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I’ve been re-investigating the use of essential oils, this time a little more seriously in getting some education around the use of them. From everything I understand about them, the process of distillation to extract the oil essence, dates back to 700 AD. But before that they would soak the plant in a carrier oil, so its use as grass roots medicine dates back even further.

Master herbalist, David Crow informs us that the forest, plants and trees provide a natural immune system at their surface level via the leaves and needles. And while they provide a wide range of therapeutic medicinal effects, every single essential oil has anti-microbial properties. There’s even one clinical study revealing that Tea Tree Oil can kill the MRSA virus.

On many levels this just makes my heart sing. For those of us who feel at home among the plants, trees and forests, there’s an energetic exchange going on just in being there among them. We are intimately linked to these plants and trees, and always have been, this is part of our community! And like our own families, we nurture, we protect, and we respect.

Below I append a quote from David Crow:

“When peaceful cities are blessed with myriad sweet floral scents

When healthy forests are filled with balsamic coniferous perfumes

When farms are enveloped with the earthy aroma of healthy soil and robust crops

When homes are infused with temple essences that bring joy and tranquility,

We will understand why the ancients taught that plants were gifts from heaven.”

 

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Praise for gracing us with Maya Angelou. What a model for living life with your true heart and soul! You didn’t just triumph over adversity, you took a whole world along with you – leaving inspiration in your wake. I honor you today, Maya Angelou.

Those who were old enough to watch Maya Angelou recite this poem, written especially for the Presidential inaugruation of 1993, were no doubt also filled with hope and the promise of a fresh start, fellowship, and a new beginning.  Few could watch and listen without tearing up.

 

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A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers–
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours–your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

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A dear friend of mine recommended a book she was reading – “Talking with Nature ~ Journey into Nature”. Of course I love all things about nature and ordered it, expecting it to be about, well … nature.

It arrived in the mail today. I randomly opened it to one page, read a few sentences and felt the truth of it at such a deep level, tears welled up. I opened to another page, and thought: wow! Another page, and I uttered to myself – holy sh*t! Here I am folding laundry trying to simultaneously hold the book open and do the tasks at hand, that’s how excited I was to dive into it.

So I decided to begin from the beginning. And again, a few pages in, I cried again. Trust and letting go are such easy concepts to banter about, yet when everything we hold dear in the world is on the line, not so easy after all.

So I’ll quote you a bit from the first few pages and let’s see where it goes. I’m sure there will be much more to quote from down the road.

“Let go and fall into the river.
Let the river of life sweep you beyond all aid from old and worn concepts.
I will support you.
Trust me.
As you swim from an old consciousness, blind to higher realities beyond your physical world, trust that I will guide you with care and love into a new stream of consciousness.
I will open a new world before you.
Can you trust me enough to let go of the known, and swim in an unknown current?”
Talking with Nature ~ Journey into Nature by Michael J. Roads

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Unknown

In contrast to the bitter cold and snow across other areas of the United States this week, we, here in the Pacific Northwest are enjoying a different weather pattern; and, this is the inspiration for today’s blessing:

Blessings Day 317: praise for this slender day sandwiched between a Wednesday and a Friday.

Praise for the sun blazing down a few more precious hours.

Praise for the singing chickadees, the humming flies and the errant bee who have stumbled on spring time in January.

Praise for the me who flings open the door to an emerald paradise and joins you.

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Blessings Day 285: to be reminded to fall in love daily…

Today I fall in love with my beating heart – 100,00 beats per day, 36,500,000 beats per year!

We ascribe to the heart a multitude of phrases to try and understand it: heart strings that can be pulled, hearts that are broken, mended and healed, hearts aflutter, follow the heart, heartthrobs, heart warming, hearts of gold, heavy hearts, courageous and vulnerable hearts.

Faithfully, dutifully, asking nothing in return …

… beating throughout the wildness of our days and the quiet darkness of our nights

… so that I may know something about devotion …

… something about being supported …

… something about fragility and strength …

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Yinimages

I love, no adore, this quote, appended below, from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of eat, pray, love) in her new book “The Signature of All Things”.  It’s relevant to include it here, as it illustrates the theme of recent blog posts: allowing acceptance of the voices that come.  Maybe they wake us in the middle of the night, or perhaps it’s at the moment we rise up from that darkness of night and into the sometimes tenuous and raw vulnerability of morning.

Whenever those voices come, they teach us we would not know the courage to move forward had we first not known fear.  So much would be missing from the world without the life-giving blood of anger and the force for which it propels us into positive change.  It is the yin and the yang of life and one aspect will always be in relationship with it’s complementary aspect — fear and courage, anger and change, for example.  And like the proverbial grain of sand that transforms into an iridescent pearl, our lives are a continual evolutionary dance of sand and pearl.

“I live a creative life, and you can’t be creative without being vulnerable.  I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both. And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear!  You must accept that Creativity cannot walk even one step forward except by marching side-by-side with its attached sibling of Fear.

{…} I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with love and respect, saying to it: “I know that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to leave me alone or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never leave me alone or be silent, anyhow.  But I need you to understand that I will always choose Creativity over you.”  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert “The Signature of All Things”

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Thanksgiving

Abbphoto

Being an animal lover has so many privileges.  Abby, who you see above, doesn’t just come when I call her, she bounds towards me with all the unfettered zest she can muster in that little Corgi body.

It reminds me how much life is meant to be lived like that, but sometimes we as mature adults have an invisible leash we are tethered to.  Some call it rules, but it can come in many forms – fears, judgments, ideas about the way we are supposed to be.  It’s any thing that holds us back from our original unbridled enthusiasm, which we came in with.

Let’s make a deal, you and me, this holiday season we let go of anything that is holding us back.  Let’s unleash that which waits inside us: the wonder, the awe, the innocence, the eagerness.  She or he waits for you, and does not need the perfect moment to be freed.  There is no perfect moment, there is only … right now.

While they pass the bread and butter around the table this Thanksgiving, pass the robust salt of vitality, the ground pepper of courage, hands outstretched now to grasp the generous bowl of enthusiasm, the moist stuffing of contentment, the warmed casserole of encouragement, now pour over it the glad gravy of ease.

Then rest, be lazy, for there is much life still to be lived on the ‘morrow.

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