Dissonance.

I'm about to give birth very soon and the waiting is getting to me.

I have a major monkey mind and waiting is sometimes brutal for me. I wonder, I rationalize, I bargain, I "what if" and "shoulda, coulda, woulda" all over the place. The biggest questions that are arising are questions for my new little one... "Why come here again if this place is such a mess?" and "Why come when the family is so big and you have only a portion of your mom and dad's attention to enjoy?" Whenever I ask these big questions- questions I know I am not going to get a response to- I go on this upwards and downwards spiral from meaningfulness to meaninglessness and lose my sense of control over whatever it is I think i have control over.

The truth is the spiral started earlier this year. A dear friend of ours passed away suddenly in a motorcycle accident. A few weeks before he was at our house having dinner, making us laugh as we enjoyed his presence and felt so grateful for him in the world. He was one of those people that makes things happen for himself and others in BIG ways... he had a very successful business in Asheville, NC which he started with just some intention and a pickup truck. He was good to everyone. He was kind. He was loving. He was very generous. Something lit him up when the Standing Rock situation happened and by his efforts, raised a ton of money from his community to donate to the cause and to get 3 semi trucks full of food and supplies to drive them up to North Dakota and personally deliver them along with some other people. And yet something or someone somewhere decided it was time he not be on Earth anymore. 

It shook me. For many reasons. He was young. He still had a lot to accomplish. He was a father to a sweet little girl. And I don't have much experience with death. I couldn't help thinking these two thoughts on a loop for the days and weeks to come "Being good doesn't keep you here" and "What the fuck does it all mean?"

So here I am again in the space of "What the fuck does it all mean?" So, we'll have another little one, raise our baby to the best of our abilities all the while knowing despite our help, efforts, and intentions this little soul has a deep purpose all her own. So, what does it mean to be a parent really? Does anyone really know? Is there any ONE answer to that? Any RIGHT answer to that? I don't really believe so... so what am I here for besides to love them greatly and fiercely? What things do I do that affect them adversely? What things help them become more of who they are supposed to be. 

I have NO idea.

A friend reminded me the other day that a few weeks before labor she began to have her panic moments so she told me to look on the bright side of this. It does make me feel a bit relieved that this is a somewhat universal reaction to oncoming labor and birth: the freakout. Yay... baby will be here soon! But all these unanswered questions floating above my head like a white puffy balloon of thoughts over a comic strip character's head make me feel unsettled and nervous.

I feel a sense of hopefulness and faith. The thing is I'm not sure what to put my faith in exactly. Faith in what? Faith in faith, I suppose for the time being... until this feeling of being lost gets settled and I can answer that with some more conviction in something other than faith itself. Another friend reminded me of the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and how he was doubting his faith in his journey which she paralleled to our pregnancy journeys... how when labor is near we think "well, I was certain about this path in the beginning, but now I'm not so sure." I'm not a Christian and have no interest or intention in being so, but the mention of that story really hit home.

What is the most scary thing about the whole pregnancy/labor/birth process to me is that any number of things can happen. And that the death of many things follows a birth. I will soon lay down my role as mother of 3 and become a mother of 4, something I know nothing about yet. My husband and I will go through yet another shifting and readjusting period and we don't know what that will look like. I will have less time for myself again with a newborn. A new little person will be in our house, someone we all will be taking care of and interacting with and soon be in deep relationship with. Something new always means something old has been shed. Perhaps my hesitation lies therein- resistance to change; resistance to rock the status quo and shed the comfort of what I have come to know. I remember in the days before my second was born, I cried and cried thinking "What did I do to our family?" because I was so fearful of changing what the three of us (my husband, my first, and I) had. I am standing in that place again today and while I know that it feels far better to ponder what will be added to our family, I can't help but feel afraid nonetheless. 

I already love this little person, but I have no idea who she is. I don't know who I am with her in my life. I don't know who we all are in relation to her. 

Life just feels like one big "I don't know" at the moment.

#metoo, Dave Grohl.

Yesterday, I was driving down the freeway alone, listening to the Foo Fighters as I often do when I'm in the car alone. Yes, The Foo is loud, but the speed, the solitude, and the music make me feel tranquil. Having three kids, moments of tranquility and solitude are seldom. I only really have moments like this while listening to music or knitting. My mind  can let go for a bit, not think about my to-do list and meander around concepts, feelings, ideas, and other indulgences. 

Yesterday, as Dave Grohl colored my drive with his delicious gutteral growling, a question that has been asked of me a thousand times bubbled to the surface of my thoughts:

"What do you have to be so angry about?"

I often used to wonder that about Dave Grohl because of the intensity of his music and his awesome yelling, but I really don't care anymore. I'm glad he has faced that much anger, whatever it was, because the rest of the world got to enjoy Foo Fighters music from it. He channels it so perfectly and beautifully and I just sit in awe of that ability to alchemize that much anger into something worthwhile. I've always strived to do just that.

"What do you have to be so angry about?"... I've been asked that question mostly by men. And mostly by men who barely knew me. A couple of times in my twenties, I was sitting at my neighborhood bar in Yorkville, and I guess those particular men who asked me then didn't know what to do about a single woman sitting alone at a bar NOT wanting company. When I responded "No, thank you," as gently as I possibly could, that question was their response.

An angry woman is an unattractive woman. That is social programming. Period. Don't believe me?...

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Angry women are not only unattractive, but often also labeled unfettered, crazy, or psycho:

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I've been pretty quiet as most of the #metoo and Bill Cosby, Johnny Depp, Harvey Weinstein, XYZ actors, and now Al Franken situations have developed but yesterday, while driving it all came up. I want to go up to every man that has ever asked me that question and say "THIS! THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO BE ANGRY ABOUT!!!" 

I did hashtag #metoo once on Facebook. Someone asked me, "Who?" I responded, "A better question is 'What happened?' or 'Are you alright?'." Since I was 12, I have experienced a constant stream of harassment, misconduct, and assault. It started with my first kiss, where an older guy decided he'd plunge his tongue down my throat and believed he had full right to do so being 4 years my senior. A ballet teacher inappropriately corrected our arm and leg positions at every class and always looked at me like I was lunch. I was in a sorority in college, so I can't even count the times I let things be said and done that I thought I had to let happen because I hadn't yet learned to say "piss off" or learned I had the right to even. A guy in a mall parking lot zipped down his pants as I was turning on my car to back out of the space to leave and tapped his penis on my window several times. A former boss would roll his executive chair up behind me to buckle my knees and sit on his lap. I went drinking with a girlfriend one night after having broken up with a fiance and was taken by someone after I blacked out. I no longer speak to that "girlfriend" and that someone is now a public servant.

The funny thing about being asked that question by those men in particular is that none of those men had ever experienced me angry so they didn't know my anger from Adam. I know they were certainly not trying to poke at the seething ball of lava inside of me fueled by double standards, socially sanctioned roles and expectations, sexual harassment, rape, two pregnancies that didn't make it, and just general blinding injustices all over the world.  

So, sure, Dave Grohl is a man yet he is the source of my inspiration for wanting to say ME FUCKING TOO and to keep speaking up and doing what drives me because anger can be beautiful as he so boldly displays. I hold all of your hands and hearts in this- men and women. This is happening. Everything that was built on lies, on injustice, or on someone else's back is collapsing. And most of this world, ladies and gentlemen, is a veritable house of cards.

Are we depressed?

Earlier today, a friend of mine asked me if I thought she was depressed. She was asking me since I am about women, mental health, and overall wellness. My response to her was, "Are you REALLY asking?" because I'm not sure if she wanted superficial support (of which I don't indulge anyway) or if she was really wanting to consider the possibility.

When she replied, "Yes, I am really asking", this was my response:

"I would venture to say that most people are depressed. But don't label yourself anything and then call it a day. That doesn't help anyone. Say you are depressed... whatever. Fine. Forget the label. How do you really feel? Do you feel good? If not, then change. Change whatever it is that’s not making you feel good. If you can’t change that thing/person/situation then change your response or involvement to that thing/person/situation because that’s all we really can change or control. If you’re not jumping up and down about something in your life with a huge “FUCK YEAH!!” then it’s a NO. It’s not a "maybe I can hang with this.... eh..." It's a NO. Make a YES life for yourself. Life is short. We all know this. 

We are all depressed. We take pharmaceuticals, we are alcoholics, we are drug addicts, social media mongers, overeaters, tv addicts, workaholics, etc etc etc because life is not as it should be. Real joy is more absent than it should be. Anyone can refute that if they want to but I will challenge them by asking them when was the last time they danced or played or laughed or fucked (WELL) or had time to relax in silence and enjoy themselves. Even those of us that have not succumbed to addiction are being unwillingly attacked by environmental toxins, noise pollution, fluoride, ridiculously strong electromagnetic fields, genetically modified foods, insects, and animals, propaganda, basic survival stress, a lack of community, etc etc etc so ALL of our immune systems, read EVERY SINGLE ONE, are actually physically depressed even if we are not emotionally depressed.

Drop the label. Just find the joy. Strap on your boots and find your joy yourself because NO ONE is going to do it for you."

When I finished writing I felt as if I had just written a manifesto of sorts. Something to build my coaching and-eventually- my therapeutic practice on. I live like this. I didn't use to, though. I didn't know I was responsible for my joy. It was always out there somewhere. 

Screw "out there somewhere." I am here ready to dance, to laugh, to play, to feel bliss from hair to yoni to toes, and to relax in the silence of my own meticulously-tended-to and delicious innerspace. 

Wanna come out and play?

The Banished Immortals.

In another not-at-all-surprising yet very serendipitous move by Liz GIlbert to make me adore her and believe she's my bizzaro wonder twin, today she wrote a post about The Banished Immortals. She wrote about this concept as a backstory to describe a video she made of a song that was about her partner who is terminally ill. The post answered a question I had been asking myself for the last six months now- why is life so sad? Or rather, why do I see so much sadness in life. I don't mean my life in particular, I am just referring to LIFE in the big sense. Why is it so hard and sad sometimes? Is it supposed to be? And why am I constantly asking this question?

This isn't the first time Liz Gilbert sends a soothing message when I send out an SOS into the ether. A little over a year ago, I was feeling pretty directionless and purposeless. I thought a lot about how much knowledge I had but what usable wisdom did I really have? I know how to do a lot of things but where is my ONE thing? On a day where I was in deep introspection about who I was and why I was put here, she published a podcast where she spoke about being a hummingbird (cross pollinators) or a jackhammer (someone with one obvious and solid goal), how both are valid and good, and how you can be both or just one in your lifetime. It took some of the weight off having to be any ONE thing and just let me be okay with who and what I was doing at the moment. That podcast episode has lived in me so deeply in the last year that I knew the exact moment my hummingbird had turned into a jackhammer. I have always wanted to thank her for that moment because helping me name it made the shift feel that much more interesting.

So today, when I read about The Banished Immortals, she helped me name another strong aspect of my self. I look back a lot- probably more than I should. When I look back I more often remember the difficult instead of the easy or the happy. Maybe it's just how I'm wired. Lately I've been focusing a lot on those difficulties and wondering, "Why is life so sad?" In the darker moments, a deep longing swells up inside me and I find myself saying, "I want to go home." Except I'm not sure where that is. And I don't quite remember it. But I feel there is something, in some other place that makes more sense than here.

From her post:

"Banished Immortals (a concept in Chinese mythology)  were thought to be divine beings who had been cast out of a celestial paradise, in order to live out one human incarnation here on earth. Because they have a memory of what heaven was like, Banished Immortals are never really at home here on our planet, where there is so much suffering and difficulty. As a result, they always feel alien and out of place, and they often become addicts, or artists, or healers — or all three. Banished Immortals just keep trying to find, or create, or disappear into, a sense of heaven here on earth — because they remember what existence is supposed to feel like, and they know it isn't supposed to hurt this much."

I look back and think about my life and its hurts... the relationships that didn't work, the babies I didn't birth, the times I did not- could not- believe in myself, the times I feel desperately alone, the assaults and violations towards me because I am a woman, those dear people that have left Earth, the times I didn't know my elbow from my ass, the utter confusion and loss of control that has come with parenthood, the longing for forgotten rituals and ceremonies of old that help us feel more of ourselves, the people I have hurt. It all feels crushing.

Luckily, there will always be a some beacons of light here that will help make all of it infinitely easier. They remind me me that the light is there. It's always there and its ready to receive me when I'm ready to stop dancing with the dark goddess and be filled by it. To Liz and to all these joyful beings I offer the most heartfelt "Thank You"... especially today when it's overcast and about to storm.

Will the real Pema Schott please stand up?

I heard recently in a podcast that on the road to success if you don't feel like an impostor, then you most probably are one. It was brilliant: Impostor Syndrome as the barometer for being full of shit or not. 

It made me feel great because that is the way I'm feeling lately- like a total fraud. I've been publishing my podcast on a regular schedule- on each new and full moon; I just recently published an eBook and now I'm more than ever wanting to organize my writings and get more of my experiences down and into a book; and I'm on track to finish my Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling faster than I thought I would. I think of each of these things and think, "Who wants to hear my podcast? Why would they find my topics interesting? Why would anyone wants tips from me about reconnecting to our feminine essence? Who cares about my life enough to read a book? Who is ever going to hire me to be their therapist?" The thing is, my self-indulgent little project is now at 1,000 listeners per show, without much marketing or effort on my part yet. That's pretty excellent, if I do say so myself. But good feedback and all, there are nights that I lay there in the dark, staring at the ceiling, asking myself "What are you doing? Why are you doing this? Where is this going???" And to each of those questions, my response is often, "I have NO idea... now please leave me alone, self-doubt and anxiety!"

However, when I ask myself this: 

"What do you know about the lives of women?" 

... I don't feel like such an impostor. Women, I know. Their struggles, I know. Their dreams are my dreams. If my womb could tell stories... well, I guess that would be the point of my book.

Several studies suggest that impostor syndrome is more frequent among women. 

SHOCKER!

We're not really used to feeling strong or having power, collectively and oftentimes individually, are we? So, of course we are constantly and anxiously waiting for someone to expose us: A-HA, you really are just a fraud and you have no idea what you're doing here! I know plenty of women apprehensive and terrified to step into the shoes they know they are meant to fill in the world. BIG shoes. They are so scared of being handed that torch and even more scared of carrying it. Behind all of that is a deep seated fear of disappointing everyone. Anyone. It's strong it me, too. But if we all question ourselves, I think we are on the right path. Because if we were absolutely sure of ourselves and arrogant and boastful of all we know and have done, then the growth, the responsiveness, and the openness has ended. 

As paralyzing and gut-wrenching as these impostor feelings are, I'm glad they're there. They keep me in check. After all, "I know that I know nothing" came from one of history's greatest minds to- I believe- remind us to stay humble. So, yay!... when I feel like a fake-o and I'm afraid I have nothing to offer this world, I'll simply remind myself that even Oprah has days like these. Can you imagine Oprah curled up in a corner of her home, wrapped in a fleece blanket in the fetal position, questioning her worth?!?

Neither can I but I'm sure it happens. It has to. Otherwise she wouldn't- she couldn't- keep going.

So, on I go...

 

 

 

Knitting in the modern world ;)

In Miami, one gets the sense that the right hand of the city never knows what the left hand is doing. This city is so dichotomous that most implants cannot stand it and relocate somewhere else. There are organic farms teaching people beekeeping and farming and there are all night raves that feed Denny’s business at 6am. This is Miami.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the gap between the knitters and non-knitters of the city. It’s an impossible bridge to gap. The answer to that may lie in the fact that when you think “Miami”, your mind doesn’t immediately think “wool” and “keeping warm in the winter” so very few really know there is a knitting community here. Since most people associate knitting with wool and really warm items of clothing for winter such as sweaters and scarves, those that don’t bother to dive into the knitting world deeper don’t know there are all kinds of cooler alternative fibers to wool that can be worn in any climate. And when I say “cooler”, I am referencing temperature- I would never use the word “cool” in the non-temperature sense to refer to knitting except when talking to another knitter.  Non-knitters just don’t understand how awesome knitting is, so I won’t even try to explain it.

Although our local yarn shop does have a ton of beautiful warm wool and alpaca in every color imaginable, cotton is the fiber which I usually knit my garments in because wool in the endless summers of Miami would be absolutely unbearable. Even in the coldest days of winter here, wool warms too much. That hasn’t stopped a lot of women (and men, YES men) in the community to frequent my favorite local knitting shop in South Florida (The Knitting Garden in the very chic part of Miami called Coral Gables) and knitting up warm handmade items for themselves, friends, and family.

In my knitting circle on Friday nights, we have “knitting happy hour” that runs from 5 - 8pm. In my mind, I lovingly call it “Prosecco and Pima”  because of my long-running preference for Cascade Yarn’s pima cotton (I love wool and alpaca but remember… Miami). And because on these Friday nights, we pop open bottles of prosecco and gab as women do when they come together. We gather at a long wooden table and fill up every possible space available- and then some- to gawk at each others projects, share funny anecdotes, or discuss Jon Snow or the new season of Grace and Frankie. Sometimes, someone comes with a homemade desert or platter of food to add to the sweet and savory snacks already spread on the table. They are usually welcomed by cheers and “ooh’s”, “aaahhh’s”, and “however did you find the time?” Women ranging from 20-80 are known to frequent happy hour which makes it that much more interesting- seeing what everyone is knitting up for themselves, their grandkids, husbands, or friends always helps give you ideas for what your needles may want to knit next.

Reading Clara Parkes’ “Knitlandia” and hearing her speak at New York’s city bookstore The Strand (via YouTube, I wasn’t lucky enough to actually attend), I totally get that Miami hasn’t caught up with being on the cooler side of knitting yet. Yarn bombings aren’t prevalent here and there are few knitting groups or meet ups. I attended the Perez Art Museum’s Day for Knitters where knitters gathered in the main entrance and received free entrance into the museum. I only counted about 20 people knitting or weaving. For those of us that have drunk the knitting kool-aid, we get it. Even though Miami doesn’t have anything close to a wool festival or a convention-like gathering, knitting is a way of life for many of us here already.

I can’t help but have major crushes on knitters like Clara Parkes, Ysolde Teague, Amy Hendrix, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and Stephen West. They’re changing the game and now making it fun and hip to be a knitter even though it always has been (the secret all knitters since the dawn of time have known but whose excitement and passion for it have fallen on deaf ears). I follow their Instagram accounts and always admire their projects and other creative photos and smile to myself at their wittiness. To make a living around something so wonderful and satisfying as knitting must be sublime. I often think of this more now that I lack the free hands it requires to knit as often as I’d like as I am a mother of 3 children. I usually make things in 10 - 30 minute increments which has made completing a recent project of a color-dipped cowl in fisherman’s rib something of a feat of patience and determination.

I know that the knitting scene is changing- not only in Miami but all over the world. When I look around the table at my knitting shop, I see no specific stereotype. I see women and men of all ages, colors, and cultures- all welcome. We all know how meditative and relaxing it is and how gratifying it is to turn a simple ball of yarn into something useful, wearable, sometimes intricate, and beautiful. However, the “granny” stigma is still very much there. Recently I was with my children at the park and was knitting on a bench and a girl in her early twenties approached me. She was wearing a tank top that said “CROSSFIT FOREVER” and was there with her toddler. She said to me,” Ohhhh, how cute! You’re knitting like in the olden days!” I didn’t know whether to smile or go put on a mumu! I felt like I needed to be on a rocking chair with my knitting, telling stories about the war. In the end I did smile and tell her how fulfilling it is for me and that knitting is still very much alive, but I realized that most people still think of it as archaic and old.

... which is why knitting fits me perfectly because the indigo paradigm-busting priestess in me loves to shake things up and shift perspectives. In this case it will be one ball of yarn at a time!

More.

I woke up this morning and browsed some friends' social media pages. I was floored at the phantasmagorical expressions that pours out of some people I know. Something about these moved me deeply and I began to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for being alive and for being a witness to this beauty and display of individual perspectives and languages from the heart. So much so that I was brought to tears. We could not possibly be any more different from person to person yet we are all so human. I don't know why but lately I have been thinking a lot about the time in my twenties when I lived in New York City. I was single, childless, and completely clueless. It was a time in my life where I still felt things could go any way; that there were still surprises around the corner that could lead me to the next big thing. It was a very fun and interesting time.

My favorite thing about that time in New York was my Sundays when my roommates weren't home. I used to live in Yorkville, just a block away from The Vinegar Factory up there and in the late mornings/early afternoons I would wake up and walk over there and spend at least an hour taking everything in with my five senses- touching the fruit I was going to buy, smelling all the fresh produce, taking in all the colors of mother nature's bountiful offerings chosen for sale by this grocer, tasting anything and everything they were sampling that day, and hearing conversations and the hustle bustle of a typical New York Sunday afternoon. I would carefully pick a wine and ingredients for my lunch or dinner and then proudly walk back home with my full bags (and much lighter wallet). I'd wave hello to my doorman who- upon seeing my grocery bags- would flash me a big smile because he knew how happy I was at that very moment. I'd put my ingredients in the fridge for later and always remember the feeling of "everything is as it should be" and just pure satisfaction with life.

Once I was ready to start cooking, I would take out all the ingredients from the fridge open the sliding glass door and let all the breeze come in. I'd light some incense, pour myself a glass of wine, put on some instrumental or vocal jazz (more often than not it was Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis) and get to chopping. What pleasure. Sometimes prepping would happen while the pinks and oranges would begin to disperse throughout the New York sky and I was suddenly in a Woody Allen movie. Those afternoons, I remember not needing anything or anyone but myself. I would eat in silence (except for the jazz and my thoughts) and enjoy every bite with so much delight. Sometimes after I cooked (if it was a lunch and early enough to still walk alone) I would walk the city alone, sometimes all the way down to Union Square, and take in all the interesting things that always abounded in that part of the city. Other times, I would walk the 72nd street path from East to West and back and sometimes get lost and find a coffee shop to sit in and be with myself for a while. I so thoroughly enjoyed that. One time as I walked that path, a solo saxophone coming from I don't know where began to play "Someone to Watch Over Me". The sun was low in the sky and I thought someone had just dropped me into a postcard. Or a Gaugin.

I was 28.

Since then, I have gotten somewhat caught up in the MORE game:

I need to have more.

I need to be more.

I need to do more.

I need to be more successful.

I need to make more.

I need to look younger (as in, I need to have more youth).

I need more wisdom.

I need more flexibility.

I need a more fit body.

I need more peace.

I need more time.

Many of us get caught up in this periodically, I'm fairly certain. I definitely do. And periodically, I press the reset button because I remember that's all nonsense.

Lately, I've been stressed at all the things I "need" because "I don't yet have them" and then I remembered New York in my late twenties. I didn't even have a sofa- three girls were so tightly packed in an apartment that there was no room for a sofa. All I had were the contents of my bedroom- a bed, a dresser, and some clothes. But I was having so much fun and felt so incredibly content and satisfied. I didn't even feel the need for a relationship. This time of abstinence (well, except for one great night with a friend/co-worker right before leaving town) and aloneness was so helpful to resolve that whole "a woman needs a man" thing for me. That changed from "need" to "it's so wonderful to have the absolute right one to accompany me". Once that shifted, I met my John.

And once I remember to shift the thoughts of needing more to "it's so wonderful to enjoy what I do have while still striving towards the things that are truly essential to my soul to have more of because it is perfectly okay to have dreams and desires," the world around me changes. I look around and see that there is so much. So many gifts, blessings, so much joy, so much to laugh about, so much to love, and so many to be loved by. So much art to appreciate, so much to be inspired by, so much time to create. Then my days become so full. They each become one long, remarkably delicious New York Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

This environmental science book was published in 1962 and it is just as relevant as it was then, if not more. Rachel Carson dives deep into the chemical industry's attack on all life- whether deliberate or not is up to you to decide. She was demonized and ridiculed once she began to speak publicly on these things. Even her spinster status was exploited as something that discredited her body of work even though one has nothing at all to do with the other. That alone- to me- speaks volumes about the verity of the information she sought to arm the public with. This is a great read and I urge anyone with any love for humanity and the Earth to pick it up and be outraged and called to action. I suggest we all take a moment's pause and consider how we perpetuate this problem and what we can do to stop our involvement in it and that of our communities.

I am so grateful to Maria Popova and her marvelous website Brain Pickings for featuring this book.

"It is not my contention that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to  contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge. If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem."

"Along with the possibility of the extinction of mankind by nuclear war, the central problem of our age has therefore become the contamination of man's total environment with such substances of incredible potential for harm- substances that accumulate in the tissues of plants and animals and even penetrate the germ cells to shatter or alter the very material of heredity upon which the shape of the future depends."

"For the first time in the human history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. In the less than two decades of their use, the synthetic pesticides have been so thoroughly distributed throughout the animate and inanimate world that they occur virtually everywhere. They have been recovered from most of the major river systems and even from streams of groundwater flowing unseen through the earth. Residues of these chemicals linger in soil to which they may have been applied a dozen years before. They have entered and lodged in the bodies of fish, birds, reptiles, and domestic and wild animals so universally that scientists carrying on animal experiments find it almost impossible to locate subjects free from such contamination. They have been found in fish in remote mountain lakes, in earthworms burrowing in the soil, in the eggs of birds- and in man himself. For these chemicals are now stored in the bodies of the vast majority of human beings, regardless of age. They occur in every mother's milk, and probably in the tissues of the unborn children."

click on the link below to learn more about the book:

The end of the year.

I recently heard someone mention how sad it was that Beethoven couldn't hear his own masterpieces. Can you imagine creating the 7th Symphony and then not be able to hear it?!? Recent events in my life have made me very sympathetic to that- pain that comes from not ever being able to enjoy something you have created. I wonder then what exactly it was that made him mad. Was it the inability to hear the fruits of his talent? Was it that he was an artist to such a degree that he couldn't relate to the mundane?

At the end of every year, I get really introspective and pretty much shut down completely to the outside world. It's like I create my own winter inside so all that magic that is supposed to be born of its darkness and stillness can happen inside of me despite all the sameness of the external environment in which I live. "Endless Summer" is a term that only sounds sexy.

This winter of my personal discontent, I have shut down more than normal. So much so that lately I find myself constantly asking, "Am I doing this right? Am I playing well with others? Am living authentically to my purpose? What IS my purpose?" Questions I often ask myself so much more in the time right before the switch gets flipped into the new year, but ones that I check in with constantly between inhales and exhales on any given day.

Time and time again, I often feel like I belong on the moon. After all, she knows how to live cyclically; she understands the wholeness that is the combination of light and dark. She hangs alone in the sky. Nobody ever told her being alone was bad, unfortunate, or a consequence. Nobody ever told her she was bad, unfortunate, or a consequence.  Alone is good. She is good. As good as anything else is and yet completely incomparable.

I don't have any new year's resolutions. The only thing I know I want from the following year is for more words to flow and more music. Whether this is the year I start writing my book, or blog more, or journal more, or create more podcasts. Whether I join a band or jam or just sing along with my uke more. The truth has always been this: when I wake up I feel like a singer and writer. But a singer sings and a writer writes.I don't even care if I'm good at it or not. So, let me start again now. Who needs to wait two weeks? So, here's this blog post and later this week I'll jam with one of my girlfriends. Now, now, now, now, now, now, now. NOW.

2016... the year I learned to play the ukulele, the year my family first ate something we slaughtered ourselves, the year I turned my last 30, the year I lost a baby, the year of wearing my hair long, and the year I met more of myself than I ever have in all the years combined.

Happy New Year, everyone. 2017 may be "better" or not. But whatever it is, I promise it will be new.

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Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins

I have a dear friend who has read all of his books and even drove quite a bit to meet him at a university. After I read "Jitterbug Perfume" I would have driven pretty much anywhere to meet him, given the chance. He has such a mastery over words and knows how to paint VERY colorful pictures. I'm only on the first few pages and I already love it although I don't yet know where it's going and couldn't yet tell you what it's about. But knowing Tom Robbins and having read Jitterbug and Woodpecker, it's laced with overt messages of goddess worship and is open in ways that make knees buckle- basically two things perfectly combined to make GREAT writing. Click on the pic below for more information about the book:

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39.

This is so very me... The days before my birthday, I start to crawl into a cave (more than usual). I get very introspective (more so than usual) and sensitive (again, more... ah, you get it). Part of being a Scorpio? Perhaps. Probably just mostly part of being me.

I'm sitting at my favorite coffee shop, reveling in the fact that I have time alone to myself. I'm enjoying my coffee by savoring every single delightful sip and eating my gluten-free pastry tiny bite by tiny bite. I haven't had a stretch of a few hours off in a very long time so I am going to stretch this one out. Right now I am writing and editing audio; when I'm done here I will take the trolley over to The Knitting Garden and swatch my new project.

Time alone is so precious to me. I don't have to live in that place where moms live- in that fight or flight hyperaware part of our over-utilized brain. I can just... aaaaaaaahhhhhHHHHHHH. When I get time alone, I almost always end up crying. Wherever I am. Seriously, WHEREVER. I sob and when I realize I'm out in public making people uncomfortable, I pack up and just go for a walk. I cry because I feel an overwhelming sense of "Ohhhhhh, THERE I AM" and I can't contain the excitement and sadness that feeling holds. So, when I look down and see my newly protruding belly bump holding baby number four, I can't help feel a bit of panic. I have basically spent my thirties mostly being pregnant, having children, nursing children, raising children, managing other's feelings/outbursts, soothing toddlers, bathing others, dressing others, brushing teeth (sometimes even my own!), and loving others. It's not to say I haven't felt loved. I'm also fairly coddled (my equally exhausted partner does what he can to remind me I matter, while I cry from invisibility some days).

Last night during my usual middle of the night pregnancy wake-up, I had the oddest vision. I saw myself up at bat in Wrigley Field, bat firmly gripped in my hands, focusing on the pitcher, trying to predict what pitch was coming my way. It was odd because in my real life, sports is really not a thing at all. I don't follow or watch it and I don't know or care what's going on in that world. All I knew from FB posts was that the Cubs won the World Series trying to break some long curse and something about a goat.

I knew a 100+ mph curve ball was coming for me. And as the vision unfolded, I couldn't help but keep thinking how peculiar this sports metaphor was for me. I knew it had to do with my 4th baby on his/her way and when I realized that, I let myself sit with the fear and enormity of it. Another few years inside the LABORinth. Funny thing is, I don't recall ever getting out. It has felt more like approaching the exit only to send myself right back to the beginning. Maybe some people think "well, who told her to keep having kids?" No one. No one did. And I'm not complaining about those beautiful little ones. But I certainly need to express the feelings I am having around starting over and delaying the "getting back to myself" for another few years.

Many people- mostly other moms- often ask me, "How do you do everything you do?" I assume that they are referring to my podcast, my blog, involvement in my daughter's Waldorf school, my serious knitting habit, mothering 3 children, having a successful partnership, a masters degree (which I have since put on hold due to this pregnancy),carve time out for myself whenever I can, and just general life. The truth is, without all these things I can sort of call my own I would go insane. If I didn't have anything other than my children, I think I would have evaporated into oblivion a long time ago. Since I had my first baby in my early thirties I have been on a fierce mission to keep some parts of myself alive so that when I have time to come back to myself, I haven't forgotten what my purpose on Earth is and who I am. I still know what makes me tick. I still know what seeds I want to leave planted deep in the Earth before I go.

With good fortune, I may even see them sprout and bloom <3

 

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Woman do you know...?

Woman do you know...

that it's perfectly okay to be angry and show it? to be insecure and vulnerable and show it? to look for a safe space for where to collapse because it's okay to collapse.

that it's okay to speak the truth even when no one around you wants to hear it. to fiercely stand in your truth and in your grace- unrelentingly so. to drop everything to follow only that with integrity and soul. to follow your bliss.

that it's okay to act like a man if and when you may want to. to feel larger than life and screech with joy about it- loud and clear. to own every bit of your space that you have carved out for yourself with every cell in your body. and that it's okay to love and celebrate your woman-ness.

that it's okay to want time alone. to not want to give. to say "I can't stand my kids." to feel, "I can't stand my partner." to want to runaway to a quiet space in nature where it's just you and the silence. to want to laugh, dance, sway, cry, shake, express your whole self in your aloneness in any way your moment moves you.

that it's okay to bleed. not just okay... it is a gift and a privilege. and a responsibility that calls us in to do the work every day. it's okay to call in sick, but the work is never done. it's okay to celebrate your blood for its magic. to be excited for your blood to come. to intimately connect with it in a way that fills you and reminds you of your priestess roots.

that it's okay to unearth taboos. to not continue to put them away in a forgotten corner of your life. to realize that to keep turning away from exploring them is to deny growth.

that it's okay to welcome the years, the wrinkles, the greys, and the scars with as much enthusiasm as you greet a sister.

Basically, it's okay to WHATEVER. YOU. WANT.

Because the rules you've been living by- the smallness you feel- are someone else's. NOT yours.

Check your baggage at the door and join the party. and remember who and what you are.

Allow full emergence. grace and grit. you will love what you find.

Pure magic.

<3

Sexy MF'er.

Back when I was freshly postpartum with my first baby, Faith Ploude's postpartum support group was THE place to go for help with all that came with new motherhood. So, I went. To this day, something she said at one meeting has stayed with me throughout all these years: "Ladies, date your husbands. DATE YOUR HUSBANDS! Because no matter how bald, fat, or ugly he is, there are always some sharks smelling blood and circling around."

It made me laugh so much. And although we had just had our first baby, and weren't really caught up in the grind yet, the words rang true. My bigger issue is, my husband is neither bald, fat, or ugly. He is scorching hot.

So, here we are. A few years and children later. And we are TIRED. But let me not speak for him... let me only speak for myself. I am ex.hausted. It's to the point that I almost feel androgenous. I do date my husband but I don't know what to do on dates anymore. Or maybe some part of me does know but I certainly feel awkward doing it. I feel like a person who's never driven a car and is given the keys to a Ferrari. What the heck do I do with this thing?!

I am cracking jokes but, sometimes, it's not funny. I think about the deeper meaning of these emotions and wonder how do I get back to feeling somewhat sexy again? How do I start the spark to burn with desire again? And not just here and there for fleeting moments. Like really, really BURN again. From head to toe as I once remember. My mind is definitely on it. I want to want to be sexy. When we were having dinner today, although we were having a sweet time, I was still thinking "ugh when did I lose my swag?" and wondering when I forgot how to smolder. Remember smoldering? I do. I remember I once knew how to look across the table/bed/room at a man and invite him with my eyes. i used to be damn good at it, actually. I felt so awkward and far away from smoldering that although I was thinking about it, I didn't even try. Then my mind went back to business as usual which is a constant loop of "Masters Degree. Boogers. Motherhood. Breastmilk. Mom jeans."

I mostly spend my time- when not studying- with other mothers and I've realized that a lot of us don't really spend time on our looks. Who has the time for that really? I think I used to a bit after my first, and then after my second I tried, but now I brush my teeth and consider that a huge accomplishment and basically my entire beauty regimen. And really, it's painfully clear that mothers are the bottom rung when it comes to society, in so many ways. It was deeply ingrained in me that my physical beauty has value that mostly hangs on the opinions of all other men so now that I don't give a damn about society and what it thinks of me, I have had to redefine what makes me a woman and what makes me feel I have true beauty. I'm still in the process of finding out what makes me attractive to me.

I have fallen deep into an abyss- a place that Aphrodite can't find on her Waze. It doesn't feel sensual, luscious, or juicy at this depth. It feels flat and not womanly. Womanliness- deep feminine goodness- to me feels curvy and interesting and mysterious; flirty and coy; pampered yet generous.

I don't want to "get my groove back". Or my "sexy back". Or any other cliche thing about bringing the fire back. I just want the old seductress-y me to seduce me back into her ways so I can start to feel the fire again so that it emanates heat out to all areas of my life. After all, I am the one that has always believed you can be a mother and a hot, sexy mother fucker at the same time.

That's right, I said that.

 

I hope he always loves me.

On the eve of our seventh anniversary, we found each other in a warm bath, with our third already doing acrobatic nursing at a mere nine months. Our eyes were tired; our souls were tired. He was looking handsome as ever though, tired as he was. I suddenly became aware of our other children arguing in their playroom. "We used to be people," I said, utterly defeated and exhausted down to my bones.

Lately, I have been very aware of the aging process in my body. New wrinkles in my skin, thinner lips, less hair. And yet my husband still looks youthful. I look at him and I still admire his simple but life-altering inner light and am even more grateful than when we first met about how he keeps me connected to the "otherness" of life.. to those things I know are true but cannot see. Because of him I always have one foot here and the other somewhere far, far away. He reminds me there is more to life than _______ (fill in the blank). That I am more than _______ (fill in the blank.)

I have been hearing about the seven year itch from people. Warnings and such. I understand what could happen to a seasoned relationship and don't believe in an "itch" at any one year. Life is an ebb and flow. It is concave and convex. Ever changing. Standing still for no one, so I don't consider us immune to anything. However, I love this man.

He texted me recently from Whole Foods that someone had followed him around the store because she thought he was Johnny Depp. I was with him another time when that happened at a movie theater. A young girl ran up and fanatically grabbed his arm and yelled, "Oh my GOD!" only to realize- finally up close- that he was just a doppelganger and then apologized profusely. His looks are not lost on me. I still fancy him very much and still think he is one of the most stunning things my eyes have ever seen. But it's more than how he looks that bubbles my insides with so much love for him.

Our relationship continues to surprise me because although time continues to go by, I peel more and more layers into an unknown I never expected. I guess I always had an expectation that normal relationships whither with time but here there is always expansion. This doesn't mean it's always easy but it hopefully means we will continue to journey together, in whatever way we can.

I have found myself often looking at him when he knows I'm not looking, especially lately. I wonder what he still sees in me, now that I often feel like an overtired, overwhelmed student/mother that barely looks up from her phone long enough to hold an intelligent conversation anymore. I think, "I used to be interesting and complex. How does he see me now?" And then, because he always helps me keeps things real, from there I go on to bigger questions about my inner life; the world; the universe; truth. I don't know the answers to any of those questions. I don't know who I'll be tomorrow. Or when I graduate. Or five years from now. Or when our children are bigger. Or when they're out of the house and onto their lives. But I hope I always love him and I hope he always loves me.

 

Dignity in childhood.

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The other day I was visiting my mom at the salon in which she rents her station when suddenly, the owner- who we don't know very well at all- suddenly walks up to my daughter from where he was sitting quite a ways away and says, "Hey, you talk too much." My daughter, who was sitting at the manicurist's chair and commenting TO ME on how beautiful the polish colors were, immediately lost her smile. Her body hunched over so subtly, but I- being her mother- caught it quite obviously. She stopped looking at the polish and stared down at the floor.

I was in shock. I was speechless. At the same time I wanted to sucker punch him, I sat there motionless in disbelief. When I snapped back to my senses, I went over to her, locked eyes with her and asked, "What were you saying, love, about the polish?" And made sure she knew I was paying attention and was not at ALL bothered by her talking. She began to say something else when the same man interrupted her with complete disregard again for her feelings and began to tell me his dog passed away. I put on my therapist hat and decided that this gentleman meant no harm even though he had caused my daughter emotional harm twice in the span of a mere minute. My knee-jerk reaction was to say something rude and stern back to him but I realized there was no benefit to this. He was clueless as to what he had done. Looking back now I wish I would have said SOMETHING to him though because maybe, in my daughter's eyes, I made it permissible to interrupt her and perhaps she would think my silence was saying her thoughts were not worthy of being heard. Upon further meditation, I realized that the reason I didn't say anything was some awful childhood programming of my own I have about never being rude or stern to an older person or calling an older person's attention.

Childhood can be very undignified. I see it everyday. EVERYDAY. Yesterday at an indoor playground, a mother pulled her kid out of the ballpit because he was throwing balls outside of the pit along with some other boys (mine included) none of whom were being punished for it. She dragged him out by the arm, violently smacked him, and yelled at him in front of everyone. Then she threw him back inside. At a local coffee shop, a father went about his business chatting with a friend and getting his coffee while his daughter tugged at his pants, trying desperately to get his attention the whole time they were there and he didn't once make eye contact with her or ask her what she wanted. I see children spoken down to, manhandled, bullied, manipulated, abused, lied to, and ignored by adults and older children who are at age where they [should] know better. It is infuriating. I get so angry when people treat children like second class citizens or like less than what they actually are- brilliant little balls of energy, asking to be loved, taught, and guided. Children depend on their parents and adults for so much- for real and true information about the world, for gentle guidance as opposed to forced or aggressive coercion, for understanding their place in the world, for help discovering and developing their imagination, for help developing to a stage where they can make sound choices for themselves, and on and on and on- if we are all not careful, we can seriously damage the course of their lives.

That people want to exert power over a child is mind boggling. How can it be that in a situation where someone has the upper hand (oftentimes only due to mere size) people will take their fullest advantage of it when a child is involved? I can't wrap my head around it. Take the man who told my daughter she talked too much. I know he didn't mean anything by it, but would he say that to one of his older patrons? Would he have gone up to the wealthy middle-aged lady who was under the hair dryer who WAS talking too much to say so? Of course not. THAT would be considered rude and uncouth. But to just walk up to a child so nonchalantly and say what he said, while smiling, is considered harmless.

When I mentioned it to my mom later that day, she jumped to point out, "Oh, I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it." And when I mentioned the injustices children have to endure, she stopped listening to me and began another conversation with my father mid-sentence. I understand that generation isn't looking at the things we are (and by "we" I mean, Gen X, Y, Z, Millennials, Next and hybrids thereof). We dissect and examine. We revolt and uproot. They like to keep quiet and keep the status quo. I get all that. So, I understand but I certainly don't stand by these actions that suck the dignity out of childhood- such a creative, fecund, and sweet time of life.

I urge everyone reading this to examine the way they treat children- whether theirs or others. Sometimes all it takes is one word from one person- one- to slice through a kid's confidence and self-esteem. We can drag down or give wings to the up and coming generations. I choose goodness and to remind these little angels of their wings with which they can fly.

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Makes me wonder.

I have a girlfriend who spends her time traveling all over the world and doing things that interest her. She doesn't have a job. She enjoys her life. She never bought into societal rules- at least not as long as I have known her. She is one of the sweetest people I know and I admire her immensely. She calls the most unique and incredible people across the world her friends. She is smart, emotionally intelligent, beautiful, kind, fun as hell, and extremely interesting. I remember one time while visiting Miami (her family lives here so she lands here often), she told me about a great book she read where the people of San Francisco got fed up with how things were going on Earth that they took to the streets with pickaxes and went at the cement roads. After some time, everything turned green and life started going back to the way nature would have intended if not for us. I think about that conversation we had often because whenever I get fed up with the way things are, I'd like to go outside with a pickaxe and have at the streets of Coral Gables (not so much city beautiful but city where you are FORBIDDEN to garden on your front lawn or paint the inside of your house without a permit). I often wonder... does anyone else feel this way? And if some do, are we all just so socially conditioned that we all remain paralyzed and sit (somewhat) idly by while the well being of this world and its inhabitants continues to decline at a staggering rate?

I appreciate that most people I know work for their own brand of change. Some people work to improve themselves, some work for the hungry of the world, some work for water conservation, some work to stop fracking, some work to preserve the last pair of a rare kind of rhinoceros, and on and on and on. But is this enough?? I believe despite hard work  against the powers and status quos that be, something still has a hold on us. Some unspoken fear that keeps us from revolt in the face of so many absolute injustices. I include myself in this because as much as I would love to paint a peace sign on my face and run naked through the streets chanting "only love is real!", I don't.

It's difficult to live in this world when you have experienced the other side. To know it used to be okay to bask in the sun all day because the foods we ate were so pure and biodynamic that they were a natural sunscreen makes me question how we live today. To know we were so connected to the land that we would know what plants to eat or not, or at least have the guidance of a plant shaman to tell us which to eat, makes me question how we live today. To not be able to breastfeed my children without getting shameful looks makes me question. To be called a "nutbag" because I chose to birth my children at home away from unnecessary interventions makes me question. To be in a world of 7 billion people and feel lonely- along with so many others- makes me question. To consider the educational system of standardized tests and thoughtless content makes me wonder. To know that companies that poison us like Coca Cola and McDonalds have fat pockets yet socially responsible companies can't make a name for themselves because they lack "market appeal" makes me wonder.  To know that we as a people are so numbed we've stopped asking simple questions such as "where does the money go?" or "what are our true origins?" makes me wonder.

The truth is, most of this modern life makes me wonder.

And yet, I still haven't picked up my pickaxe. Just a bag of organic, gluten-free animal crackers.

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Soft.

With the exception of labor (so far), everything about having babies is soft to me. My body feels so soft, newly spongey and pudgy in certain places and not at all tight and toned like I felt right before my pregnancy. I feel soft all over. As my external body feels soft, so does everything inside. I can imagine my soft little squishy one dancing around in her amniotic fluid, softly hovering over my softening cervix. My thoughts have softened into new places like dreamy journeys with my baby and meditative encounters with a familiar, warm light and soft, otherworldly sounds.

Everything feels soft... including my heart.

My tears flow freely, as I have felt my heart opening like never before. I have suspected heart-openings in many previous life experiences and have actually felt them during my previous pregnancies, but now this softness feels enormous and so, so, so much bigger than me.

While the vulnerability itself is scary, what I am most afraid of is if the opening were to stop. Somewhere between sleepless nights and balancing life, my beloved, children, and school, will things begin to harden again? Like a mantra, the thought of staying soft keeps repeating in my mind. Not only for a more peaceful birth but for a more peaceful life. As I soften, I believe- more and more everyday- that everything begins inside oneself. I want to offer my light and a soft heart to myself and to the world.

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Baby Talk.

For me, the words "baby talk" have always meant something so different than high-pitched words from mothers and cooing and babbling from tiny babies. Baby talk reminds me of 4am... wide awake... communicating with my babies. During each pregnancy, my babies have liked to often wake me up at 4am to be with them.

Sitting here in the stillness of the amrit vela, I can't help but love it. The blurred lines between worlds makes this such a magical time. So for a while, I lay in bed, took a few deep breaths and connected with my baby and with my higher self. I feel I don't get to say "hi" to her as often as I'd like even though I know all day I am in constant contact with her (both my baby and my higher self).

I put a question out to my guides and all the light beings and ascended masters: many times this pregnancy, my daughter and I have found feathers in our path- something that is new in my experience walking on this big green and blue ball. I know shamans have feathers in their toolbox and it is a significant symbol for many different things in ancient cultures but I've never really had an experience that drew me to feathers. So I asked, "What is it about feathers that people love?"

A gentle response: "You're asking the wrong question."

I thought about that for a while. I closed my eyes again and tried to still my mind- a herculean feat, it seems, these days.

Images began to flash in my mind and then I realized the question wasn't why feathers draw people in but why they were drawing me in at the moment. I tend to always overthink about others- their actions, their reactions, what they're thinking, and why.... why? why? why? Thought patterns that were set as part of my upbringing, I think. And when I asked the question again, this time asking what it meant for me, all I saw in my mind's eye was an eagle and a condor, flying side by side, high above.

What I want more than anything now is to be like a bird. To not swoop down into the depths of valleys or feel high at mountain peaks. I just want to soar above all of it, in peace with my surroundings- whatever and whoever is there- and watch with stillness of mind and heart, wisdom, and clarity.

Thank you to the great unseen shaman who keeps putting feathers in my path. <3

Happy Chives.

Our friends are truly the best.

So our awesome friend Gebi has come to stay with us for a while. He's an all around phenomenal being- health mentor, devotee of Sai Baba, former Olympic athlete and water sports coach. He is very motivating on many levels and always comes with so much to offer us.

Yesterday as he and my husband were outside playing in our backyard, he spotted some wild edibles. We've been here for a month and totally missed it but he caught it right away. He went and grabbed his pocket knife and before we knew it we had bunches and bunches of wild delicious chives!

He handed me one and I ate it right out of the ground. It was sweet and delicious. I took a moment because my heart swelled with gratitude. The fact that food grows out of the ground... FOOD... as in gracious nutrition for the beings on this planet that grows free and abundantly... just blows my mind. It is nothing short of miraculous.

Unfortunately, not many see it this way anymore. I thought about that for a while yesterday as I watched my little ones play among the weeds and the chives and apparently a bunch of other produce that will bud in the spring according to Gebi. We have lost the reverence to the earth and its sacred processes. Why? I suppose because we no longer see it. Not many of us grow our own food anymore or even know someone who does. So, we miss out on the opportunity to see a seed being planted, being nurtured by the planter, by water, by the sun, sprouting to life and proceeding through the growth process.

This  has many implications. Since we don't have an appreciation of where our food comes from, we usually don't care what it is we're eating. It also means we allow things like frankenfoods- GMO's, pesiticide-laden foods, chemicals, manufactured "foods"- into our beautiful bodies. This not only disconnects us from our food but from ourselves. If we all remembered we are spirits inhabiting a sacred temple, we would not allow any disconnection from ourselves or from the things we take in through our senses. All it takes is a little bit of awareness.

I can't fully tell you how I feel right now knowing there is food growing in my backyard. Having had a delicious organic baked potato last night full of chives from the land on which I live has made me feel so humble and grateful. It has opened up pathways in my mind connected to creativity, creation and oneness. I feel like tiny explosions are going off in my mind and heart. Since last night I have been in awe of the fact that we take and exhaust and discard yet we continue to be supported and gifted by the Earth in countless ways. Every day the sun rises. Every day there is oxygen to breathe. Every day living water gushes out of springs to sustain life.

If we are to heal the world, let's begin by healing ourselves. Let's till the soil of our soul because it's the only one we truly have any reign over. When it is healthy and whole then so will our external soil be. Then we can grow and create whatever we want and enjoy bounty beyond our imaginations!

To our health and the health of our planet <3