The Good Life Map

Isn’t life interesting?  How it changes and ebbs and flows from one experience to another?  Always opening doors to dreams and lessons and then moving us through to the next bend.  It all can be breathtakingly beautiful in its innate simplicity and flow.

I went for a job interview yesterday.  I got it, but realized that I really do not want to go back to working the same old things I have done off and on since I was sixteen.  I gave my apothecary to my daughter, Shyanne.  Yes, I am tired of expensive printers, and labels, and sales taxes, and such but I gave it to her because I can think of no better gift to give her than a career and a set business.

“I don’t know what I can do.  I need to do something!” I mentioned to a friend over coffee about jobs.  “You can always teach,” was her reply.

I had said (oh, how many times have I said things and then changed my mind?!) that I didn’t want to teach anymore.  Why?  Because my classes are three months long!  It then occurred to me that I made that up, I can change it!  Ha!  We forget our own power of decision.  I will be teaching a six week Certified Herbalist Course.  I’ll start each week with tea, a bit of ceremony and camaraderie.  They will learn all the important things they need.  Ditch the text book.  Teach them real herbalism.  Make it less expensive so it can help more people.  And it helps me.

We often forget the power of decisions.  We can manifest anything we wish, but we are also at the mercy of fate.  So, make simple changes to make your life better, and breathe.  Your gifts are your map to your good life.

As the Owls Looked On (and teas to help heal the spirit)

 

Spirit Journal CoverThe five owls perched overhead near me each morning as I wrote, prayed, cried, and did yoga.  The temporary farm we were on last summer was a beautiful place.  I knew we were about to lose everything and the dread of what was going to happen next and the scrambling for some semblance of sanity and organized planning to move forward tangled with each other in that open field as I sat cross legged in the early morning sun peering across the acres of unscathed plains, my eyes taking in the sight of watercolor mountain tops still touched by snow across the horizon.  The owls looked on.  Directly at me.  Their messages clear and soothing.  Change was coming, but it would be for the best.

During that time I jotted down each little message that came to me.  Different plants came to mind to be made into teas.  I knew the spiritual use for some of them like roses-love, hawthorn-heals a broken heart, but some of the herbs that came to mind I did not know the meaning of and looked them up to find that they had a perfect place in each tea blend.  After I wrote, meditated, and listened, I went into the old farm kitchen and made a large mug of tea using those herbs for the day.  I would feel my strength return.  I did this for twelve days.

Eight months later the pieces fell together in one seamless layout.  In one day the book was completed.  A twelve day journal that discusses spirit animals and chakras, highlights a word to meditate on, a quote, a writing prompt, a gratitude section, a place to jot down other healthful habits, places to write and dream, and a spiritual tea blend.  I carefully hand blended each tea in each tea bag and placed them all in a pretty cellophane bag, one for each book that was printed.  It took days but I knew that this journal and the healing teas with them would help others just as it had me.

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The cover of the book is a photograph of one of the owls that stayed near me during my time on that farm while this book was creating itself.  This was one of the infant horned owls that looked on.  My daughter, Emily, stayed up in a tree for some time waiting to capture this shot.  It serves as a reminder that we are not alone and that everything in the universe works together to help us on our journey.

“White Wolf’s Spirit Journal; Twelve Days of Balancing, Healing, and Energizing the Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Self” is only $25 plus shipping.  Call to order-(303)617-3370 or send a check to White Wolf Medicine, P.O.Box 2012, Elizabeth, CO 80107 for $35 to order.  Better yet, come into my shop, have a cup of tea, and pick one up!

 

 

 

 

Saving the Ice Cream Maker (and dreams of adobes and cabins)

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Have you ever wondered what you would take if you had to leave your home?  Photographs seem to top the list and yes, I did grab three boxes of mine.  The other items now that I stand back and look made me laugh.  Granted I have been in a fog lately but my priorities must have come through anyway.  The highlight of my stash is as follows.  I grabbed the pottery pieces that my children have made for me over the years.  I packed a select number of books.  And the ice cream maker.  Seriously?  I grabbed the ice cream maker?

Jill gifted me with some milk yesterday if I goatsit for an hour tomorrow and my friend, Diana, gave me some farm fresh eggs so I will make some ice cream.  That might fix everything.

Another friend who lost everything in a fire aptly said that you find out that things do not make up who you are.  They do not define us.  My style represented me, gave glimpses of my personality, but are not what me and Doug are about.

I am a homemaker though.  That is my favorite job.  Taking care of my kids and now granddaughter, fixing supper, working in the garden, making sure the house is clean, mending, canning, day dreaming on the porch all bring me joy.  So, understandably I have swirls of possible houses and dreams of cabins and adobes and porches running through my mind.  Then I’ll think, ‘Oh crap!  I don’t have anything to put in the house (save for some fine art deco, books, photos, and an ice cream maker).’

I cannot imagine how this will all unfold.  How the heck will we get our own place?  But I know when that mystery unfolds then the things to fill a home will follow easily.  I had to give away so much for free that I know that there are ways to get things for a low price.  I don’t know why I ever bought new.  I will make sure that I do not accumulate as much stuff.  Lord, where does all our stuff come from?!  I think my new style will be Quaker style.  Of course there will be things that I miss but part of me is the slightest bit relieved to be free of so many items to care for.

I am, as usual, ahead of myself.  Job first.

What this journey is really teaching me thus far is to get out of my head.  My friend, Pat, is the most joyous creature, just full of energy and life.  She is rarely stuck in the cerebral but rather enjoying good food, drinks, her husband, life, adventures, and sensations.  I am always thinking.  It gets annoying and I miss the chance to be human.  I am so stuck in the spiritual/cerebral/can’t shut off my brain for two seconds that I forget to be in touch with right now and all the sensations that make being a human worthwhile.  I am learning to be present.  Well, I am thinking about learning to be present.  We’ll get there.

What would you take if you had to leave your home?

Don’t Find Fault, Find a Remedy

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A tremendous amount of folks I know are on the cusp of a huge life change.  New jobs, health problems, moving, life changes, relationship changes.  It’s like the universe tilted us on our side and is watching us all fall back into place.  It is easy to blame our circumstances on others.  Even if they have a role in it, our choices are ultimately what will design our path.  Sometimes there are bigger things at work and the universe needs a little help getting us to the train station for the next part of our journey here on earth.  People, circumstances, and even tragedies help shape us, help us grow, strengthen, learn, and move through this life with intention and wisdom.

There were many factors that went into us losing our farm dream.  We really thought that we would be here for a very long time.  We spend thousands….and thousands of dollars from our final product sales from the Apothecary, the Herbal class tuition, and income tax return on promoting and building this farm so the real tragedy for us was that we are broke and lost all our money on a dead end venture.  Not the end of the world.

We really love this lifestyle.  We like roughing it, working hard for everything we need, from wood to cheese.  We love the endless prairie and the sound of owls.  Sometimes when we can’t see a new path things have to happen to force us into that new journey.  And for us, it was to lose everything.  Well, not everything, we have our family.  And each other.  And great friends.  And hope.  And our next step in our journey that I am getting really excited about and will tell you about tomorrow.

I worry about my daughters finding a place to live, I worry about….well, I can’t worry.  We all know that everything works out beautifully in the end.  Every path has its tripping stones and beautiful rainbows.  Everything will work together to put us all on the perfect path.

If you are on an unknown path in this time of transition, keep your chin up and see the rainbow!  This life is a beautiful place of wonder with Creator’s fingerprints everywhere.  Don’t find fault, don’t place blame, don’t cry too long, find a remedy.  It’s right around the corner!  By the way, that fortune came out of my fortune cookie this past week!

Option 6 (the good and the bad)

Watching owls take flight.

We just had dinner with two of our dear friends.  I met one at the coffee shop in Elizabeth some years ago and she and I connected immediately.  The other one of them is a shaman, a well respected man in the Native community, and a man I greatly respect.  He leads a Talking Circle.  We had them in our home for Thanksgiving.  We enjoy each other’s company.  We help people in different ways.  I am speaking to the kids at his summer program about herbs, the physical and emotional uses.  I have been working with herbs much more lately for myself for spiritual uses.  I am working on a devotional that focuses on words to meditate on and the spiritual blend of herbs to drink as tea and what they do.  My whole identity as an herbalist has been changing.  I have been growing stronger.  And life around me is changing.  It has been changing.  I saw the signs.

I lamented that we are moving back to the city.  “Maybe the Creator wants you closer to the community to help.”  There are many, many more people that I could help that cannot get to the middle of nowhere south of Calhan.

We still need to sell most everything we own.  And we are still going out on the road, albeit a shorter trip.  We have no one that can watch all of our cats while we are gone.  And the girls cannot afford an apartment on their own right now.  I am Maryjane’s babysitter.  We are still needed here.  So we will travel a bit in the next few months then move back to the city where Doug will get a computer job.  The dreaded option #4.  I will still work with herbs and teach and write and see where this journey is taking us.

A lot of people I know, actually, are going through tremendous changes right now.  As if the universe fell sideways and back up for a second!  So, this could change tomorrow.  San Diego or Illinois to New York?  For how long?  To visit whom?  To write.  To rest.  We won’t have goats to milk, chickens to feed, a dog to let out, or for the first time in a long time, no garden to tend.  Then we start over.  Is there anything even out there for rent?

What will this blog become if I am not a farmgirl?  Only time will tell, and in the meantime, I am still writing.  Thanks for following.

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?

Smooth Transitions (full time farming and shhing oneself)

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I sat outside in the sun trying to shake the winter chill from my bones.  The meadowlarks sang gloriously as the frogs droned on.  The red winged black birds flitted and barked and the robins demurely looked for worms.  Green sparks cover the land and spring has come.  I started over two hundred pots of seeds, large and small, over the last two days.  I felt an urgency this year.  In past years I may have missed the window of opportunity and had a late start on vegetables and harvest but this year, as a full time farmer, I knew I needed to get these things done.  It is almost time to plant cold crops here and the gardens are not ready.  This will be a busy spring. Busier than usual.

The remaining phone calls trickled in and were diverted to the new owner of my apothecary.  Facebook messages came rolling in and the business stayed exactly the same without me.  For a moment, I thought, “Wait!  I messed up!  I didn’t mean to sell it!”  But of course I had, it was time.  I have long known that a change was coming, a breath of something different, and I am embracing it.  Then I thought, “What if I don’t even know how to farm?!  What if I can’t grow anything?”  I had to shhsh myself.  As I watered the new seedlings and lined them up in the cold frame, I knew I had started my new life.

The most difficult part about change is that we are such creatures of habit.  I am an herbalist.  I have an apothecary.  I make medicines.  Well now I am just an herbalist that makes medicines and teaches.  I am a full time farmer now.  It was odd seeing the apothecary go on as if I had never been there but that is how life is, ever revolving, ever moving.  As I am.

When you first make that change, out of a relationship, into homeschooling, out of a job, into a move, the initial response is always, “Wait!  I didn’t mean to do that!”  It is normal and one must just take a breath in and have faith.

The first time you use your new moniker, you will feel like a sham.  The first time I told someone I was a model, a dance teacher, an herbalist, now a farmer, I felt like I was exaggerating, but soon it becomes second nature and it does indeed become your title.

I encourage folks to be brave, have faith, and live life as full as possible, to chase those dreams and not settle into a life of stress and hardship.  It is amazing to see the results.  Life is so full of promises and opportunities.  If you have a passion for something in your heart, is a sure-fire sign that you are to pursue it.  Have fun!  And only feel like an imposter for a moment, life is whatever you make it.