special place, created space, wild magic of nature~~

i was standing there on the mound as the sun set. an orange glow sprinkled through the leaves onto my shoulders, illuminating the place i was standing. i looked down at the ground and saw the sea shells i put there. it is now a sacred place, full of woman’s wisdom, full moon magic, special intention. it was a place i have released my soul and i feel its magic as i stand there.

the wild oregano, thyme, wild mint.. none of it can be contained here in the suburbs. these are wild ancient herbs that grow up from the earth after tapping roots down, gently, firmly, branching beneath the surface of the earth. this is now a magical space. i have created a magical space and from that initial act of creation, it creates itself again and again. the echinacea, soft pink petals, spiky brown centers; medicine root taps beneath. the wild columbine, standing tall, spread branches with seed carriers fronding out. the wood sorrel, the strawberry, the daisy, sweet sweet flowers of life. all contained here on the hill with sacred transported rock and stone, sea shell fragment and full piece.

this is a woman’s space, this is a healing place. this is a created place, now with a wild face. 

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Day 6, How Morning Yoga Helps Me Grow

“Give me your morning. Breakfast, waking up, walking to the bus stop. Be as specific as possible. Slow down in your mind and go over the details of your morning.”

i opened my eyes. i was still laying down and i had to pee. when i did, my pee was clearer than usual. i didn’t want to get out of bed quickly, but i knew my morning would be rushed if i didn’t. i turned the shower on and climbed in, my hair was up in a bun as to not get wet. it didn’t get wet, but i lathered my body all over with bronner’s soap, scrubbing here and there and then i rinsed. after i got out, i applied my apple cider vinegar and tea tree mixture on as i have done for the last 16 days in efforts to make my skin uninhabitable to tinea versicolor, a persistent fungus thats’ on everyone’s skin, but can really take advantage during hot months or if people have weakened immune systems.

i’m happy to say that the tinea is mostly relieved of its duty to take over my skin. after putting my clothes on, i went downstairs to make my liver purification drink from Farida Sharan’s book Herbs of Grace. I discovered Farida online while reading herbalism articles and, as I am in a transition looking at possible next steps, I got Farida’s book because I was also attracted to her school in Colorado and wanted to feel her and her teachings out more before I took any other steps. I’m finding her book, which under Herbs of Grace says Becoming Independently Healthy, a great tool in doing just that. It’s a real empowerment tool with a multitude of practical recipes/paradigms to infuse healing into all aspects of life.

The first recipe I tried was for liver purification and it includes eating 4-6 cloves of garlic blended with OJ (or grapefruit juice), cold pressed olive oil and lemon juice. I actually really like eating this first thing in the morning. I’m not sure how everyone else feels about it though, as I’m in the early stages and I am literally farting out pure eau de parfum of garlic 🙂 hehe … I ate this this morning and then had a cup of fenugreek, licorice root and fennel tea, as recommended in the book to aid digestion, sooth the stomach and mask the breath a bit! I’m not sure if it’s doing that.

Next I dropped Ini off at work and continued my drive to the spot at the nature preserve. I read some of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and was inspired by the question she posed, What are you deep deep dreams? As I did my morning yoga on the platform there, I felt great gratitude for life rushing through me as I let this question rest in the back of my mind. One thing I’d like to do is to help/empower people make the changes they want to make in their life. The beauty of the morning sun, the sweet clear breeze, bird song and environment of plants and trees bristling in the wind welled up inside of me. I thought of some wisdom from Farida’s book along the lines of creating an inner environment of such peace that outward circumstances aren’t able to easily shake it.

My body started to feel long and lithe. I practiced releasing some tension in my hamstrings, which have always been notoriously tight. Today, when i was in the yoga position, Plow, I lengthened my legs and told them, I will hold this position until you stop shaking. Here’s something I wrote this morning as I recollected my yoga practice:

And I held myself there until my legs shook. I knew I could go all the way with it. My body delighted in the challenge, in the edge, in the growth. I remembered then how healthy that is for me. To stretch, to feel my ligaments met with their own tension, to hold it and breathe into it. It felt so good. It felt like life. Like the breath of life was moving into my dark places, illuminating my places of pain, fear, holding and scaredness. I’ve pushed myself a lot in life. I haven’t always had the awesome powerful love I have now (or I haven’t always known that I have it). It makes all the difference, stretching and pushing myself from my own ground, from my own center — instead of being perpetually pulled off kilter. 

I held my legs until they stopped shaking. As they shook, I said, I’ll hold you until you stop shaking. Shortly thereafter I felt an energy rise through my whole body and exit through my crown. The shaky energy left. I felt my left IT band pulsating a long bridge-like throb. My body feels strong in these early hours. The yoga, stretches, breathing are all very healing for me; I intent to continue making space for myself and the things I love.”  

15 Days of Writing Prompts, Day 6 ~ Morning

Thanks for joining me again for 15 Days of Writing Prompts from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Today’s prompt is especially accessible to everyone, give it a try!

“Give me your morning. Breakfast, waking up, walking to the bus stop. Be as specific as possible. Slow down in your mind and go over the details of your morning.”

Oooh this should be a good one, enjoy! ~ ❤ wren

Day 5: a place of health, ease & rest

There is bright sun. It is morning sun in the summer. I have arrived to the platform just in time. The platform at the nearby nature preserve, the platform that sits in the middle of the wild field. There is a mowed pathway to the wooden platform. The path is full of black eyed susans, lavender bee balm, young poplars, raspberries and, as I make my way, a red tailed hawk soars across the field near the adjoining tree line. I’ve brought my journal, a book, a yoga mat and my hat. I’ve put my sun screen on and I have an extra shirt.

It is very breezy out in the middle of this field above the plants on the platform. The sun shines through the surrounding forest creating the most lovely orange glow. Being in this space allows me to feel easily thankful and I breathe deeply as I do upward & downward dog, bend over and touch my toes and reeeeach! for the sky. I practice yogic breathing exercises and expel all the stagnant air in my body. I remember many things as I do these exercises and I am again amazed at the shifting realities of consciousness – how a change in setting, posture, stretches and deep and slow or shallow and rhythmic breathing can change thoughts, perceptions and feelings- in a term, they can change reality. The air is so fresh and I’m able to deeeeeply take it in after the breathing exercises. I feel renewed, as if I am a new person with new thoughts, a more flexible body, surround and filled by a lightness without and within.

I feel the soft yet hot morning sun glaze over my skin. I adjust my pose so my face isn’t directly in it and I continue breathing and stretching until I lay on my mat for some deep relaxation, to feel how my body has changed after all of the stretches and breathing. As I lay there in silence, the birdsong plays in my ears, along with the rustling of the cottonwood tree’s leaves. The field is a place of much activity and yet, unlike a busy city, it imparts a sense of peace. A playful rejuvenation.  This field is a tonic and I give thanks again that such places exist in the midst of cities and towns, sometimes, as in the case of this one, right off the edge of the highway.

prompt: “Write in different places – for example, in a laundromat, and pick up on the rhythm of the washing machines. Write at bus stops, in cafes. Write what is going on around you.”

 

15 Days of Writing Prompts: Day 5 ~ Place

Welcome to Day 5 of 15 Days of Writing Prompts! It is a beautiful day today ~ Here’s today’s prompt from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, 

“Write in different places – for example, in a laundromat, and pick up on the rhythm of the washing machines. Write at bus stops, in cafes. Write what is going on around you.”

Day 4: walking in the green, amid the clapping leaves

“Choose a color- for instance, pink- and take a fifteen minute walk. On your walk notice wherever there is pink. Come back to your notebook and write for fifteen minutes.” from Day 4, prompt by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones.

it is summertime and i chose green. can you imagine the amount of my fixation as i walked on the wooded path outside the house? loops and lulls around bends and through thickets, black raspberries, blooms of milkweed, a light blue sky filled with puffball clouds. i walk this path nearly everyday. i remember when they built it. from this patch of wild earth i found some of the first herbs i ever worked with. one was called pearly everlasting or rabbit tobacco. it has a sweet soft smell and a bit like warm butterscotch. i mixed some of that with mugwort and made a dream pillow. mugwort is a magical herb in one of its uses and the pearly everlasting has a calming effect; the two were quite a pair. i loved sleeping with that pillow, except when it kept me up at night because of its dream-stimulating strength. i found that my dreams were brighter, more vivid, detailed and frequent in those times after sleeping with the pillow. it was a great boost to my imagination and forging connection with the dreamtime.

every time i walk by that field, i notice that the rabbit’s tobacco is no longer there. black raspberries fill its place, along with tall grasses, cottonwoods, yellow field clover, to name a few. the rabbit tobacco is gone, but the field and surrounding forests are succeeding. they are moving to the next phase of their ecosystem growth. i’m happy to see many people take walks there.

so the green was everywhere. where was there not green? every shade of green was represented today and i felt acutely the way spending time in nature calms and simultaneously energizes me. as i stepped out of my mind and more into my body, i felt joyous, more joyous with each step. i started to become more present in my surroundings. i ate a berry and felt great thanks and excitement at this wild gift. i walked along amazed at all of the green. maples merging with japanese honeysuckle; mulberry and cottonwood. yet it was the cottonwood, of all the greens of the day, that stood out to me the most. but it wasn’t because of its green, you see. it’s because the cottonwood was clapping at me.

i am not a person to walk the same route over and over again; i make a habit of mixing it up. if i start the path one way, notoriously i must walk back another way, even if that means scrambling through briars or tip toeing around poison ivy. as i started to walk in the other direction, a huge rush of wind came past me and lit up the nearby cotton wood tree. with their fancy oval leaves all banging against one another, it made a sandpapery sound, like when you rub two hands together to make the sound of rain. they clapped and waved at me and made me feel so welcome there. it was truly a lovely experience and i felt thankful and glad.

15 Days of Writing Prompts: Day 4 ~ Color

“Choose a color- for instance, pink- and take a fifteen minute walk. On your walk notice wherever there is pink. Come back to your notebook and write for fifteen minutes.”

Greetings! Today is Day 4 of 15 Days of Writing Prompts from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Enjoy this one today!