A Daily Meditation

 

img_5801A daily meditation is a lovely way to begin or end a day.  A time to reflect, think, dream, pray, be.  An idea floated upon me yesterday.  An idea to listen and record a daily message from nature.  We all know that we go too fast in this society.  We have isolated ourselves from the things that enchant and feed our life force.  We desperately try to connect but get a busy signal.

I am among the most guilty of this.  I despise sitting for a long period of time though I do dream of great books and cups of tea and long walks.  But from sun up to sun down I busy myself to the point of frenzy.  My body yells for rest now.  It used to whisper, now it demands.  Fatigue hits me with a powerful force mid-afternoon.  I get the subtle and not-so-subtle messages my body and weary spirit are telling me.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Listen.  There is much to learn still.

So each day I will be out in nature, even if that means walking along the pavement, and will listen and record what I am being told.  Plenty of photographs and symbolism will intertwine with the daily meditations I write.  These will all be recorded on my other blog, Medicine Wolf.  I will still be writing this blog daily with all of the fun, recipes, homesteading, farming, herbal remedies, and stories you have grown to love.  But, then maybe hop over to Medicine Wolf and sign up for a daily email with insights and wisdom from nature.  Let’s all become students of nature and Spirit.  (Click on the name Medicine Wolf to be taken over to the other page.)

“I Trust You”-Learning to Live Peacefully and Happily

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We all have had less than positive things happen to us and it can fuel worrying even further.  How do we release worry and fear in our day to day to life so that we can enjoy more moments?

I can sure get myself worked up over nothing.  What if he gets in a car accident on the way to work?  What if she died?  What if…  I have to stop myself pretty quickly before a full blown, out of proportion, fearful scenario transpires in my mind.  I simply whisper, “I trust you,” and oddly, I am calmed.

We were never meant to know the news of the world.  Our minds and hearts are not prepared to handle so many things that we cannot control.  We have nearly zero control over anything, if we must be honest.  I have to believe that when we were placed on this earth we were not left alone to our own devices.  Just looking at the millions of medicinal and food plants made synergistically to us.  Miracles upon miracles (coincidences?  I have had too many crazy things happen, several healings, unexplainable escapes from certain death…) and people showing up in our lives at the right time and for the right season with the right lessons and the doors opening for us at each turn.  And sometimes the doors closing.  Which we can only understand in hind sight.  Because we have no power over much, I believe that is why we feel so much worry.

I look up and whisper, “I trust you.” Maybe that is to ancestors, friends that passed, my Creator, Mother Earth… I blend together plant extracts for ailments I have no power to heal myself and just whisper, “I trust you,” to the plants.  The medicines always work to my great relief and joy.  Things really do work out.  We are given fight or flight to deal with stress and worry at that very moment, not light years before anything happens, if it ever even does.

We must learn to live happily, peacefully, and fully on our journey here, knowing there are plant and animals spirits, ancestors, loved ones here and passed, and of course, our Source looking out for us.  Just relax and whisper, “I trust you.”

Smudging 101, Deer Visitors, and the 10%

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There is a Talking Circle at my shop the first Sunday of each month.  Not really church, just a place to be with others and pray traditionally with Native influences and customs.  This last Sunday we talked about focusing our energies on the 10%.  90% of what we worry about is what the media tells us about, world issues, family issues, and many, many things that we have absolutely no control over.  As we focus more and more on the 90% we lose track of the 10% of things we can control and our gifts that we carry that can assist in this world.  Focusing on the 90% leads to anxiety and depression and helplessness.

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Last night I felt an overwhelming sense of desperation and helplessness.  How can we possibly afford anything in the state that has the newly highest cost of living?  How can we survive?  How can we stay near our babies if we had to move?  and on and on with scenarios that may or may not exist.  I went to sleep early as slumber will renew me and oft give me answers.  I woke up renewed.

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Within the realms of the 10% I can choose my back up plan in case we cannot get the large farm.  I could very well be an urban homesteader while making a difference in a career.  The career that I would be best in (in my opinion) is teaching young adults.  So, I relooked at my curriculum choices for school with a renewed sense of purpose.  I will let things unfold naturally, while saving money, since I cannot see the future.  No matter how hard I try.  Meanwhile I call on strength from the Great Spirit and the Directions.  This is how to smudge (prayers and blessing).

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Traditionally Cherokee prayer herbs would consist of Sweet grass to renew positive energy, Sage to rid negative energy, Tobacco as an offering to the Great Spirit, and Cedar as an offering to the spirits; animal, plant, and the deceased.  In a pottery bowl (heat proof) place the herbs desired and light.  Using a feather to spread the smoke around a room, over thyself, or in the Four Directions.  Any feather will do.

We call on the spirit of the East direction for strength and hope and faith.  We give thanks to the Creator for all the things in our lives and our own life.  We thank Grandfather Sun for rising each morning and providing warmth and light. 

We call on the spirit of the South for childlike wonder and awe, for lessons, and we thank our four legged brethren for providing us with companionship, food, and clothing, and to the plants for giving of themselves for food and medicine.

We call on the spirit of the West for strength, health, and endurance.  We give thanks to our ancestors for guiding us and praying for us.

We call on the spirit of the North for calm and wisdom.  We thank the north for rain and snow, for lessons learned, and for peace and breath.

We call on the spirit of the sky (galun’lati), to the star people and Grandmother moon for protection and inspiration.

We call on the spirit of the Mother Earth (alohi)for caring for us, for her life, therefore our life as we pledge to be more careful with her.

We are thankful for the ceremonial fire as our prayers are taken upward on the smoke and carried on the winged ones’ feathers and for our connection with all around us. 

We draw the smoke over ourselves that we will have a clear heart, a love for all, and will do things in the right way. 

And as my breath and peace came forth, the beautiful deer (ahwi) came to see me.

Wishing you peace and less worries….ehmenah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pioneer’s Life For Me

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I was dreading going into the goat pen.  Elsa has mastitis and we have been diligently treating it but that along with her spoiled little girl self makes it incredibly difficult to milk her.  It takes all of my strength to hold her as Doug milks her out.  All of our muscles are shaking by the end and she has kicked the milk bucket a few times.  Our clothes are covered in milk and goat hair and I am often near tears.  Last night as I looked up before going in the pen a beautiful sight transpired.  The same one that made us feel we made the right choice moving out here.  The brightest rainbow arched across the sky, seemingly right above us, from horizon to horizon it promised peace.  Its colors sparkled in the rain that fell in straight glistening showers downward watering the gardens.  The sun shone through it and all was bright.  Today we will tie her back legs.

I love the peacefulness of home.  Now that Emily has moved back in, we drive considerably less.  We feel better in our bustling schedule around this homestead.  I love the heaviness of the cast iron skillet as I prepare eggs fresh from the coop and slice warm bread that I baked.  Dandelions, or other produce later, are mixed into the eggs throughout the season along with homemade cheese.  I hope fresh fruit will join these.  We look across our table and see how much of it we produced.  We are aptly satisfied and proud yet strive to produce nearly everything we consume.  Of course we shall rely on the humble farmer that provides the grains for our table.  The coffee from far away.  The teas exotic.  But our year long sustenance grows each season on this homestead as we produce more and more.

The milk hits the bucket in a sing-song tune as Isabelle stands sweetly on the stand.  She occasionally turns to kiss Doug’s ear.  She loves him and seems to want to impress him.  This year she is giving over a gallon a day of fresh milk.  I pour the warm milk into his coffee once inside.  The creamy morning treat warms the farmer.  These simple pleasures transcend the ordinary ones we knew growing up.  Last night after Doug had fallen asleep I sat in the rocking chair my father gave my mother upon learning that she was with child over forty-one years ago.  I sat in front of the wood stove and let it warm me as I relaxed into my book, the oil lamp highlighting the page, a cup of hot tea by my side.  The house and land is quiet.  My muscles are tired but my mind is joyous.  There is cheese pressing, bread dough rising, and at least the dishes are done.  I am reading an Amish book.

I have sat in an Amish home and read accounts.  They are not unlike mine.  Keeping the world out is something I strive for.  The news stays in its dramatic studios of fear.  Anger, stress, and sadness dissipate quicker here.  We are not immune to financial wonderings and relationship woes but here in this setting they work themselves out and the spirit is restored quickly.  We pray openly here and are thankful for our blessings.  We call on the Lord for signs, for help, and for comfort and receive them as we listen softly in the night by oil lamp and quiet.

The aprons hang on the wall and tell stories, I decide which one I wish to don this day.  I have long skirts, and long slips, and layers to make them stand out because they are comfortable, and feminine, and fine.  The apron pocket holds what I need as I bustle from clothes line to barn yard to kitchen.  Three meals a day grace the table and the children always know they can come home to a hot meal, peace and quiet, and an escape from the world beyond.

The counties out here argue over fracking, over wind mills, over water.  Not here! they say.  Yet folks will not give up their luxuries and want these means of fancies and want destruction to get them so long as they cannot see them.  We work on our own solution, to use less.  To find alternative ways.  And the classical music plays softly in the kitchen and the electric kettle often gets turned on but bird song could fill the musical need and a kettle whistling from wood stove could suffice.  And the world could howl outside our door but our respite remains here in our pioneer ways.  I put on my sun bonnet and head outdoors to plant.

A Powerful Tool (for homesteading and beyond)

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What would you say is the most powerful thing on earth?  Water?  Money?  Love?  I would say prayer.  I am deeply spiritual/religious, whatever you want to call it, but I cringe when people start talking to me about their religion, their opinions, what the Bible says by their interpretation, how many people are converting…blah, blah, blah.  I kind of tune them out.  This is about something much more important, powerful, and life changing and something we could all incorporate more into our lives in the new year.  You read about my healings and I am a firm believer in God.  I have no choice.  And I wish that everyone could experience the types of miracles I have seen.  Perhaps everyone has, they just can’t see them.  But, prayer can lift our spirits, give us a sense of community, well being, security, and can produce miracles.

My son asked why he can’t just pray that his wife would come back.  Because she has free will, I explained.  But God can help heal his heart, give him strength, and comfort.  Prayer is not about feeling more powerful or more superior to other people, it’s about life.

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My mother taught me when I was young how to pray.  Don’t start with gimme this and gimme that, she said.  Start with thanksgiving.  Be grateful and thank God for all of your blessings.  Then ask for forgiveness for the things that have inevitably been done since we are, after all, human.  This is not to avoid hell, this is to help be aware of what we may be doing that hurts others or ourselves.  Then humbly ask your intentions.

God can and will help anything come into being that you wish.  So, be careful what you ask for.  This homestead is cold but it is what I asked for!  We cannot make someone love us or make someone stay on earth if their journey here is over.  But we can receive comfort, strength, guidance, guardian angels, friends, teachers, and a companion if we trust God and not ourselves.  Notice that you have always been provided for.  I love how my friend, Lisa, put it; He’s a 11:59 God!  We get the money to pay bills and the wisdom to handle things at the last minute!  But it always comes!

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I love in the movie, “Taladega Nights”, where they keep praying to the baby Jesus.  It cracks me up.  But we all view the Creator in a different way.  I know my soul is connected to everyone else’s and everything, from trees to owls, and we are all one with the Source of Life and that we all go right back to that powerful Source when we are done here.  We have all had experiences with the supernatural so we know that spirits of the deceased are still around.

There are often misunderstandings regarding the saints in the Catholic Church and in praying to spirits in nature.  These are not gods, and no one thinks they are!  They are helpers who will pray for us and the more prayers the better!  The reason we light candles during prayer is to keep the prayer going.  Doug and I have experienced that the candle goes out when the prayer is answered.  Just look around and take note of your life and surroundings and you too will be astounded and mystified.

I don’t just pray before meals or before bed or just when I need something.  I chatter with God all day.  Try it, it will change your life.  We should pray for each other as well.  There is great power in that.  Let’s start a prayer circle.  Write in the comments what you would like to be prayed for (or email me personally at Katie@gardenfairyherbal.com) and let’s all pray for each other.  You will see amazing things happen in your life.

Will you pray for my son, Andrew, as his wife left after only five months of marriage and left him broken hearted?

Will you pray for my cousin, Linda, as she mourns her husband who just ended his journey here on earth quite suddenly?

Will you also pray for guidance and protection over my family?

What can I pray for you?

Wishing you all peace and great joy during this beautiful season and into the new year.

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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Preparing For Dreams To Come True (even when you can’t see)

My friend and fellow blogger, Debbie, wrote that my blog yesterday was just what she needed to hear.  In fact a few folks said that it was lovely and optimistic.  It doesn’t come naturally all the time.  I have the same antsy feeling that everyone I know has when their roots are shaky.  Debbie is looking for the perfect property.  Lisa inherited property but now is working on the driveway, well, barn, eventually the house, but I know she is anxious to wake up in her new kitchen one day and have it finished.  Amy and Rob (I talked about them in Cohabitating Homesteads) are waiting for the darn bank and contractors to start working together to get the ground broke so they can stop living in their RV!  My cousin, Julie, and her husband are plotting their escape to the forty acres his dad owns in the mountains.  The beginning of their off grid journey, which while they live with another couple, seems like a million plans away.

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Since we failed so miserably at finances in our previous life I always used the optimistic tone of, “Well, it’s nice renting.  Someone else fixes everything (we haven’t heard from our landlords in two years), we can move to the next great farmhouse (if they accept cats), we can move wherever we want, no strings attached (true, many of my friends and family that would like to move cannot sell their houses), but still, down in that root chakra somewhere, there is unrest.  We need roots.  We need to feel like we have security.  We want to plant a freaking orchard!  Indeed, anything can happen, all bets are off when it comes to real life.  Our partner could pass away, our businesses could end, our health could fail, the crops may be ruined, so really, everything is a walk of faith.

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Our faith is in the hope that we will have a place to set down roots.  Our next move will be our last (but hopefully not short lived!).  Unlike our friends and family, they have a set area they can see.  They know they can buy a place, or have already inherited the place, or already have had help buying a place, but we know nothing.  We walk completely blinded up the hill holding hands and holding onto faith that when we get to the top of the hill (next year when the lease ends), our future is beautiful.  That the yurt…cabin…farmhouse…hell, shack at this point…will be waiting for us with open arms, the future barns and gardens waiting to come to life (or could they already be there?….woo hoo!).

Lack of contentment is one of the main reasons for unrest and unhappiness.  I have no desire to waste a full year being antsy and unhappy.  Just like when I saw the ad in the paper for the house in Elizabeth when we needed to jump ship from our house going underwater, or when I had to pick up Emily’s boyfriend and drove past this house, the next place is already planned out for me.  Patience and making the most of right now are the goals.  There is always the chance that we will not be alive next year, may as well enjoy life now.  However, this is something that we constantly have to remind ourselves.

We have prospects.  We intend to live with Amy and Rob if all goes as planned.  We could move with my cousin if it all worked out.  God may have a completely different plan for us.  But in the meantime, we are preparing for the unknown.  Did you know that if you express your desires and intentions, they will always come true?  That is where the sayings self fulfilled prophesies and careful what you wish for came from.  I wish for a homestead that I can stay at for the rest of my life.  I wish for barns and outbuildings, a huge garden, a view, a farm, a homestead.  It would be better with another couple to help with the huge task of homesteading.  Now, I prepare.  I can’t see what the future and timing holds but I can be ready when God says go.  The piano is back on Craigslist.  Why do I have seven sets of dishes?  Beats me.  I have a bit of an obsession with beautiful china.  The dishes are next.  One…okay two…sets of dishes are quite sufficient.  I will get down to 1/3 of my possessions.  I haven’t raised my prices in almost five years.  I will raise everything one dollar.  Enough clients have encouraged me to do so.  I am still cheaper than the health food store with better product.  My costs have gone up, there is no reason that I shouldn’t.  That dollar goes into the proverbial coffee can for the move next year.  I walk blindly, but I walk in faith.  Prepare for your goals.  Your dreams are about to come true!

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