Our beloved Kitty Ji delivered a live mouse to us last night. Some mayhem was caused after it ran under the tv console, but our good friend (who used to have pet mice), was able to lure it into a box and back outside. Sadly, the cat returned with it (or a similar one) dead in her mouth. “Sadly” from my perspective, but I’m sure some of the readers will cheer the cat on.
Such is the popularity of a kitty over a mouse!
It was a strange moment, having a live forest critter hiding in our living room. It made everyone frantic. It’s been at least a couple years or so since we had wild visitors in our house – last time it was two bats flying around in our bedroom! That’s a story for another day! When an animal makes a rare and surprise visit I tend to feel it’s a message for anyone who witnessed the event. There are many online “mouse animal spirit” definitions, but the excerpt below resonated with me the most, particularly since we have personally been experiencing high levels of stress trying to keep our house perfectly clean and ready for would-be home buyers.
The elders say we should share our dreams in case they’re meant for other people in our community, and they also say that what we think is real life is the biggest dream of all. So, in the spirit of sharing, in case this mouse message is for you too, here it is:
“So many see a mouse in the house as a sign of living in filth. People get really, and I mean really, shook up. We must not curse his intrusion in our house and into our lives. This sweet, soft, and so very clean little creature is bringing you a message. The meaning of mouse may be the most important message you will ever receive in your life. Please, please don’t excuse it!
“Now is the time to evaluate your attention to detail. Are you drowning in your own need to control every little detail of your life? Are you trying to control the details in other people’s lives? The spiritual meaning of mouse in the house is about letting go of the details. It may even be as literal as stopping your obsession over cleanliness and organization. Instead pause to appreciate the beautiful home and life you have. Start a list of things that you are grateful for. Learn to dismiss the list of details that annoy you.
“Mouse spirit animal teaches us the discipline of releasing overwhelm. If you are feeling overwhelmed, realize that this could be a badge of honor for you. Have you ever felt like you were competing with your friends to prove who was the most busy or exhausted? Mouse symbolism is a stark reminder that multitasking is a sure way to find catastrophe. Stop trying to do everything at once, and focus on one thing at a time.
“Mouse power animal comes to visit us to remind us that the power is the details, but not in the way we think. It is not through controlling every nook and cranny of our house and our world, but through appreciating the small things that brings us peace.”
In witnessing the unprecedented uptick in global tyranny, of humans gone violently wild on their brothers and sisters, the careless destruction of the environment and all life with it, I recently came to a wall and plunged briefly into a dark night of the soul. Wallowing in the murky depths of internal gloom, my mind questioned, “Is there a remedy for humanity’s global auto-immune disease? Will they ever stop destroying themselves, each other, and the body of this beautiful planet? It’s been eons of the same power abuse and control games… when does it evolve? Does it evolve? Are humans inherently a failed experiment?” Pondering that last question really made my heart sink… My whole body felt, heavy, devoid of any light, and I retreated deep into my shell.
Many astrologers have warned that this period, particularly into the early 2020’s, is a necessary “facing of the shadow-self,” that hidden underbelly of the subconscious that makes us want to sleep with the light on at night. We turn the TV up louder for fear of hearing the voices in our head, and we sweep unresolved angers, unhealed trauma, and feelings of inadequacy under the rug, all the while despising or shunning those who we think are weaker, less intelligent, less fortunate. But in truth, this shadow-self is humanity’s inner child who will no longer be cast aside and ignored. It has become a tyrannical demon, coming at us from every direction, vying for our attention by channeling itself through the media’s talking heads, power mongers, control addicts, and rampant negativity and violence. We can no longer just look away and hope it disappears, because it is us – it will not relent until we turn around and face it directly.
Having been raised in a western culture where the religion-of-science tends to dominate I never really believed in angels, archangels and what-not, but I also didn’t not believe in something greater than all of this because I’ve had enough weird encounters in my life with the paranormal to keep me humble to the world of the invisible. As my brilliant friend, Mary Rodwell, is famous for saying, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” But we can observe, and what I have observed, do believe in, and have profound respect for is the language of math and sacred geometry (even though I sucked at math in school). I’ve figured out a middle ground that works for me that acknowledges the powerful, invisible forces who’ve got my back; I call them my Arc-Angles. 😀
The geometric perfection in EVERYTHING of this world, from the shape of seashells, beehives, flowers, right down to human DNA has me profoundly in awe. Clearly a consciousness of unimaginable proportions, depth, power, balance and perfection is and always has been at work laying the very foundation upon which all life is built. When I stay in my heart’s sacred space, higher states of consciousness arrive to me in brief lightning strikes of “aha!” moments. They may take the form of light (colors of flowers to the night sky), sound (in bird songs, music), or form (harmonic geometric proportions), or all the above. While I was deeply turned within and tuned out I couldn’t feel, see or resonate with any of those aspects of higher communication. Isn’t that a perfect example of how the Love we seek is always there for us, shining like the sun on all of creation, but we get so self-involved and in our heads we end up feeling completely disconnected. We literally become slaves to our minds, our beliefs, and we are the only ones who can set ourselves free.
It was yesterday, when the sky was perfect, the sun was out, and the backyard was a buzz with devastating beauty that I finally emerged like Persephone from the hellish abyss of Hades. Spring was singing all around, and it was then that I remembered something so very profound I said during my one and only hypnosis session. I had compiled a list of questions for the hypnotherapist to ask me while I was under and one of them, which she asked me, was, “How is the Earth doing?”
“The planet is fine but running hot, like a fever,” I replied. “It’s a necessary fever to burn off the toxins. It’s going to be a rough ride for some while but everything’s going to be all right.”
The therapist then asked me a question of her own, “What about the new Earth? Isn’t a new Earth coming into being?”
My conscious mind snapped the thought, “Aw geez, more New Age lingo, what does ‘new earth’ even mean?” Obviously, I wasn’t too deep into my subconscious. LOL!
Suddenly my mouth started speaking and caught my conscious mind off guard, “Yes, Earth is birthing a new version of herself,” I said, “but not the way humans think. The planetary life forms are singing in a new planet, a new blue print, a new web of life, if you will. It comes through the songs of the birds, insects, animals, plants, and it’s happening all around, all the time, but the humans don’t know it so they think nothing’s changed. If they listen they can hear the song.”
The memory of this conversation really lifted my heart, and I felt an incredible desire to photograph my garden and capture these sacred moments. They are the photos you see dappled throughout this entire blog.
Humanity’s internal cleansing is messy work, similar to how deep cleaning one’s house looks like a blizzard hit before it feels and looks renewed. I have also heard this time we’re living in is like witnessing a birthing process, and we all know how messy, bloody, screamy and painful that is – particularly for the mother. If you didn’t know a baby was coming from all that suffering you’d think she was dying a terrible death. In a sense she is, for she is dying to one version of herself while simultaneously birthing a new and hopefully more powerful, more compassionate version. Likewise, our mother planet will never be the same after birthing anew. She may look like she’s temporarily dying but she is only becoming stronger, healthier and more expanded. It is we who must bravely face these challenging times and participate as the midwife, the parent, and the child.
For numerous reasons the traditional paradigm humanity has endured for centuries, if not eons, is swiftly approaching an unavoidable shift. Power structures, hierarchies, outmoded traditions are slipping away, sometimes at an alarming rate, in order for new vistas to arise. The pace at which change is taking place is leaving many people reeling with fear, uncertainty, anxiety about the future, feeling physically sick and exhausted, and oftentimes very lonely, particularly as our technological toys lure us into isolated matrixes that lack human interaction.
As if that weren’t enough, there is a kind of collective shadow rising to the surface as all the veneers fall away, exposing much we have left to heal, purify, purge, forgive, process, and let go. For many it’s all just too much and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. Times like these require us to go within, inhale deeper breaths, and allow the loving gifts others have created, and that this beautiful planet has to offer, to give our weary selves much needed rest & recovery.
Below are some relaxing audio recordings I’ve come across you might like to help unwind your body/mind. You are also invited to add a message below this blog and share some of your favorite meditations, chants, books, and videos as well. The more the merrier!
Great Bell Chant
Gregorian Chants at 432 Hz
Rain & Thunder
Sleep Meditation to Release Negative Attachments and Rebuild Confidence:
Changing up your routine is another way out of the mind’s rut. Below are just a few ideas to create a fun detour from the everyday hamster wheel of modern life:
• Sit with nature. Photograph little wonders that catch your eye.
• Hum or sing in your car, bathroom, wherever!
• Grab some finger-paints, play with your inner child, make a picture.
• Write or draw anonymous love notes and leave them in random places.
• Receive a massage.
• Give someone (and yourself) a hug for no reason.
• Make little gifts for people, animals in need.
• Learn and make a new recipe (keep it simple at first).
• Tell someone you love them.
• Plant some flowers. Talk to them. Sounds weird? Try it (when no one’s around).
• Put silly putty, a squeezy toy, or a kazoo in the car to play with while stuck in traffic.
• Eat a donut slowly. (HA!)
But wait! There’s more!
• Imagine the birth of your soul:
Each of us has been imagined into existence by an Infinite Power that coalesced the universe(s) into physical reality(s). At the core of our being, beyond our molecular structure, we are powerful photons of light infused with consciousness, sung and spun into our individual souls; we are children of Light and Vibration. Like sparks we fly out into the great cosmos, imbued with the Love of All That Is, with a consciousness as unlimited as deep space, and with an unquenchable desire to learn, explore and be as clear conduits for Source to explore all of its Creation. In our hearts the passion for life brought us into physical existence, and we dream, individually and collectively, our new realities into existence.
• Even once a day, try this little experiment: Drop softly into your heart and ask yourself: What does a healthy, vital, prosperous new world feel like? It’s not enough to think about it … really feeeeel the feeling. How would waking up in the morning feel different? What would the colors of your world feel like? What would being in your body feel like? What would you feel inspired to create, do, become? A little of this experiment everyday breathes life back into your cells, your dreams, your smile, and the Light you shine.
• Practice being like the Sun. It doesn’t ask permission to shine, it just radiates its warmth to all, unconditionally, unapologetically, and with certainty. Our little bio-suits we call bodies are made entirely of star stuff, we are all stars, and we are all born from the ultimate Light of Love.
This is a tried and true, yummilicious recipe our family loves. It’s nearly vegan except the eggs. I’d like to take it fully vegan but haven’t figured out what egg replacer to use that would create the same fluffy, pillow texture. I welcome your comments if you do!
As with all recipes I use organic ingredients whenever possible, including the sugars. Have a go at this recipe and see what you think. Be generous and share them with your family and friends as it makes a good sized batch. Each cookie dough scoop in this recipe was measured with a rounded tablespoon; that equalled about 28 decent sized cookies!
• 1/2 c. butter alternative (I used Earth Balance)
• 2 c. sugar; 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. unrefined ‘white’ sugar
• 2 eggs (free-range)
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
• 3 c. all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 t. baking soda
• 1 1/2 t. baking powder
• 1 t. salt
• 1 t. ground cinnamon
• 1 pinch ground nutmeg
• 1/2 c. dark chocolate, vegan (mini) chocolate chips
• 1 handful, finely chopped walnuts
Instructions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper (great for creating a non-stick, oil-free surface)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper (great for creating a non-stick, oil-free surface)
2. In one bowl cream together alternative butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin till well blended.
3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add this dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients and hand-mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoon or tablespoon onto parchment/cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 12-15 mins in preheated oven till edges slightly brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Late in the fall of 2018 I collected many acorns from a dainty oak tree near my work without any real idea what I was going to use them for. I looked up the mythology of acorns and learned that northern European folklore believed an acorn placed in the window sill would protect the home and its occupants from storms. About that time I noticed my little kodama (forest spirit) mascot wearing the acorn hat I had glued to its head a while back and this was my “aha!” moment. I would create a tribe of kodamas with acorns, some wearing acorn hats and some sitting or standing near acorns. Each one would be designed thematically with the recipients who would receive them as holiday gifts and, hopefully, the recipients would place them near windows to protect their homes from winter’s nasty weather.
Fast forward to this morning. In the never ending battle for a parking spot I managed to find one near the little oak tree that offered so many acorn gifts a few months before. I thanked the tree and said I needed to park my car nearby in an awkward spot, one where I wasn’t quite sure if it was a legal place to park. In my mind I asked the tree to please keep a safe eye on my car and protect it from harm and the naughty parking ticket guy. When I returned in the afternoon to move my car I found a curled up, oak tree “love” note leaf resting gently on my windshield. What a tender gesture I told the tree. Carefully I plucked the leaf from the window and brought it in the car.
I moved my car to a new parking spot, near a building that typically has a lot of heavy energy around it. Most days I spot federal security vehicles parked outside, looking big, and overbearing with their dark, tinted windows. There are always a number of homeless people wandering around it as well. I brought the oak leaf to one of the trees near this sad feeling building and placed it lovingly at the foot of the tree. It seemed like the right thing to do: keep the love notes flowing where needed. Just the day before, near this same spot, I shared half of my mandarin orange with a homeless gentleman and gave him a gift card for a warm drink at the local cafe.
Lately folks are very tired of the snow, of being sick, and all the heavy, convoluted energy that’s run amok in the collective consciousness. My hope in sharing these Love notes is to remind us we always have the choice and opportunity to share kindness. It’s the little acts of love that add up to big relief in a weary world.
I have loved mung (moong) bean soup ever since our dear Filipino friends first introduced it to our family. The ingredients are simple, it’s easy to make, and super good for the body. Mung (also spelled moong) beans have been utilized in Traditional Asian medicine diets for cleansing the blood and stomach, cooling the internal system, and strengthening liver functions. I also add sliced burdock root for extra cleansing of ’heat’ toxins in the blood that can manifest as skin diseases/rashes, sore throat, and general infections. It’s a great soup to have when convalescing from illness or after eating a nutritionally-challenged diet for a long time. Give it a try! I’d love to hear feedback and if you did any modifications to suit your taste buds. 🙂
2 cups mung beans (rinsed)
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 brown or red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 inch root of burdock, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
Cayenne pepper to desired heat
2 tomatoes, diced or half a can of diced tomatoes
3-3.5 cups water (boiled)
1 bunch kale, chard or spinach roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Handful cilantro, chopped (optional)
Put the beans and burdock slices in a large pot, add water just enough to cover the beans. Place on medium heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, continue adding hot water as needed to maintain water just above the level of the beans.
While the beans are cooking place the oil, onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan on low heat and cook until the onion is translucent.
When onion is fully cooked add turmeric powder, cayenne pepper, diced tomatoes, sauté about five minutes.
When mung beans are soft remove the burdock root (or leave it in for extra texture and flavor), combine with the onion mixture, and add chopped leafy greens. Stir well.
Salt & pepper to taste. Top with fresh cilantro if desired. Give thanks and enjoy!
Hello! Today I uploaded a little video for your enjoyment at: https://youtu.be/Elxr6953Ajk where I give a brief description of the “hugelkultur” mounds of recycled forest limbs, leaves, soil, etc. I’ll also introduce you to some of my tree friends, and “forest spirit” companion, Kodama. Apologies in advance for the softer audio while I was outdoors. I am still learning the video making process. 🙂
I told my young, adult kids I would compile a book of easy-to-make, healthy recipes for them which would include vegan and vegetarian options. Well, that project hasn’t quite manifested, so I’m posting recipes one at a time on this site for them and all you lovely readers who follow this blog and who might find the dishes appealing.
Firstly, to create a truly healthy meal the mood has to be set, not only for the cook but also for the health of the food. I am a firm believer of feeling inspired when cooking. In some cultures if the cook is in a bad mood no food is prepared. They honor the possibility that cook’s bad mood could affect the family’s health. In our fast-paced modern culture it seems respecting the food and its sources has fallen to the wayside. Speed has become a priority over quality in the food industry which certainly plays a role in the demise of our population’s health. In this blog I’m hoping to inspire the restoration of calm and gratitude in process of creating nourishment.
Before pulling out the ingredients, take a deep breath, make a little drink for yourself – whatever your preference (mine is usually green tea). Next, put on some nice music. The owner of one of our fave restaurants said, before they open and while they’re cleaning and preparing the food, they play prayer music from their culture through the stereo system. The speakers bathe the entire restaurant in music. He feels it keeps the customers satisfied and the food healthy. While cooking tonight’s dish I listened to “Tibetan Incantations”, a musical compilation of the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. It’s a form of blessing, and I like to imagine the music riding the airwaves, making the molecules of myself, the food, the atmosphere very peaceful and happy. Perhaps your preference is light jazz, classical or something all together different. The choice of music should ideally assist the cook and those enjoying the meal to slow down, breathe deep and digest well. In my heart and mind, while washing, cutting and prepping the food, I thank the planet, the resources, the elements – earth, fire, water, air – the animals, plants, and all the folks who made the food possible from the farm to the table. Just feeling a sense of love and appreciation will cover all those bases. 🙂
For the table a cozy placemat and a little candle help ignite the digestive fires of whomever is enjoying the meal, (even if it’s just me). At the end of the meal I save a little and offer it as blessing to the spirits of our land. A little spoonful is placed in a tiny, ceramic bowl near an “offering tree”. Just a tender way of showing Nature we’re in a state of abundance and sharing, and connecting with the Earth. If you’re in an apartment and can’t get to a tree that’s ok. It’s the thought that counts, and you can offer gratitude in your own special way.
The following recipe is one of our favorites. It was kindly shared with us by a sweet family who owned a local restaurant before they moved away. This has been modified to our tastes, but you can certainly find many variations of Aloo Gobi online to suit your palate.
Easy Aloo Gobi (vegan)
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I like sunflower oil)
1 hefty pinch of cumin seeds
4 medium potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 whole cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 pinch of red pepper flakes (opt)
1 cup water
diced tomato (topping)
In large cup add salt, turmeric, pepper flakes, water, stir and set aside.
Combine oil, cumin, and potato into a large pan – sauté about 5 mins.
Add the chopped cauliflower, add cup of ingredients (previously set aside) all at once, and stir the potatoes, cauliflower, water and seasonings well. Cover and reduce heat to low-medium, allow to cook 10-15 mins, or until potato and cauliflower are soft when poked with a fork. Add diced tomato as topping.
Rice on the side
2 c. basmati rice
2.5 c. water
1 tsp sea salt (opt)
drizzle of sunflower oil (opt)
Bring the water and rice to a fast boil then immediately place on med-low heat with a tight lid and cook 15-20 mins, or follow instructions on the rice bag. When it’s done, fluff with a fork. Bon appetite!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf