Apr 24, 2012
Apr 23, 2012
“The creative act is not hanging on, but yielding to a new creative movement. Awe is what moves us forward.” -Joseph CampbellThe website 1000 Awesome Things ended its run this week after close to four years of capturing the beauty in the everyday, appreciating small little gifts and blessings. It made me consider the word awe in itself, and reflect on some of the the experiences/images/encounters that have filled me with awe in the past few months. Here are just a few..
in awe of creativity and large scale wall murals and dreamscapes brought to life...Yoga Society of San Francisco, a yoga ashram and learning community right in the Mission district of SF (as well as one in New York) where a whole community of beautiful people share life and learn and grow together. Thanks guruji, I am filled with awe and much gratitude.
in awe at the beauty and bounty of our mother earth...a vegan obsession) Kickstarter CD project here!!)
Mar 16, 2012
it is a small example. and in terms of the strip, it is a rather light hearted, playful use of wording. but it reminded me of something that i am trying to learn lately, something that my sister keeps shining a light on during phone conversations filled with my own self critical banter: that the language that we choose to use towards ourselves truly matters, and has a real force and a real impact. we can be so very cruel to ourselves, and the language that we choose to use can be a direct reflection of this, and over time, a reinforcement.
a recent example: currently, i am in a crossroads about certain decisions that need to be made, largely to do with future plans, with what comes next for me, both in terms of physical plans (do I stay or leave the beautiful West coast?) and their impacts on larger scale plans (what dreams to next pursue? how to pull them off? how do i know what to do next when my heart is pulling me in so many directions?). I went for a stroll with a friend and started to hash out my options, going back and forth, again and again, between differing outcomes and situations, anxious beyond belief. at a certain point he stopped me and said, okay, you know what? i have heard you say the same sentence multiple times in the past few minutes: i am so indecisive. you keep telling yourself that, and repetition is how we learn. if you tell yourself again and again that you can't make a decision, than you practice that thought, and then of course you can't decide. (aye, i have that rush song 'If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice' ringing in my brain: love the words, can't stand geddy lee, aha).
Now, that could be a whole other conversation, one I am struggling with/ will hopefully come to soon enough, about the power in making decisions. But you can see the power inherent in the words that we choose for ourselves. and the power in practice, in repetition.
joan didion wrote, so gloriously precise, that 'we tell ourselves stories in order to live'. i see more clearly each day how accurate this is. and also the duality of it. we make sense of the world around us, of this dream of life as patti smith might say, by the stories we gather and create, from the information around us. we take it all in, and craft our own individual narratives about what it all means, and this is the world that we live in. i see both the beauty and the flaw in this. i see this especially clearly from the angle of self love that i am working on, each and every day. i feel compassion for a former self so hooked on self cruelty that self narration was always focused on certain practiced statements, which became truths, despite their false nature: i am foolish. i am awkward. i am pathetic. i am inadequate. i am alone. (ahh, self loathing, the hallmark of a depressive state).
a life story does not have much choice but to venture into the negative if it always starts out from such toxic root statements, and indeed, repetition is the ultimate teacher: if we continue to tell ourselves such toxic stories, we quite quickly come to believe in their validity, and we shape our experiences around those 'truths'.
yes, yes, practice makes perfect. no matter what we practice, we will become masters at it. for years now, i have practiced a story, of self denial and cruelty, told myself it over and over, and packed along the vocabulary to reinforce it. and it kept me down, down, down. unlearning our own stories is an incredibly challenging process, full of healing work and patience and compassion. but, like everything else, it is a practice. and a way to begin is to catch yourself each and every time you use (think, say, write, contemplate) a harsh word towards yourself. i am just beginning this process, and it is eye-opening, and inspiring, both incredibly sad and beautiful all at the same time. but it is a practice, and as always, to begin, that's the thing. and i have begun.
self love for the win <3
Mar 14, 2012
Mar 3, 2012
Right now it goes from Kombucha, to Goldenseal, to the Free Trade Area of the Americas, to the Sanskrit Alphabet, to mindfullness meditation practices, to Mesophilic Lactic starters... a glimpse of where I am at right now, both mentally and physically: learning more about goats, cheese, fermentation, live and cultured foods, radical self love and health, political awareness, all here in glorious, cultured, healthy, high vibration, cheese-bliss California.
On that note... I am going to a 'Focus on Fermentation' workshop tomorrow in Oakland, put on by Raw Bay Area and led by raw chef Heather Haxo Phillips. I came across the event while checking out the Wild Fermentation website, run by the incredible Sandor Ellix Katz (aka Sandorkraut, aka self-described 'fermentation fetishist'), the author of the indispensable bible on all things fermented,Wild Fermentation and also The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.
I am excited! For many reasons- we will be learning how to make dairy free nut and seed milk cheeses, which I have been really wanting to learn for all the vegans in my life that I love. Spreading the cheese love is always a good thing! We'll also be learning about sodas, kefirs, kraut, veggies... swoon :)
I am also really looking forward to taking a more structured workshop on fermentation. All of my learning to this point has been through experimentation/book learning/friends sharing wisdom in kitchens. The same goes with the cheesemaking I have learned to date- it has been through one on one learning exchanges between cheese maker and eager student. I do think this is the best way to learn, and then of course it all comes down to experimenting and practice (as indeed I am noticing so many things come down to: practice, practice- so much of life is a practice, so that fermentation, or meticulous journal entries, if they are carried out with bravery and integrity and full on love, can become transformative practices in and of themselves...) I'd really like to one day help to facilitate fermentation or cheesemaking workshops back at home, through KW Freeskool, so I think it will be interesting and helpful to see how such a workshop/ informal class setting is structured. And the workshop includes a tour of Cafe Gratitude's kitchen!
Today...I am grateful for teachers and learning and microscopic organisms! And for beautiful black ink pens and even more beautiful journals in which to delicately write out small batch, handcrafted encyclopedia entries, and especially grateful for my sister who gifted me with a journal so glorious that I knew I had to turn it into something wonderful... <3
Feb 26, 2012
Dec 21, 2011
"The Winter Solstice has arrived north of the Equator, a time of deep contemplation and mystical immersion following nine months of setting goals and then creating them in your world. [And for those of you living south of the Equator, it is the Summer Solstice, a time of expressing fully the goals set three months ago at your Spring Equinox.] Now it is time to consider the meaning of your work in the greater world and in the universe." via disclose.tv.
I have been ready for Winter Solstice for awhile now.
I could feel it in my bones.
At 12:22 am this morning, I gazed up at the sky and was filled with gratitude. That feeling has carried on, throughout this day. It also is one I hear from many others, in conversations over the past few days, reveling in excitement about the upcoming solstice, about the beauty and importance of bringing ritual and symbolism into our lives, about the deep (and ever deepening) connections felt between the natural world and our own inner processes, our own inner psyches. Again and again, I hear the deep craving for a more meaningful connection to the world around us, and I am grateful.
The winter solstice, the longest night and the shortest day of the year. Sol-stice, the stillness of the sun, currently at its lowest point in the western hemisphere, yet poised and ready to make its incremental, triumphant return to the night skies, with each day from here on out a little longer, brighter, than the one that came before. Solstice, that darkest night, acknowledged, but then so quickly the cycle turns, and then it is a return to light, to Light, a light within us and around us.
It is amazing to think of how interconnected everything is, and as we approach 2012, and the end of the Mayan calendar, as we journey ahead into this path of Oneness, where we all can finally shed our illusions of separation and realize that we are all one and the same, all paths lead to this unity, this wholeness, this Oneness. They have to. It is the only way we will be able to break our barriers and walls and become the loving humans we were meant to be, that we already are, I suppose, just waiting for that light, that signal, to let us know it is go time, to give us the freedom to become who we are. To become warriors for light, warriors of light.
This years solstice feels so important. I don't remember last years, anything about it: where I was, who I was with, what I was thinking or not thinking. Perhaps I was not yet in a place of awareness, and I write this with confidence, knowing that I am not alone in this. It is such a pivotal time in human history, as well as in my own path. It has been a year of waking up. Of shattering illusions, of working towards growth, and of coming alive, and this next cycle, brought on by the winter solstice, is a continuation of this journey, of many individual's inner journey's turning outward, so as to make greater contributions to the world around us, to recognize our place in the wholeness of everything, to act from a place of wholeness within ourselves and to use that to contribute to our communities and the larger world.
As the darkness turns to light, I recognize fear, and acknowledge it, and then make a promise to work to set it aside and rise above it. I commit to becoming a warrior of light, for myself, for those around me, for the world at large.
Happy solstice, gentle readers.