Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Healing Grief

I am not usually the crying sort, I used to be as a child much more than now. Recently crying has felt so good that I want to cry often. In the past I felt so uncomfortable crying and was very worried about losing control, I have come to the conclusion that losing control is not the concern but not getting out the emotions that are stuffed when you refuse to allow yourself a good cry should be the concern.

 I have stuffed grief inside myself for many years, probably lifetimes, grief of losing my son, grief of ending relationships, grief of how I was mistreated or more often than not how I mistreated myself and this has created a very uncomfortable situation in me that I am working on changing.  You might ask how exactly can you change this situation you speak of and I will tell you it began with a simple thought that maybe being overweight was not my "lot" in life. This thought has come to me throughout time and keeps coming up over the past few years especially.  I decided that maybe this large amount of stuffing that I have been doing could be partially to blame for this weight problem that I have.  The stuffing of emotions that then come out with overeating or so called emotional eating and general lack of self care.

Then all these opportunities come up for me to look at and begin to address these challenges of stuffing my grief and eating emotionally.  One to speak of is a crystal activation meditation that I attended last week.  This meditation was a fascinating experience in the visceral relationship of letting the mind go through breath work while letting the body do its thing.  I cried more than I have cried in probably 13 years during this meditation, I also screamed and laughed and experienced a wide range of emotions that have been stuffed down in the depths of my being, wanting to come out but I would not let them in fear of losing control.  This fear of losing control of myself is truly one of the greatest fears I have.  It must be from past lives of being locked away in a looney bin... I have felt a deep block in my throat for many years and have done some of the work of clearing it away but not really much because working on clearing your throat and speaking my truth has been a deep challenge for me resulting in much pain and even more grief. During this meditation I reached a place where I was so full of my grief that I felt like I must throw up lest I drown in my own sorrow and this is the place where the healing really began to come to me.  After I let go of control and let my body just bring up all that stuffed and bottled emotions and cleanse them out I felt a sense of flow returning to me. I felt like the time was right and the place was right for me to begin letting those emotions flow out and not be in fear of losing control of myself, getting lost in the depths and despair of grief and the fear that grief would take over my being and I wouldn't be able to come out of grief with my physical life. 

When this exodus of grief began I questioned many aspects of my life and how I have been living up to this moment, I went to a deep state of despair about choices made many years ago and feel like I have been going through the stages of grief for the last week or so and this has been a truly beautiful experience.  I recently came upon a book called losing your pounds of pain by doreen virtue, it has been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple years now and I decided to pick it up to take a look at it.  When I began reading I realized that my weight struggles are related to the trauma that I have experienced throughout my lifetimes and how I have chosen to deal with that trauma, including grief.  I have lost much in my life and it feels pretty heavy at times, so much so that I choose to not discuss my grief and loss.  Its pretty easy to say move onto the present, but the healing must happen before moving forward and in order to do the healing, the grief and loss may need to be trudged through and worked on to move forward.  I feel like this is where I am is trudging through the grief and loss and the past trauma and learning to move forward through it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preserving as an act of creativity!!

Preserving = Creativity

Recently I have been focusing much of my time and energy on "preserving the harvest". To me this is a very creative process, where I spend hours searching for recipes, hours picking, pulling and otherwise gleaning produce that I have grown or someone else has grown, then I get down to the process of preserving food.  I feel such a sense of pride when something turns out good and my family and friends enjoy my creations. It really is a beautiful thing to put a seed or start into the ground, spend time watering and caring then gleaning the bounty of the harvest.  I would not say that this is exactly easy to do, at least not when caring for two smallish girls and attempting to keep the house somewhat in order and everyone somewhat happy.  I find it so rewarding when the process is complete that I am full of joy for doing it.
I have become very focused in recent years on the importance of supporting the local economy as much as possible. For my family this has become something that we spend much of our time and energy on.  I feel for the earth every time I see an item that has been shipped across the ocean or across the continent to be on my dinner table that I put much effort into preventing that.  We do eat bananas and citrus that isn't grown in Montana, they are so good it is hard to give them up...
Eventually I would like to glean 90%+ of our food from our regional area.  We are not there yet, at least not during the winter and early spring months.  This is where canning/preserving comes into the picture.  Last year I focused on things like fermenting and dry storage, which by the way did not work out well. We had about 50 pounds of potatoes and 30 pounds of onions rot in our dry storage area because it was so warm in the late fall last year.  This year I have one five gallon bucket full of potatoes and my plan is to get a plastic bin, fill it with sand and put the potatoes in there for the fall and early winter.  Our onions did not grow well this year so we will be getting those from a farm that we purchase a CSA (community support agriculture) from outside of Dixon {County Rail Farm: } I would like to encourage you to look into a CSA in your area if you are not able to grow much produce, it is a great way to support the local economy and farmers while getting quality produce throughout late spring, summer and fall.
This year we have seven smallish organic gardens that we have produced everything from tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, zucchini, potatoes, onions, basil, peas, and many other items.  I love gardening and sometime hopefully in the near future we will have a larger space where I can focus my energy on developing into a real hobby farm. I have this reocurring vision during meditations where I am in a field of flowers, vegetables, and herbs and I am standing there with this feeling of peace and joy. It really is a beautiful vision that I know will happen.  Onto how preserving equals creativity for me.
I love to be creative in many ways including sewing, painting, singing, knitting and crochetting, as well as in food art.  The food art is really where I feel a sense of peace, creating dishes that others love and that I love brings about a sense of joy beyond explanation.  When I started preserving food about five years ago, my Husband Alex was the one who really wanted me to get into it.  He grew up in Bulgaria and spend much of his childhood summers helping his fanily preserve the harvest that they grew on their plot of land.  He would often reminise about helping his grandma cook tomato sauce in a cauldron like pot over open flame and how they would preserve hundreds of jars for the family.  I couldn't even imagine this but was excited to begin experimenting.  I was terrified that any wrong move would result in the death or illness of those I loved so was always arguing with Alex about the need to follow all of the directions and make sure all our food was boiled nearly to death... This was before I discovered the art of fermentation and the beauty of new recipes that do not require extensive boiling in the water bath canner. 
The first two years were terribly nerve wracking and not enjoyable.  At that point I decided that I needed to relax a little bit and let go of the terror about preserving.  This is when the real fun began.  I started checking out books from the library and talking to my experienced friends about preserving.  I realized that it is not that difficult it requires a few very important steps like cleanliness and heat, at least where canning is concerned.  I also learned that if something doesn't work out there is no need to freak just throw it out and move along to the next thing...
Last year we decided to try our hand at garlic farming, and I must say it is one of the easiest things to grow that there is, just put it in the soil cover with straw or some other mulch in November, leave it there until high summer, pull it out, hang to dry, and actually hang it to dry do not lay it in your shed to rot... then cut the ends off and put in baskets or some other bags or you could braid it too, then enjoy garlic, which is outrageously expensive like eight dollars a pound or something, for the next six to eight months.
Last year we had a great time with some friends who had an abundance of apples, we rented an apple press a few times and made loads of apple juice to turn into wine and to process for juice.  I also made apple butter, pear butter and some apple sauce too.  I love the apple press it is really great fun and produces the best product you have ever tasted.  Raw apple cider is truly a great pleasure from the earth. I wouldn't recommend drinking a half gallon it will cause a serious belly ache, you have been warned...
This year I have processed about fifteen jars of salsa, twenty jars of cardamom plum jelly/jam, five jars of ketchup, I attempted fermented saurekraut, fermented pickles, and froze about twenty pounds of tomatillos in salsa and raw. I currently have corn to freeze, ten pounds of strawberries to put up, around fifteen pounds of produce for more salsa, basil to turn into pesto, herbs to dry, some apples and pears to be put up in one way or another. 
The ways to utilize fresh produce are varied and really dependent on personal choice.  I think that if you do not know how and have the desire to learn then look into a really great book called Canning for the New Generation by Liana Krissoff, the recipes in there are excellent and there are many varied ways to utilize the fruits of the earth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Relationships: the value of obedience vs. congruence


The value of obedience vs healthy loving communication


Recently the value of obedience versus healthy loving communication has been firmly rooted in my thinking and thought processess surrounding the girls and my relationship.  Many in my life are convinced that children need to have this instant obedience to pretty much all adults and especially parents.  I have struggled with this line of thinking pretty much continuously for the past almost five years.  This is actually a continuous point of disagreement between Alex and I.  However, for the past couple months I have been focusing my energy on getting the girls to basically do what I tell them the first time I tell them.  This has brought about some incongruence in myself and in our relationship. After a battle tonight over a minor issue I realized that this is not working for us, again  I want to duscuss the idea that parents are smarter and do not make mistakes therefore children should do as they are told :)
I like to encourage the girls to think for themselves. This can be tedious and tiring in the day to day living.  For example tonight, Iz, was taking a bath and I told her there was enough water in the bath and she wanted more.  We had a big blowout and now a few hours after they have fallen asleep and I have talked with a friend and thought about it myself I came to the realization that I was putting the value of following my orders over the value of having a healthy relationship with her tonight again.  As an adult I attempt to stay away from telling others what to do and how to do it.  As an adult I find it very frustrating when others try to tell me what to do and how to do it, and I am constantly striving to encourage other adults to think for themselves and do what work for them.  At least this is what I tell myself...
 I find it very interesting how viewpoints can sway throughout parenting.  I didn't even realize this was an issue before I was a parent. Now it is something I wonder/worry with pretty much every day, sometimes more than once a day.  I really want to focus on having a healthy and strong relationship with my daughters and most of the time I am.  Then there are those days where I forget what I am attempting to do and I think that following orders and obeying me is what is most important.  Its all about love, love for yourself, love for your partner, the love for your children.  This is what I want to focus on love, in all aspects of my life.  
As a child I didn't question whether my parents loved me, I have a very loving and openly affectionate family.  I didnt' realize it might be considered strange to kiss my family on the mouth until I was well into my twenties.  I think this is a blessing, I always knew I was loved and that I was loved unconditionally.  My family is very unusual in many ways.  I guess what I am working with is having a healthy loving relationship with my girls while encouraging them to follow my lead in behavior and do what I "want" them to do. 
This is not a new parenting idea, many of my parent friends talk about this dynamic. The reality I wonder upon is what if what I want them to do and what they want to do is dramatically different, how do we solve that? How does that work out to create a relationship that is loving and accepting and that works for all of us.  In the day to day, that really is what is most important to me, what works for all of us.  I know it doesnt' work for them to have to follow orders all day and not express their free will and desire.  I also know it doesn't work for me to spend all day picking up clothes and putting shoes away, setting the table and listening to yelling and yelling back. This brings us to the minute by minute of whether to put more water into the bathtub and how long is an appropriate amount of time to be taking a bath anyways... 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Children and Innocence

Isyss & Bella, 2012
Children and Innocence
The other day the girlies were outside playing and my neighbor and I were chatting.  I try not to push my ideas about what children should be wearing and should not be wearing onto the girlies, this often leads to periods of naked time.  I think that it is good especially for little girls to run around naked, I think it helps them to feel comfortable with their body.  My neighbor mentioned that her son, who is six, looked over at the house the other day and said "oh, I can't look over there." He wanted to close the windows because my girls were running around naked, this frustrated me.  I said he is too young to be thinking like that and ended the conversation. 

I feel like in this time in the world there is so much pressure for children to grow up and act mature and adultlike.  I find as a parent it is something that is very easy to encourage children to do. Its almost as if their innocence and living in the moment is too much for us parents to handle and we try to squash it as quickly as possible.  I don't know if this is true or not but it is a thought that I am mulling around. This conversation with my neighbor brought up an issue that I have been working on in myself of growing up too soon and feeling like my childlike bliss was not acceptable.

Childhood and Parenting
Recently I have been thinking about my childhood and wondering how it is affecting my parenting and my abilities to understand the girlies.  This came about due to some work that I am doing with Adrienne Elise of the Intuitive Empowerment Institute  I had a session with Adrienne a couple weeks ago where I was exploring a pain that I have been having in my third chakra, the solar plexus, center of self esteem, and empowerment.  This pain has been going on for many years and lately has increased.

Image from

During the session I had a few images from my childhood emerge and they were powerful images from a time in my life that was very difficult and painful. I immediately closed off and did not want to process through the experiences I was having.  I realized, after some thought and discussion with my mom and others, pain from childhood is real and is best to be dealt with as soon as possible. Otherwise it can become this physical issue that can affect the whole of our being and create serious pain and suffering.  I also realized that as parents the best option is to attempt to deal with our own issues when they come up because children are sensitive and often times will take on our pain and suffering because they know nothing else. 

Fruit of Labors
So I ask myself how did I come to this deep topic of discussion from a simple review of a conversation with my neighbor. The reality for me is that everything is interconnected and this conversation with my neighbor brought up some issues that I have been dealing with but didn't realize was affecting my parenting and my daily life.  I attempt to parent in a conscious and aware fashion and often times fail miserably at both.  I want my daughters to be secure in who they are and to walk around naked if they so desire, especially as young girls.  I want to be secure in who I am and to expose myself emotionally and spiritually to myself and others that I so choose.  This is the key I have realized is that in order to be the best parent I can be I must heal myself from the inside out. This is the true struggle for my daily life and parenting is the work on my own inner health.

For many years I thought that the best way to come to a space of health was from the outside looking in.  I thought that if I spent much of my time helping others to be the best they can be that I would automatically become healthier as a byproduct.  Now I realize that this faulty thinking is a problem.  I must work to heal my own wounds from childhood and from past lives in order to be healthy and strong.  This may seem obvious to some but for me it has taken many years  to come to this realization.

How then does this change my daily life and parenting of my two beautiful girls. I have been becoming the person I always wanted, accepting of differences, attempting clarity within myself,
seeing beauty in the pain and the ease of life, wondering, floating through the space time continuum that I have created for myself, grounding in earth power, knowing that I am loved and I love, of myself and those around me, knowing the power I hold within my self to create and to heal with Love, Love, Love

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Changes and the Power of Positivity

Tonight I went to an abundance circle. The concept of an abundance circle is really a great one, it is easier to create abundance in the company of others who are also creating abundance. My focus of abundance is towards our new housing situation, it has become increasing apparent that a housing situation that meets all our needs and is lovely will be a true gift straight from the supreme abundance creator of all. I want to be clear about this I have faith that the perfect house is there and will come to us when the time is just right; the current issue I am having is more related to the timeline that seems to be in the works with our current housing situation as well as other factors of the move. I went down to Moab to visit with family and it was very lovely and really a blessed time for me because of all the stress that is currently piling on due to our housing crunch. I felt like it was the calm before the storm. The storm of coming home to stressed out husband and stressed out environment around the housing of this area. I don't know about you but stress makes me a little crazy and grouchy, which with my husband already being a little *persnickity* we are a real fine combo. So tonight I went to this prosperity circle thinking that I would get some great answers on what direction I need to go in to find this perfect place to live and what I got was a much different response of settle. Someone in the circle pointed out to me that there was three different directions that i spoke of around the idea of settling. This was very thoughtful and helpful for her to point out, the directions from my perspective are 1- settle where you are 2- settle down and wait and 3- settle for something that is not ideal. These are really where we are at in our search at the moment. Alex and I have both spent so much emotional and physical energy looking for just the perfect place to live that we are physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted and we really do need to settle down... It was like the perfect outside perspective we need to calm down in order to get the divine direction that we need in order to allow our perfect place to come into our lives. Adrienne Elise, the organizer extraordinaire of this empowerment circle, stated that in order to prepare ourselves for abundance the goal is to live from a state of already having the abundance then the abundance will come. Its almost like the axiom fake it till you make it. I am going to attempt this and see how it goes. An incredible amount of emotional energy has been spent in this house hunt and house preparation that I now feel like settling is a good idea in the sense of calming down and openning myself up for the perfect place instead of closing down and searching out. What situations have you been in where you have needed to take a step back and take a deep breath for the abundance to come?
Abundance is such an interesting word to me, I have felt for all of my life that my abundance was in the love and caring of an amazing family. My family on both sides, my moms and dads, are truly amazing, the most loving and caring people I have ever met. I always feel like I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family that poverty or lack of money never really bothered me, it seemed like a backburner idea because the love I felt was so much. Tonight during the prosperity circle I felt an abundance of love that I know comes from the love I have felt for my life from my family and this is a true blessing. I know that not everyone feels this way or even has an awesome family like I do. This is the second empowerment/abundance circle that I have been at where I have felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and pure joy. I do not know how to explain it other than its feels so good like my chest will burst with all the love I feel. I have always believed that we can go to the highest peaks from within ourselves and this is really all the proof I need that this is the reality.
As I sign off I want to encourage you to think about what you have in abundance in your life and what you would like to create abundance in your life. My creation right now is to settle down and see the abundance and prosperity I have already in my life. It is there and I need to enjoy it...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Simplification and Organization Continues

Last weekend on Saturday my energy was sky high and I decided to tackle a project that needed to be done but was causing me mental anxiety just thinking about it. The shed is and 8x8' space and up until last weekend I could hardly walk in the door. To say that my husband is unorganized in work areas is a bit of an understatement. His van and the shed were both complete disasters with items pilled high and stacked on top of each other so as not to create any space to move around. So enough complaining about it, last Satrday we took everything out and spread it all over the lawn, then I cleaned the floors and Alex put up more shelving then we carefully went through everything and decided whether it would be donated, recycled or kept, or trashed. The items that we kept were put back in the shed in an organized fashion with like items being together and each main grouping having a shelf or specifi spot. It looks lovely in there now and is so tidy it makes us both feel good.

Last year before winter Alex built a greenhouse for some plants we wanted to continue growing and for this spring. I put all the gardening and lawn tools in the greenhouse, which I think is a much more efficient use of space and time. Now when I want to get into a project in the yard I open the greenhouse and there are all my tools. Its neat and organized.

I have been on an organizing kick lately and I am really enjoying the extra energy that is being paid around the house and yard. It makes me feel so much better to look around and see that things have been paid attention to and are where I want them to be. Before this recent kick I would look around the house and there was tools in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and pretty much everywhere. Now I look around and all the cds and dvds are in there place, the books of frequent use are on the shelves in the living room. The shelving around the house is organized and not full of random items that I didn't know where else to put. It really feels good to pay some attention and give my mental and physical energy to my space. Now with all that said it looks like we will be moving away from this house and onto new adventures in the next couple months. Its strange because I feel like I finally have the space how I want it and an opportunity came along for us to move that will work out really well for us. Strange how that works?!

I feel like the newly organized space is going to make this move so much simpler and more organized than previous moves. I still have some simplifying to do in a couple more spaces in the house then it will be time to start packing up and moving on.

Do you find that when everything is organized its easier to live in your space? Do you like to move? How often do you move?

We have moved just about once a year since we got married. It gets quite stressful to move so often, I told Alex when we moved to where we are now maybe it would be good if we would stay here for a few years and now we will be moving again in spite of my best efforts. :)

I will really miss this place and our neighbors in particular, we have all developed really great relationships with our neighbors and I am going to really miss them. It is so nice to have neighbors you really like and hope that when you go outside you will see them and have the opportunity to visit.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Past Lives and Paranormal Activity and other strange unseens

When I was pregnant with my Iz, my oldest daughter, I had the opportunity to have a regression, which is basically a way to go back in time and examine your life. During my first regression I was given the opportunity to go back to past lives and to the other side. During these experiences I learned so much about life and the beauty and everlasting nature of the soul and really the overall beauty that is the soul. Last night I was talking with someone about paranormal activity and some experiences this person had with spirits and the fear that can be associated with these interactions. I remembered about a few places my husband and I have lived that had some modicum of paranormal activity. For whatever reason it didn't bother me much, I am not usually afraid by the unknown and am usually more curious. Alex was very bothered in the house we lived in when I was pregnant with Iz. He often felt as though the house was "haunted" and he would experience very bizarre things there. The funny thing about the house is that a previous owner built the house and there was a mycofungi (sp) room in the basement for growing mushrooms. This was our storage area. Alex did not enjoy the basement and would rarely go down there. It didn't usually bother me except on the rare occasion that wierd noises would occur when I was alone in the house. I remember this one dream I had where a man came to visit me and said he lived in the house and was telling me about some experiences he had there. I found that to be very interesting. So all this brings me to my conversation and how fascinating it is that people have such varied perspectives on the spirit world. What are your perspectives on the spirit world? Do you believe in past lives and reincarnation? How do you feel about regression?

Apparently it is very uncommen for pregnant women to have regressions, something about being in the here and now. I felt this deep desire within myself to have a regression and I am so thrilled that I listened as the things I learned during those sessions have helped me in so many ways since having Iz. I was written about in a book by Diane Morrin, the therapist I saw for the past life regressions. One of the things I deeply appreciated about Diane is that she is a trained therapist and she offered hypnotherapy and regression as a method of helping people with the issues they struggle with. She said it is one of the fastest and easiest methods of therapy there is. People usually need about three or four two hour sessions and they are feeling much better. I love that! This was my experience as well.