other countries that don’t eat a lot of meat or have a wide variety of beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices.  We are still eating and enjoying fish.  Not only will be getting healthier again but I have opened up a whole other world of delicious recipes and foods.  I will start checking out a different cookbook each week from the library.  I can also grow most of these foods.  I will increase my bean and lentil crops this year and pack in as many vegetables into my new garden as possible!

How will you make your body work better?

3. Take Care of Emotions

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Our bodies are made up of emotions, spirit, and physical and they all need to be working well because they effect the rest of the systems.  I avoid the news like the plague.  No news is good news.  But social media bothers me as well.  I enjoy getting onto Facebook and seeing what my friends are up to or seeing pictures of my kids and granddaughter, but then there comes a point where I have to stop.  Folks posting pictures of abused and neglected animals out in the snow, and posts of what Monsanto is doing, and what our government is doing, or complaints about various ailments, and this and that, I just can’t take it all in and process it without feeling saddened.  Check it in the mornings while I am writing and returning emails then leave it.

How will you seek emotional health?

4. Take Care of Spirit

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I love church, I really do.  I find myself making it way too difficult.  I do not like legalistic and superior feeling folks.  I love the Catholic church, but stupid as it sounds, I cannot get down the new prayers and sayings and need to get the new booklet on the changes.  I yell out the wrong thing.  I also would need to meet all new people.  I just want to go, sit in the back, and pray.  I don’t want to be a part of a community.  I am always disappointed in church communities when I do.  I know I am expecting too much.  I love the gathering every other Sunday downtown with my American Indian friends called Talking Circle.  It is two hours from my house though.  We pick up the baby at 11.  So I don’t have time (so I say) to go to any of them!  Excuses, excuses.  What do I want?  Go to Saturday evening mass, pick up the baby early and drive to Denver and go to Talking Circle and make a day in the city of it, or just go for a long walk and pray.  There are many ways to connect to the Creator.  Put it on my schedule and do it.

5. List What Makes You Happy

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These are the things we need to do more of.  We so often say at the beginning of the year, no more of this!  No more of that!  Change this!  Change that!  How about add this and that?  It will make all the difference.  For me, I love being home more.  I do not like running errands and driving all over all the time.  We have one more week of craft shows.  I love just staying at home and working on my homestead.  I love taking walks and being in nature.  I love writing.  I love reading magazines on the porch.  I love being around my kids and around sweet Maryjane Rose.  These are the types of things I should do more of.

Now write down yours!

From our farm to yours…wishing you a beautiful and prosperous year to come filled with good health and joy and many, many great memories!  Feel free to respond with your goals for the new year.  Let’s not wait until the 1st to feel great!