Monday, June 27, 2016

The Silver Lining




it’s been just one year since stu’s prostate cancer diagnosis.   a journey for sure.  this was not the slow-growing non-aggressive type that lots of guys are able to just let be.  it had to be dealt with.  so in addition to surgery we started a journey of wellness that is with us for the long term.  




first we soaked up the knowledge from The Truth About Cancer (video series).  revealing. eye-opening.  mind-boggling.  what really causes cancer and how to avoid it and deal with it.  all the stuff that you will never find out within the walls of the medical establishment.  
 
 next we participated in Food Matter’s Total Wellness Summit. validation and much more detail about the nutritional course we were following as well as the various aspects of wellness.  it all makes so much sense.  we are left wondering why this info is not more “mainstream”, but then there are lots of powerful forces keeping that from happening, despite the horrendous health risks our current culture is fostering.  (there are not a lot of dollars to be made from wellness but plenty from illness...)
 

to top it off we signed up for the Food Revolution Summit with john and ocean robbins.  fascinating information, all based on scientific research.  tips, recipes, suggestions, etc. totally practical and very hopeful and positive in its message.


 we have learned massive amounts of information about the current state of our soils and food supply, industry-induced food addictions, the american disease/drug epidemic (all so unnecessary!) the horrific treatment of animals in the meat and dairy industries, environmental impacts of these same industries and so much more.  
Precious Life Animal Sanctuary
 
truly, we were clueless.  once you know, you can’t “un-know”.  we are both loving the new way of life and how it promotes not only physical health but confidence, mental alertness and a clear conscience regarding what we put into our bodies. now instead of facing meal prep just thinking of what would be easy and taste good, i truly think in terms of what kind of nutrition i can pack in.  and it tastes great too!  we do not feel “deprived” in any way or miss the old foods.  happily, as a side effect, stu has been able to ditch all the medications he was previously on and we are both illness-free.



so…. while we wouldn’t have asked for cancer in our lives, we are deeply grateful for the path it has taken us down. so there you have it – the silver lining! 




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Year of Wild


i guess i’ve always been drawn to the wild.  it's evident throughout the history of this blog.  and it’s one of the biggest reasons we chose to relocate to the PNW. but i hadn’t thought of really diving into it by making it my word-of-the-year until i ran across this book.  it seemed so perfect for me and my plan was to use it as a kind of guidebook to chart me on my wild course this year.


 i have not been disappointed.  Mary Reynolds Thomspon writes beautifully and compellingly about the ways in which 5 “soulscapes” (desert, forest, ocean/river, mountain, grassland) can aid us in the process of self-discovery and also help us relate more deeply to our natural environment. 



 i had no idea when i started out of the ways in which “wild” would manifest for me this year, but here it is april and i am finding out.  besides the obvious draw that nature has for me to get out there and explore, there have been some other ways that wild has worked its way into my life and art. 


       even as a kid, i loved rocks, shells, pinecones, acorns and such, but this year i am paying even more attention to these little manifestations of mother earth.  picking them up, photographing them, re-arranging them, creating with them, letting them tell me their stories.

















when i hung my mixed media pieces at pacific pantry for the months of february and march, i decided to give the show a theme of “wild wanderings” with a little sign and explanation. 




 i’m working on a chatbook which matches some of my favorite pics of this area with quotes (my own and others). i may offer it for sale and the title will be “wild western washington”. 
My other 2 Chatbooks
as i began reading through each of the soulscapes in the book, i realized that i have literally thousands of pics that could illustrate the ideas expressed there.  i decided to make photo powerpoint presentations for each soulscape.  so far i have completed “wild desert” and “wild forest” and i’m just starting to work on ocean. as with my other presentations, they contain images, written words and music and these are about 10 minutes each in length.  i honestly have no idea yet of their destinations or audiences, but i’m trusting the process… 



the wild focus has given me some new insights.  i’ve always craved wild and now i’m seeing that it’s truly my portal into the sacred.  it’s the link to my own spirituality.  church never did that for me, but this….these places speak to me of all that is divine and holy and nourish that side of my being as nothing else could. pure and simple joy.



































so there’s still a lot of year left…. hopefully this is just the beginning.



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Word of the Year Recap


so here it is december and i have yet to write about my word of the year for 2015… i had good intentions but with moving and all, it just never got done.  so…. it will end up being a re-cap instead of thoughts about my intentions.



I chose “connect” because it felt necessary.   moving to a new town, new state, new environment, new climate, etc. it felt vitally important to connect with all of that as soon as possible. as well as the land itself, the creatures, our old house and its history. and, always, i’m seeking a deeper connection with what’s inside and with what’s unseen.



so from this vantage point… i’m really happy that i chose to make that a focus.  it meant almost every day i thought about it and ways to keep it going.  i also document regularly ways that i’ve put it into practice so at the end of the year i can see how it made a difference in my life.



 i’ve been connecting deeply with this place that now feels like home.  its wildness, lush green color, trees, wildlife, changing skies and proximity to both water and snow-packed peaks have captivated me.  the changing seasons (though truth be told i was a little frightened of them) have drawn me in as well. 
  






perhaps more surprising is the community we have stepped into that has welcomed and embraced us.  this was the scariest part, moving without a single real contact.  we have formed friendships that do not feel as if they are only a few months old.  and i am in awe of the growing “tribe” of creative women that seems to be emerging. 


 moving on, i am starting to be open to what may be next.  i love the word-of-the-year practice and have learned to trust that the right word will come to me even though at this time i still have no idea what it will be.  just toying with it a little and we’ll see where it goes.  as always, the old words do not disappear, but are now integrated into my life...


Monday, October 12, 2015

A Year of Changes







it’s my birthday week so time to reflect.   it’s been a year of changes…. that’s for sure!  last year at this time we were getting ready for the trip north to “check out” this area and see if it might be feasible to consider living here.  now here we are, all the moving chaos behind us, settled, heavily involved in home repairs, adjusting to the climate and busy with new friends, creative endeavors  and activities.












 




























do i miss things about socal? absolutely.  would i do it all over again?  also absolutely.  we loved living there all those years, and it was seriously hard to leave long-established friendships, but we both felt it was time for a change.  a change to quieter, cooler, cleaner, smaller, greener and wilder.  and that is exactly what we got.



 i’m still the same person.  still have the same issues and insecurities.  and there are new problems to deal with for sure.  life is expensive here.  but the newness has been pretty exhilarating. we are still in that phase in which we sometimes can’t believe that we really did it.  that we really LIVE here and don’t have to turn around and spend 2 and a half days to go home. 





so…. so far, so good!  the long, cold, dark winter awaits.  yes, i’m a little bit freaked out by that…but also excited for the challenge of making the most of it in new and creative ways.  after all, one thing aging teaches us is that it’s what’s inside that counts and attitude is pretty much everything.  so bring it on!  and here’s to another year of blessings and challenges, beauty and wisdom, growth and learning.  cheers!