Growing

Over the past month, I’ve shifted my 7- day work schedule to squeeze in more and more freedom. The amazing thing is somehow this has helped me earn more rather than less, because I feel more productive when working, even still 7 days a week.

I’m trading weekly work on an organic farm for food, because 1) I love organic vegetables, 2) the difference in my entire being when I’m outdoors and active compared to sitting in front of my computer screen has become too hard to ignore or deny any longer than 25 years. I’ve been a great denier. It was heavenly today to get to feed some sheep a bounty of wintered over kale. Yay sheep!! The only animal I’m not allergic to on a farm.

My dream for my big looming transition to a different life post living with child next year, hopefully in Habitat housing or tiny rental, is evolving into working part-time on a farm even if $12/hr and part-time transcribing. But we’ll see as time closes in.

I also started offering to teach anyone to knit so I can share the coping and creative tool that’s brought me to a place of peace over and over during trying times of any kind. My KNIT HAPPENS project will hopefully garner enough 8×8 squares from the community to make a blanket that can be auctioned to support the rent monies on the space where I teach each week.

Life is beautiful and full, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens when people make choices to live in any way “against the grain.” For me to choose to return to solitude and the natural world for strength instead of partnership, for any woman choosing not to have children (or man, but expectations seem higher for women), for anyone choosing anything that helps them feel at peace in themselves versus what is expected of them by others, I value this quality.

I hope I can enter the later years of my life working in ways aligned with sustainable practices that honor Earth and community while choosing as much solitude as I need to feel whole.

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Daydream

We interrupt this weekend’s 20 hours of transcribing to bring you this daydream from reality almost too good to be true.

Part of my spiritual practice is to visit this tree often in different weather and times. No burden is too big for it to hold, and I’m grateful for its presence.

PS. What does it say about my auditory processing if I simultaneously hear Laurel and Yanny equally? Maybe I’ve been in the right career all these years.

 

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Expressions of Great Mother

Breathing in joy from Earth every day rain or shine. Always remember this is simple inborn technology that heals us.

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Soul and Consciousness Query

Just as law of attraction suggests thought energy is as powerful as physical energy, the two quotes below appeared from completely separate sources in my inbox today.

The past few days while living my life and while all these images were captured, a piece of my background chatter has been churning on the word soul. What is it?

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather,

“I have found a truth.”

Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.”

Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

~ Kahlil Gibran

The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter—often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter—in the eye.

~ Charlotte Bronte

How can Buddhists not believe in soul concept yet believe in reincarnation? What are general Jewish teachings on soul? Christian?

After reading briefly about each, they all seem similar except what’s lost in translation. Some of the differences in definitions actually seem to be more error of translation than difference. Buddhists analyze there is no permanent “self” or “soul” because self is an illusion, a construct of the mind. All forms are impermanent, ever-changing, interconnected. So therefore an unchanging “soul” cannot exist, but consciousness can have continuation lifetime to lifetime.

Hebrew version of soul very generally is breath, life force, vitality.  Christian soul concept is something created by God but separate from mind, heart, body and spirit.

Western thought seems to be using the word “soul” often to mean simply an individual person or expression of mind consciousness.

Merriam-Webster soul definition:  “the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.”

So what is consciousness? The closest thing most modern writings come to is a spectrum of states in spiritual, medical and psychological fields. Many writers have decided defining consciousness is next to impossible. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition is far too limited to material individuality to satisfy me personally.

1: a: the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself
   bthe state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact
   c: awarenessespecially concern for some social or political cause. 
2the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought: mind
3the totality of conscious states of an individual
4the normal state of conscious life, regained consciousness
5the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes
 

After this brief review, I recognize that my personal understanding of consciousness is as a cosmic field of energy expressing itself through all sentient and nonsentient beings in different ways yet transcending and connecting all life forms as one entity. In other words, consciousness is what can both be witnessed by sensory apparatuses (I looked up plural and it is not apparati) of life forms AND extend beyond physical body, through lifetimes, whereas soul is the manifestation of that consciousness. In my limited way of perceiving, a soul has an integrity throughout a life like a person’s fingerprint and may be the seed of yearnings, drives and deep longings for expression during a lifetime of an individual, but soul is informed through truths of life experience and does not extend as far as consciousness beyond a single lifetime.

Such are the ramblings of my limited understanding, but it’s something I just want to jot down for further exploration.

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Sacred Time

In my endless progression toward what works for me, I have discovered a key. We all have to find our own keys.

I call it sacred time.

One of the things I observe in years of working around media that grants me often a bird’s eye view of business and culture are some core messages that seep through the collective unconsciousness.

  • Everyone is behind and has to work super hard to catch up.
  • If Company A does not do what Company B is doing, Company A is doomed.
  • No one has time, and things are speeding up. (Which is why we need automated technology services like home and car deliveries of consumer packages or why we need navigation systems that should be able to understand our voice as if they’re a human and guide us precisely to the kind of coffee we want. So we can get more energy to keep up).

I’ve found a key that seems opposite of it all.  Even while my circumstances are such that I exist inside a system making it hard to avoid the work-every-day-much-more-than-40 hours a week to get by.

  • Slow down. Just take the next stop off the faster-faster train and breathe.
  • Make time daily for what gives joy. Whatever that is, if only an hour. That’s your sacred time. Note to self that you may need to hear as well:  “It’s okay if you haven’t found that joy-filled, money-earning job. Just don’t let a day go by without practicing moments of joy around it.”
  • Connect with nature. Daily. For me and therefore I assume most humans, this connection is what most in the human-constructed rat race unconsciously crave even if they may not think so. There’s a whole lot of nature unfolding in every moment and many have forgotten we are part of it and it is us. And money doesn’t mean a thing to it. Some days I feel inside my heart the pressure around money is so great that it becomes easy to assume money = life energy. But if you want to experience a utopian, waste-free, non-monetized system, look no further. Spend a few moments standing in the woods or by the ocean listening to waves.

Nature does not hurry, yet all is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

Waiting for Salmonberry

Green Shadows

Knitting Experiment In Progress

I’ve identified a few things that feel like boundless joy for me:

  • Teaching knitting to others because knitting has given me so much, I want to share.
  • Walking anywhere in nature. Hopefully far and free range some day on more of the Earth. Ooh, and when I figure out a way to combine knitting AND nature in some kind of workshop, I’ll have arrived in the ultimate joy zone.
  • Living simply, in touch with a self-identity free from several cultural conditions to be a consumer, to eat things that don’t come from the earth, to always be partnered, and instead embrace myself as a maker, a mystic seeker, choosing to live in as much solitude as I prefer because it’s where I’m happiest, no matter how many psychologists and writers on happiness warn me otherwise.

I hope you find your keys. They’re probably exactly where you left them.

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Earth Beauty and Intelligence

Happy Earth Day every day.

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Whittling

Whittling: Reduce something in size, amount, or extent by a gradual series of steps.

I feel a strong pull to shake myself free of most belongings, most books, all furniture, fish tank, cantankerous upright piano. Keeping a mattress, a work desk and computer, knitting supplies, a few pans to cook in, a few bowls, utensils, coffee mugs. I have a year to whittle away before my daughter moves on and I move who knows where.

Three years ago I wrote a vision plan for an ideal future, and at that time it included partnership. Revised version does not. Instead, I feel truly accompanied spiritually and no longer feel a pull toward partnership. In addition, my revised vision includes continuing what one beautiful person called “my ministry” of knitting items of comfort for people in crisis and starting to teach beginning knitting classes to whoever wants to learn.

From 2015 future vision:  In summer, I was able to afford to take a week off work and head for the Oregon Coast. I can also afford to complete further training to become a nature guide with basic survival skills. I went on my first week-long meditation retreat. I am working on my third self-published book on the topic of emotional regulation and balance via feedback from the natural world. This includes resources people can rely on to encourage reconnection to the stabilizing, purifying, joyful love and peace one can experience in connection to Nature. People want to pay me to guide groups in the woods and are contributing their strengths in biology and botany to these walks. Each gathering is rewarding and educational. 

Books are nuggets of wisdom meant to be shared. I am donating all my books to my local food bank, with exception of the following. This batch equips me with enough wisdom to face anything.

 

 

Knitting Update

My 50th birthday present  to self was to be an over-sized cardigan in my favorite deep blue color. I set the project aside to knit for other people’s requests, a year and a half flew by, I lost weight and no longer wanted such a big sweater. So I frogged the half sweater I’d completed and am repurposing it into a pattern called Tree Seeker by Joji Locatelli. Transformation is inevitable. : ) Here is my progress thus far. I am determined it will be done by my 52nd birthday.

Magical moments among the Great Firs after 28 consecutive days of screen time. Each cell in body feels a shift, breath deepens, posture and eyesight improve. Imagine what would happen to me if I could live more hours in the woods!

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Waterfall of moss

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Ancient one

Heart in sky on Easter.

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