Life Lessons From the Garden

In four weeks from today we will be moving towards the mountains to our new homestead.  Oh, it doesn’t look much like a homestead.  It looks like a suburban style house from the 90’s on an unused acre of land with a workshop that is about to become a chicken coop.  Our neighbors near, our mortgage double, but if I close my eyes and push away the anxiety of moving and inspections and packing, and “see” the new property for what it will be, I am filled with optimism and strength.  A friendly small town.  Baby goats.  A thriving garden where there once was nothing.  A view of the sunset.  I haven’t seen the sunset in years, blocked in by trees and neighbors.

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Google Earth has not updated the view of our present house since we moved here so one can see the tired house, the empty planting rings, the barren yard, a car backed up in what is now my potato patch.  We have done miracles here in just two and a half years.  Everything in life can be transformed by a little love, research, and hard work.  Everything from a house and garden, a marriage, a friendship, to a new outlook and fresh perspective.  Yes, this house and garden represent so much in life and has taught me some valuable lessons.

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1.  Have faith in the future.

Moving here fresh from heartbreak and a mere eighteen months after we lost everything, this house was a blessing.  It represented new life, faith, a fresh start.  A house of our own- not rented.  Always have faith.  Looking back, one can easily see all the “coincidences,” friendships made, sheer luck, and universal pulls to get us where we are.  Even now, my house sold in one day, we found a house the same day, all is going smoothly thus far, the money showed up, the young military family in need of a nice home to raise their infant child precisely around the time of closing saw our house first….everything going on in the world around us is so much bigger and more controlled than we think.

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New, cheaper soil

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Doubled the price soil.

2.  Buy the best that you can afford.

I skimped this year.  I usually buy a particular kind of soil to start my straw bale/permaculture/quick beds of my own design, but it wasn’t there this year.  It seemed Miracle Grow (hello, Dow.) had taken over the shelves at the nearby stores.  So, I opted for cheaper bags of soil.  Lots of them.  It’s just soil, right?  Those beds look terrible.  I wasted hundreds of dollars.  If the seeds did germinate, they quickly died.  In everything you do, just do it right the first time.  Maybe I have always been a cheapskate, but that keeps biting me in my farmgirl derriere.

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3. Expect surprises.

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Being on this earth is such a blessing.  My goodness, to wake up every day and see the great sky, the warm sun rising, the birds singing, the plants surrounding us, to see the people we love, and to learn and experience this day- such a gift.  I love how Mother Nature gives sweet gifts, like wild sunflowers, and potatoes I didn’t plant, and hollyhocks.  Elderberries that aren’t typical here in Colorado.  Fresh rains in July, and cool breezes on a hot day, surprise trees, and places for wildlife to live.  Surprise friendships that become incredibly valuable, great jobs, and moments to help others.

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4.  Leave a legacy.

In all you do, try to leave things better than they were.  Whether that be cleaning up trash at the park, using less resources, offering a smile and compliment to a stranger or friend, or planting a tree, always try to serve.  I hope this pear tree grows wild and fast.  I hope the three month old baby moving in climbs its branches and loves it when he is older.  I hope the tree feeds many and brings joy to the beholder.  I may have paid for, planted, and tended to it, but it is not mine to benefit from.  It is a gift to the future.

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5.  Don’t run from your true self and purpose.

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In a blog post last year, when our shop was about to close, I questioned, “Am I nothing more than an herbalist?”  Well, of course I’m not just an herbalist.  I am a friend, a wife, and a mother, an animal lover, a nature admirer, and I have a few talents, but I am not just those things either.  I am me.  Individual.  Specially created, me.  What I was pondering when I uttered those words though, is if I could be something else, start a new career.  My table is filled with dozens and dozens of single and compound extracts beginning their brewing process.  I am at peace when I am gently clipping echinacea leaves and popping calendula heads into jars, and talking to the rose while I snip comfrey.  I am an herbalist.

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6. Learn to let go.

I am preparing so many new medicines because I am going to have to say goodbye.  I could try to transplant everything I have planted but I have learned that if a plant is thriving where it is, it doesn’t necessarily want to grow somewhere else.  I will take a few things but most will continue to live here, and I do hope thrive.  I will not be able to harvest my sweet corn, or Aztec blue corn, or popcorn, or pumpkins, or all the tomatoes, or so many other things I have carefully tended this summer.  It is hard to leave behind so much that we create, so much that we build, to start over.  But we don’t really start over, we just start anew with more experience, more lessons, more faith.

2019- As the Wheel Turns

My friends, we are on the cusp of 2019.  It is not a new thing to be thinking of what we want to change, manifest, or release.  This is a wired into us.  Before the modern world, the people knew that the wheel was turning.  The twelve days of Christmas was originally the twelve days of Yule and it ended on the 1st of the month, right when the wheel turns.  It is the thick of winter, a time of deep contemplation.  A bright new beginning.  A time of rebirth from the solstice when the sun begins to shine a bit more each day.  The light in us grows ever more as well.

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My work is as an herbalist, a clairvoyant reader, medical intuitive, and spiritual guide.  This is an unusual time.  Most everyone is in great transformation.  It is as if the universe is plucking things right out of people’s hands; relationships, jobs, identities.  Our worst traits are being exposed to the sun in order to change.  Our paths are being laid out in drastic form.  It is best if we just release.

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We are in a time of great change.  We are in a time when the young have more intuitive and sensitive people among them and they are struggling to understand why they are the way they are and are looking for mentors…or masking medications.  We are all being called to find our path.  To release our bad habits, fears, and ego and to embrace a better sense of self.  2019 may be a miraculous year for us all.  There are whispers and questions in the air that need answers.

What relationships cause you pain and stress?

Are your food choices compassionate, healthy, and karmically sound?

Are you honoring your body with movement?

Are you honoring your spirituality by being open to listen to truths being taught to you?  Are you taking time to honor that which you believe in?

Are you emotionally taking wellness breaks?

Are you working yourself every minute of the day for the car payment, for the dishes to be done, for the endless errands and hours at work to be done?

Your passions and desires are the road map to your destiny.  What do you dream of?  What does your life look like in your ideal world?  Who are you with?  What do you do?

What fears need to be released?  What negative habits need to be let go of?  What regrets do you carry?  Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others.

Listen.  Be brave.  Let go.  Release.  Embrace.  Smile.  Hope.  Surround yourself with your tribe.  Take up yoga, or walking, or Zumba.  Eat food from the earth.  Open doors, compliment, teach.  Love!  Take hot baths, meditate, light candles, read books.  Make steps towards your goals.  Breathe.

Laugh.

The wheel is turning.  Let us become our brightest, truest, happiest, most intensely magnificent selves.

(Let’s say it is the end of your days, look back, is that how you want to live?)

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How to Accept the Challenge of Living Fully and Embrace Destiny

ninjaThe biggest challenge is living life in the fullest right now.  To be neither in the past nor the future.  To face fears as one experiences them.  To constantly reassess one’s temperaments and ideals, perceptions and reactions to become a better, kinder, more graceful person who lives with great compassion.  To find what destiny was designed for us and follow the cues of passion and interest to find where we make the very most difference in the world.

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Writing a memoir was a profound experience for me because I was able to start at the beginning of this life journey and walk through it.  I saw myself at three years old, at eleven years old, I watched as I experienced bliss, intense sadness, confusion, joy, and I nodded at each character that has helped mold me in my life, from my mother to my mentors.  I was able to see, understand, forgive, embrace, appreciate, and release.  I highly recommend that you purchase a journal and begin telling your tale.  Everyone has a message and a life of lessons to share.

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When one finds themselves fretting about the future or reliving a memory in the past, try to pull yourself to this moment.  I believe the reason I love great food, cooking, and the mysteries of wine is because it makes me grounded.  It forces me to use my human senses.  Otherwise I am always flitting about spiritually or stuck in my head.  Balance is needed.  Try to close your eyes and smell, hear, touch, breathe, taste.  Hear the birds.  See the colors of nature out the window.  Feel the breeze on your skin.  Taste the tannins in a cup of tea.  Feel the air fill your lungs.  Put your hands together in front of your heart and feel gratitude.  This acts as a reset and brings you back to now.

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In my book, The Making of a Medicine Woman; the Memoirs of Bird Woman, that is soon to be released, I experience facing fears.  You will always have to face your fears.  They will keep coming until you do.  My fear has always been of ghosts and bad spirits.  Nightmares from when I was very young and stories that haunted me (I should not have watched “The Exorcist”) through adulthood kept me from doing the work that I do.  I lived in haunted house after haunted house and had experience after experience until finally I turned around and realized I wasn’t afraid anymore.

What are you afraid of?

On my birthday I posted some crazy what-if’s.  What if I stopped writing out a to-do list, what anything get done?  My fear of not being productive enough prompts me to write elaborate lists.  I stopped writing them for a week.  And sure enough, not a dang thing got done!  So the lists are back, just smaller.

I wondered if I stopped worrying about money if it would come easier.  Our income didn’t increase but once I stepped back and stopped worrying, I realized we make enough.

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I wondered what it would be like to shave my head.  It felt like a beautifully symbolic new beginning.  A spiritual oath.  A bit of freedom (from tangles, hair products, and dye).  But what if people thought I had cancer?  (White girls with shaved heads are unfortunately assumed to be ill if they have very short hair, it turns out…)  Well, sure enough, lots of messages came pouring in and strangers walked up to me and asked if I were ill.  I dealt with the fear straight on with a smile.  And I LOVE my hair.  I don’t look in the mirror much now.  It certainly is freeing.

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Challenge yourself!  That is another way to live fully.  What do you want to do with your life?  How can you become a better person?  How can you live more compassionately?  How can you spread your light to the world?

Maybe open doors for people.  Give some leeway on the highway.  Give hugs, compliments, forgiveness, and small gifts.  Give of yourself.  Laugh.  Notice.  Be here.  Follow your desires.

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If you are not happy, figure out why.  It’s time to live your destiny and your birthright of joy.  Joy follows when you are following your highest self and living for now.

 

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.

To Thine Own Self Be True (a recognition of oneself when starting over)

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I am Yeopim Indian and Cherokee proud, and Scottish and English and Irish loud, along with Dutch and Black French and possibly more.  And from them all my genetic disposition lays.  In my hair, in my eyes, in my innate knowledge and intuition, in my sense of adventure and in my search for home do I find glimpses of all those that came before.  All my ancestors, all in me.  But I alone have my spirit.  My true self.  That has been here before.

And in mindful analysis and decompression of the physical frame as each day becomes a bit more mundane the layers of thought and peers wash aside as the essence of being comes forth in glints of light.

“Why do you fear being wealthy?”  “Why do you believe you do not deserve riches?” I am asked.

Struck, I wonder, is this true?  Should I be rich in homes with heightened ceilings and possessions galore?  Is that what my life’s work is for?  I would like to have enough-though that maybe less than many, more than some.  Seeds to grow into food for mind and strength and chickens here and there.  A rambling adobe with rooms for art and friends, for laughter, for cooking, for light, and memory.

Enough to visit new places at whim, for inspiration and to meet people and culture new.  But to watch a sunset from my own porch swing would be as sweet a riches as I could dream.

Sommelier?  I cannot drink more than one glass of wine!  Food industry?  I can’t stay up past nine!  A city plot, cement gardens, and lack of birds, no deer around, no late owl heard?

Impossible.

Homesteader, homemaker, home dreamer am I.  Making a home under the Great Mystery’s sky.

My job is to raise grandchildren when so blessed to have them near.  To teach them herbs, and trees, and birds, and through the wind the Creator heard.  To show them things that schools do not know.

To help those that seek my help, in physical or spiritual need should they ask, to find the right herbs and prayers and songs.

Silence and nature are my friends as the early dawn and the night sky guide my days all year long.

Finding Oneself Among Cottonwoods and Willows (the walk of self discovery)

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I found myself among the cottonwoods and willows.  I was probably there all along.  I looked up into the high tree tipped with buds, the sun filtering through thick branches.  I quietly filled my jar with buds and twigs.  A bit of bark.

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The breeze brought news of rain as I gathered and listened.  My true essence blooming and enveloped me as I wild crafted the materials to make my pain medicine.

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My fingers agilely gathered the herbs, a bit of pine, willow bark, cottonwood.  For so long, eight tablespoons of this, two tablespoons of that, a waterproof label.  The medicines amazing and developed to help masses of people.  But my headaches still seemed unanswered.  This time, among the cottonwoods, I heard the recipe.  Simple really.

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Finding oneself and recalling the gifts and genetic dispositions and self that is true within our inner most being often eludes in the face of the world.  To find that knowing, that instinct and profound quiet, the peace of it all, the true self calls.

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But there I was all along among the willows.  My intuition full, my hands deftly fingering the right additives for my concoction.

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Instead of alcohol I added my own homemade red wine vinegar.

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I added the last of our honey harvest, licking the sweetness off of my fingers after squeezing it through.

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I added oil to the salve ingredients.

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The sun will infiltrate their cell structure and bring out its real essence.  It knows what it is meant to be.  And there I am too.  Among the cat tails and meadowlarks.