This time of the year, when the harvest is in full swing, it’s nice to sit outside in the cool part of the day, plant one’s bare feet on the ground, look upward through trees into the blue, and breathe.
When the working world becomes a challenge, it seems even more important to find some natural space somewhere and recharge. Give yourself a treat. Look up a new recipe that incorporates nature’s bounty of the season and give it a try.
Yesterday, I undertook the process to make fresh stuffed grape leaves for the first time. Over the weekend, I had trimmed some vines and cut off the tender leaves. The vines became an interwoven circle to be used as a frame for the Medicine Shield I am constructing with my class participants.
Having stored the leaves in a plastic Ziploc bag, I started the day blanching them in hot salted water and then made a mix of ground lamb, quinoa, lemon and middle eastern spices. Stuffing and wrapping them was easy since it was much like making tamales (of which I have considerable practice). The small packets were braised in a wine infused chicken broth.
We’d never had fresh grape leaves before. It was simple and soothingly good. Thank you to All Our Relations! You give us love and energy!
Last week I was confronted with the habitual patterns of interaction I had developed with significant individuals in my life. Resisting change, I wanted to cut away that which I thought would end my distress. After a few hours, I found that the resolution was woefully inadequate. In fact, my distress had only increased so I concluded that this was not the answer I was seeking. Rather, I am a woman who is compelled to be open to change and the power of love. After a good night’s sleep, I awoke to a beautiful mantra, “Surrender to the Great Spirit.” Consequently, that day, every time I felt an anxiety well up inside of me, I simply repeated the mantra and felt tremendous peace.
Within 24 hours, a new resolution appeared in the form of a spontaneous trip to Seattle, WA where I could benefit from a change in scenery and, ultimately, perspective. There, I was miraculously shown mirrors of my habits. And, from being able to see them so clearly, a healing pathway literally opened up before my eyes.
Surrendering to the infinite creativity of nature is a wondrous and magical delight.
With the advent of the New Moon last week, I began my reflection on the Fourth Feminine Truth which honors that all answers may be found within the natural world. This natural world also includes our innermost awareness when we are balanced and at one with the Stillness. In this state, we may become receptive to messages as well as sending them.
A friend introduced me to Runes a couple of weeks ago and loaned them to me for a time. This year has been a time of upheaval and change so I occasionally draw a Rune to give me an encouraging touchpoint for the day or week. Any archetypal symbol holds ancient connections to our psyche and existential experience. Many provide direct connections to the symbolic power of nature.
Through Indigenous wisdom, I was taught that silencing the interior mind was key to being able to listen to the voices of All My Relations in the natural world. If I feel that an initiation is happening to me, something new that I have never experienced before, I feel comfortable asking for assistance from all of Life. The highest part of my being connects with that unseeable and invisible force that is beyond my capacity to understand. I surrender to it by accepting that it’s real. Almost certainly, I receive feedback deep within me that helps me take my next steps forward.
Hello. Today is the Full Moon. In the spirit of this wonderful Grandmother, I’ve been thinking about the symbolic “kinship” that I feel with all of the Natural World. When I allow myself space to honor all of Life and the Sacred Fire that exists within each living being, my heart and spirit expand. During these moments that may last only as long as one breath, I feels as though I am able to stop time.
This last week, an opportunity to submit a printmaking piece from my new animal series into a community show appeared. Carving linoleum is akin to sculpture and my interest in the infinite space of carving impeccably gives me lots of time to consider the “medicine” ways of each animal.
This last week I focused on the “Sweet Medicine” of Lizard: Keeper of Dreams. I was taught that the dreams lizard holds for us are dreams of sorcerers. They are power dreams full of intent, symbols and magic. My original design for Lizard intimidated me for many months. Finally the Sacred Fire within Lizard could no longer be contained and she helped me find the way to express her spirit. My heart is full.
The second discipline to become an impeccable discerning listener is to regularly venture out into nature to listen to All Your Relations. Some people call this a walking meditation. However, in my opinion you choose not to focus on yourself but rather, allow all of life to speak directly to you. Open your heart to experience what they are saying.