Finding Treasures in Nature

A leaf? No, a rock! 😄

Took a walk this evening at the local park to catch the setting sun and the cheers of a little league ball game in action. Then I saw this curious little thing wedged in the fence. All I could think was what a strange place for a strange looking leaf to get stuck. On closer inspection I realized it was a painted rock! The very same rock my friend sent me a photo of some days ago while she was walking this park, only it was in a completely different location!😄

Huh! I thought as I walked on with my little dog. What a fun find!

Admiring the field of cattails in their velvety brown attire another, small something caught my eye. I squinted to get a closer look and saw it had a face! Oh my gosh! Another little hidden gem! Now I was really paying attention. What delightful fun!

It even had strands of “hair”. The little kid in me was squealing with delight. I wondered how many other people have seen these little art gifts wedged in the trees?

Only a few steps farther ahead another impish face peered up at me looking like a mini pumpkin 🎃 .

Man! How many of these characters are out here I wondered?

Just before leaving the path one more smiling face popped out, as if to wish my dog and I a fair adieu! Right then a gentleman with an ear bud in one ear came walking with his dog up the path. Figuring he probably saw me inspecting and photographing trees I smiled and said, “Someone’s put little painted stones in the tree crevices!” I had hoped he would find these whimsical treasures as intriguing as I did. But no. He sort of smiled, walked on past and replied, “That’s cool”. 😕 Well, I guess these rock people sightings weren’t intended for everyone.

What a journey. So glad I decided to take the dog for a walk! ❤️ Hope this little story has inspired you to leave love notes, painted rocks or some other uplifting charms in your neighborhood! 🌸🌷🌲🧚‍♂️

Pay Attention to the World Around You

“Pay attention to the 🌎 world around you, to the flight of 🦅 birds, the movement of ⛅️clouds, and the dance of 🍃 leaves 🍁 in the air. Listen to the song 🎶 of the wind, the murmur of the 💧 river 💧, the sounds made by insects in the grass,🕷🐝 bees on the wing, the chatter of crows, and the barking of 🐶 dogs. From these things lies the patterns of all Creation, of which you are a part. When you can hear the sound of a 🦋 butterfly opening its wings, then you can hear the sounds of your own immortal being.” 🌀❤️

– message from the Sidhe, via John Matthews, and his book, The Sidhe | Wisdom from the Celtic Otherworld.

Book Review: Sacred Actions-Living the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices

Book by Dana O’Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll’s latest publication, “Sacred Actions-Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices”  is a kindred companion for all who desire to step lightly on this beautiful planet. Her many years of experience in permaculture and love for Nature shine a bright light into the heart of those seeking ways to draw balance, healing, simplicity, and creativity into their life. She offers practical advice, such as ways to recycle compost, and store food to name a few, as well as thoughtful considerations on how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us. Her inspirational, sacred ritual ideas invite the reader to synch with Earth’s natural rhythms, whether we’re living in a busy city, the suburbs, or homesteading in the country. “Care as a Spiritual and Lifestyle ethic” is the theme, heart and soul of every chapter in this book.”

About the author, Dana O’Driscoll, in her own words:
“I enjoy learning and consider myself a lifelong student of nature spirituality and druidry. I’ve been practicing druidry for almost 15 years–Revival Druidry is my home and path. I am a Druid/Bardic Adept and the Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) and a Druid-grade graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD).  In 2018, I was made the OBOD’s Mount Haemus Scholar for my research on cultivating the bardic arts. For a story of how I came to druidry, please see my post “The Mystery of the Stumps and the Spiral Path: How I came to Druidry.”  For more about my role(s) in AODA, see here.”

For more info please see her blog:
https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/

Dreamy Pink Fruit Smoothie 🌸

What better way to celebrate a sunshiny day than a fruit smoothie! Especially if, like me, you bought a giant watermelon that wasn’t quite ripe! 🤪

Not wanting to waste the watermelon (tho I fed a fair amount to the horses- they were happy), I decided to throw a bunch of fruits on hand into the blender with it. Turns out if you add little strawberry, banana, and a touch of maple syrup (optional) you get a mighty pretty, tasty little summer drink! 🍉🍌🍓💚

YOU’RE FINE, YOU’RE JUST LOW ON MOJO!

What causes a loss of libido, poor concentration, lack of creativity, excessive & exhaustive thinking, negative monkey chatter, low self-esteem, and at its worst no hope or joy? Well, living on Earth these days may be part of it! But let’s not blame the innocent planet. No, no. It’s just the accumulated stress of this particular human paradigm.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, and really any traditional indigenous medicine, it is understood that day & night, hot & cold, action & rest and so forth are constantly seeking homeostasis (aka balance). When you fall out of balance which, let’s face it is super easy to do these days, the yin (cooling/introvert) and yang (warming/extrovert) elements of one’s life, mind, emotions, and body fall out of kilter.

Today we’ll briefly cover yang qi (“yong chee”), which has a warming, active, outgoing, passionate, excited, motivated, fiery nature.

“yang qi” represented here as fire phoenix

Lots of folks are running on steam these days, eating on-the-go, consuming lifeless “food”, gaining weight, feeling completely unmotivated, not sleeping enough or very well, and overall feeling pretty meh. Be kind to yourself. There’s no blame, it’s fixable, but to reverse out of it requires commitment. Ok, maybe commitment sounds too daunting. Let’s say, it requires a little “fake it till ya make it” excitement about loving and paying attention to yourself more than any stress factors or old habits that scream for your attention. Be forewarned: The more you back out of the old, tired, angry, addictive, fear-mongering paradigm, the more its tentacles will try to pull you back in. Find your inner strength and hold on!

What causes the loss of yang qi? A sample list:

-over-exposure to cold temps, either in outdoor weather or an indoor job in the refrigerated section

-eating cold foods and drinks in excess

-wearing summer clothing on cold and/or brisk, windy days

-excess weights at the gym, excess aerobic exercise

-staying too busy at work or in the brain for what your body can handle

-lack of restful sleep and quiet time to recupe

-being in a state of chronic fear and worry and constantly bullied. Yes, even the media can be considered a hardcore bully these days for its severe lack of positive news and inspirational articles.

And how does one go about healing the deficient yang qi? Some easy steps:

-eat live foods, as in fruits & veggies, preferably steamed or sautéed

-wear layered clothing in weather that flip flops from super hot to windy cold

-drink chai or other teas that include ginger to warm up the digestion system (the core of your health and immunity).

-nap like a cat, as often and frequently as needed

-avoid bullies, and that includes social and mass media, because seriously.

-rest in the warm (not hot) sunlight. Earbuds in for soft music, lying on a cozy blanket under a tree with dappled sunlight and shade… ahhhh … perfect! Then you get your “earthing” in too!

-ease off the excess everything. Be the Goldilocks. Find the happy middle-ground of all you do in life.

-listen to uplifting music, comedy shows, people, bird songs

-gaze at the moon and stars at night, breathe in the morning and evening sunlight

-get some bodywork (massage, energy healing, reflexology)

-and this one you can’t do enough: GET OUT IN NATURE EVERYDAY!

Good luck! 🙂

phoenix image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/216243219583603906/

nature image: wallpapersworldbd.blogspot.com

Elder Hero Focus: William Shatner

As a young child I was a sincere “Trekkie” before I ever heard the term. Each evening I faithfully watched the latest episode of (the original tv series) Star Trek. I just knew flying cars and spaceships would be in our future (you can imagine my profound disappointment at our current state). Spock, with his unwavering sense of calm togetherness, unquestionable logic, and nice smile was a legit role model. Capt. Kirk, on the other hand, always perturbed me a bit with his excessively emotional outbursts and womanizing behavior. Although sometimes he was right in arguments with Spock, and he could even be funny!

Only after many decades of watching William “Bill” Shatner (the original Capt Kirk) in other tv shows, movies, commercials and, most recently, his interview on the youtube radio show, “q on cbc” did I really come to respect this diverse, genuine, down-to-earth, and amazingly creative individual. He’s managed to have one of the most prolific acting, writing, directing, producing, and Star Trek convention attending careers out of all the original cast members.

In his YT interview (see link at end of blog) he was asked what it was like to act the part of an elderly man losing his memory while still having to deal with the world in his latest, dry-comedy, rom-com movie, “Senior Moment”. He replied that only a good sense of humor helps one face the fear of death, the fear of losing one’s memory, and the loneliness.

“Loneliness,” said Bill, “is endemic to being human.”

I was moved by his frank honesty, and surprised to hear that a famous, active, public figure who on the surface never seems to lack for company or projects to be involved in, felt chronically lonely.

On being asked how he felt about his upcoming 90th birthday – yes, 90!! (no waaaaay!) he replied he hated the idea, and how getting older was terrifying. Health history insight: Five years ago Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer…. mistakenly! He was walking around in a completely depressed state, having to come to terms with the “death sentence” until he went in for another test and the diagnosis was reversed!

To resolve the shock to his system he really invested on focusing his attention to “the beauty of life”. He lives everyday to the fullest, especially now. He keeps himself very occupied mentally and physically, even during lockdown. His favorite past-times are racing cars, performing “Reining” events with his horse, playing with and training his dogs (who are also his best friends), releasing an upcoming music album titled, “Love, Death & Horses”, creating a podcast, and going on car rides with his two Dobermans – he said they travel in the car with him “everywhere!”. He loves eggs, mountains, horses, dogs, tea, the taste of orange, and the “sensory and philosophical beauty of life and its interconnectedness”.

I wanted to share his story as inspiration, and as part of an ongoing series I will blog on now and again with focus on our elders. Our culture is woefully lacking any real respect for the living history books who are our senior citizens. This fact became horrifically evident as stories surfaced from 2020 about elderly folks being literally locked away in the retirement centers, apart from their families, pets, Nature, everything that makes life worth living – all in an effort to “protect them”. The ongoing fear and isolation was a death sentence in itself for many, I’m certain.

In my line of work I’ve also heard heart-wrenching stories from nurses who tell me about prior work experiences they’ve had in retirement facilities involving a nightmare of paperwork bureaucracy, lack of staffing, and everyday witnessing the deep loneliness and isolation of elders whose families completely ignored them. It is nothing short of a crime what’s happening to our country. We must find a way to reinstate the value and respect of the generations who came before us. Listen to and share their stories. Spend time, whenever and however, with the ones who made our lives possible.

They have tales of adventure and nuggets of wisdom to share!

William Shatner featured on “Q on CBC” interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3imVbP_stB4

Movie: Senior Moment
https://deadline.com/2021/01/senior-moment-release-date-william-shatner-jean-smart-christopher-lloyd-screen-media-1234680022/#!

Horse Reining
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVNrtp-zsOg