Monday, July 29, 2013

Mama Said there'd be Days Like This...

...there’d be days like this my mama said.
There is so much happening in my little corner of the world even I can barely keep up! 

~ i have a brand new website I am really proud of and from now on   i will be blogging from there!

~ i’ve just returned from another week retreat in Big Sur at   Esalen  with my soul sisters.

~ i am getting ready to return to Pickathon for the  6th year of   the best live music in the PNW. 

~ i am finalizing plans for our friends, The Joy Mills Band, to     play our backyard stage August 31st.
  {details and ticket purchase info on my website soon.}

  September 6-8.  {tickets and info here.}  

~ i am planning the seattle area screening of Indie Kindred, a     film by my friend Jen Lee, Monday
  September 9. {location tbd… details coming soon!}

~ i am finalizing plans for my pilgrimage to the UK with a group   of wild witchy priestesses in October.

~ and I am beginning to plan our 3 week family winter trip,         likely back to Mexico for surfing and sun,over the holidays and   my birthday

life is full, big, and beautiful…ripe and bursting as might be expected of the season.  

i have so many privileges and so much support in this life i live.  i am lucky and alive.  it’s all good.  so so good.    the only exception might be that my hormones are being a total asshole.  but that’s a whole ‘nother post entirely. and it just may be that that has something to teach me too, wouldn’t you think?!

so bare with me friends as I am in planning mode and vacation mode in these long languid days of summer.  I have many new projects, collaborations, diys, events and offerings in the works but all need time to marinate and simmer to come into full fruition. 

from here on out you can find all the info you need pertaining to Smashing Rubbish and my work over on my new site:

thank you for sticking around and coming along for the adventure.  you are cherished. 

ever feral, ambrosial, strange,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Get Up Stand Up Headdress

so i made a series of headdresses.
it was a make-to-mend project.
and an accessory-as-medicine project.

and i created a sweet little DIY for these beauties.
you can get in the Spring issue of Amulet.

so bounce over to Amulet and Make-to-Mend a 
Get Up Stand Up Headdress.
keep this in mind...

how does using our hands in self-expressive adornment heal us?
can we draw down or root up healing by imploring our hands to follow our heart in embellishment?
will mindfully fabricating a hand worked narrative alleviate some of our suffering from old wounds?

expand. release. heal. 
awake. rise. vision.  


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blame It On My Wild Heart


i spent a good portion of my life thus far trying to cover up, bury, cloak and avoid my past.  for years, in my longing for control, safety and normality I employed perfectionism and being bossy pants to mask any little bit of weird that might slip through the cracks and expose me for the odd, damaged, freak I thought I was.  i knew it was my job to be the secret keeper, a role heaved on me without my consent, due no doubt to the mortification truth-telling would unleash in my mouse’s view of the world, then only seeing what was right in front of me.  that was before soaring…before embodying the eagle’s gesture and flying high with a wide open view from above. 

from an eagle’s vantage point, the expanse of space is vast, unrestricted and capable of holding all kinds.  who am I then, while eagle incarnate, to keep my story and experiences to myself, if through tender transparency I might be able to comfort another wounded sister?  it has been a long hard road, as they say, a struggle to survive my past and arrive at the point of wanting to expose myself, to throw it all off and become naked and so new.  unearthing, digging up, excavating and going public with our personal stories of living wounded from experiencing trauma is not selfish, it’s self-care.  and it’s sister care in that telling our stories, crafting our personal narratives, are our greatest tools in healing, for ourselves and those who listen.  i am not the only one who has been there, with the deep throbbing scars of a survivor, working out the kinks of our pasts.  we all experience trials, hit bumps in the road, and our healing involves feeling our pain, embracing it, naming it, having a grief ritual for it, and then shedding and releasing it, starting a new chapter, a new story, a new page about ourselves.  when we shine light in the dark secret corners, we set ourselves free.  the telling and sharing and owning become a portal to healing, transformation and change, where we awaken to the deep truth of who we are. 
i am done with the business of living wounded.

i am fermenting my past by sharing a previously published piece of mine here on this page now, letting the alchemy of it nourish and tonify us all.  this “going public” is part of the ritual, part of the unraveling and reclamation that gets me to my next step of Make-to-Mend, where in community we support one another in a rhythmic daily practice of creative self-expression,  Making to heal the wounds of developmental trauma and adverse childhood experiences.   in the telling, the sharing, the writing, the making, the crafting, the deep soul dive. i am free.  we are free.  wild and free.

wild and free
(from here)
by the time i was 4 years old my mom had married a monster, unbeknownst to us all at the time.   we didn’t know he was a monster at first, because he didn't look like one.  he didn’t appear scary, mean, nasty or vicious. he didn’t present hideous skin, oversized appendages or snarling teeth.  this monster passed off like a gentle human, smelled clean and fresh,  faithfully attended church and lived a moderate middleclass life in the suburbs.  no, visually,  your eyeballs would have never registered monster, or even crazed lunatic.  but those amazing globe-shaped orbs inside their sockets cannot always ascertain sly, sneaky, cunning monsterishness by observing an outward appearance.  this person was a deviant, conniving, covert monster on the inside.  a putrid, sick, less than human, life-sucking leach, of the lowest form. yes,  he most certainly was.  he was a child molester and i was his darling, tricked, sweet, confused target for 7 long years.
i am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.don’t feel sorry for me.  just see me where i stand.  behold me.i tell you this in an effort to take back my power: to become empowered, to become real, to shed the prickly cloak of secret keeper and rebirth myself  anew.  i tell you this to lean into and live up to my calligraphied arm tattoo:" i choose authenticity. i am brave, vulnerable and imperfect.  i am enough." i tell you this to be seen: honest, bare, revealing.  i tell you this to cultivate my own shame resilience: ordinary courage, dream weaver, creative wise woman .   i tell you this because i have survived, sometimes barely intact, more often than not hanging on by a thread, yet alive, and living with the battle scars, bruises and bewilderment of being knocked the fuck down, so to speak.  i tell you this to do something big.  yes, this is my truth.and yet.  still i journey. still i dream.  still i seek healing.  a wanderer, always and ever spiraling inward and outward, grasping elusive bits of star dust and slippery magical moon beams. me,  burning bright, shining, electric, pulsing,  reaching, soaring, stretching.  but always, always, furling back again, folding inward, dark solitude, a hot mess of  fear, questioning, angry, rageful, blaming and untrusting. temporarily defeated, the wall goes up, old wounds fester and seep, vulnerability sprouts wings and vanishes while i  choose smallness and jealousy, in a wicked shame spiral of despair and humiliation. this one beautiful life: seemingly stolen, subverted, mangled, ruined, corrupted.
and yet, i refuse to let it have me, to own me, to work me like a puppet.i am giving myself permission to fly because i have been told there is life outside the cage.don’t feel sorry for me. my life is not horrid.  i have had many years worth of smiles, belly laughs and high times.  I am college educated in the arts, i am a trained community centered herbalist, i have two beautiful sons, and a partner who continues to allow me to grow, die and be reborn again.  i have submerged myself in a community of women and friends that i can trust, feel safe with, let see me and be real real with.  I am an artist, a maker, a studio and vintage shop owner.  Boho-Naturalist styling, decoration and design is my gift and prayer. i am a honeybee keeper,  a mother-ocean loving surfer, a horseback rider and a wanna be world traveler. and here i write.  i am a writer, a weaver of words and a teller of truths.  i am me and here i am: aspiring to live and love with my whole heartthis one beautiful life was cobbled together on a marathon,  a running, if you will, away from and back to myself, depleted,  over and over again, tired, cyclical, exhausted, a pattern. Therapy, and therapy, and more therapy.  tiny  bits of me unearthed and exposed, little by little, dusted and shined but not always lovely.   a crystal in the rough.  in fact, rather mostly hard to look at, the shattered edges, the sticking stinking mucky grime, unbreakable, unuseful, old protective modes, wounds that won’t rest in peace, sending me running from myself again.  untimely attempts at shifting the energy leaving me sprinting like a rat on its wheel, wondering when to jump but instead just hanging in there, one more round, utterly thirsting to run into myself, me, myself, hoping to find me, myself, like an old friend waiting with open arms.  but no, the running went on and on and on.but now it's done.  i've crossed the finish line of this 39 year marathon.   i'm jumping off the wheel.  and i'm two things.  I am thirsty and i want to fall down.  hard.  and  i want the running me to splatter on a surface that will crack me wide open and let all the dis-eased, unfulfilling ,broken down bits of me  scatter to the healing eastern winds.  and i want to drink up,  gulp down and cultivate the pieces of me that serve me, the seeds that help me serve others, the bits that give me purpose and light and freedom.  i will grow, nourished and fed, ever reaching, thickening, becoming succulent and juicy in my new skin, tendrils finding their hold.  i will live and love with my whole heart and i am hot-damn determined to reclaim what is rightfully mine and be fully selfish in my loving myself, tending my inner fire, stoking a life that is abundantly full of star dust and moon beams.  there shall be no end to me, just wide open space and affluence, glowing and radiant.  beauty, love and blame it on my wild heart.  it has been broken and busted flat yet it won’t give up.  it just keeps asking the questions, searching for answers, growing stronger with each veil lifted, with each step toward the signs that reveal answers, to a hoped for understanding, a making sense, a wanted deep knowing of direction, path, meaning.  what to do with this one beautiful life and this incessant mocking awareness?  what is my convergence?  where will my skills join a valued need in the world so i know how, where and in what form to give. Catherine Deane Moore says, "Your calling is at the intersection of your joy and the earth's deepest need."  where is my joy?  what is Her deepest need?   i'm investing in me because being the best me is the gift i can give the world today.  my preferred self, me breaking inherited patterns, me taking flight.   
this is my gift to me.  
And this is my gift to you. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Recognition & Belonging

i finally belong to myself.
I recognize me.

a week or so ago i was shootin the shit with a real life friend online, since we aren't quite neighbors and we can't sit in each others kitchens at 10:30pm, half cocked and telling the truth.
this beautiful sister of mine mentioned that she manifested me in her life, many moons ago, and now here we are, 2 or 3 years into our current friendship.  she said, "i mean, what if we were in a place on a day at a time looking at the same sky, the same star and saying this. her. please. someday..."

it made me cry a little.

we were exploring our connection, our six degrees of kevin bacon,  how we came to know each other, this time, and i agreed with her that in so doing, it is easy to see that it's all one. only us. no them.  both/and.  no real divisions.



so i sent her this riff from lang leav called soul mates: i don't know how it is you are so familiar to me- or why it feels less like i am getting to know you and more as though i am remembering who you are. how every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that i have known you before, i have loved you before- in another time, a different place- some other existence. 

and she said to me: Anam Cara

well friends, i had to look that up.  
utter cluelessness on my end.  

Anam Cara = Soul Friend

lifted from wikipediaAccording to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open, appreciative, and trusting with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or "Soul Friend." Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life. You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.

so a fabulous mr. john donohue wrote a book called Anam Cara, in which he offers wisdom and insight on the themes of love, friendship, solitude and death.  

i am hooked.

and i have not been able to help myself, while reading his words on friendship between two souls, to take notes, in my own way, twisting and turning the reading to make sense for me and my personal journey.

now it does feel obvious to me that we have soul friends.  of course.  when we get vulnerable with others and behold each others light and beauty, a connection sparks.  yes. ancient recognition. home. i get this.  

and of course we need others.  of course we do.  like clean air. and fresh water.  essential.  

but we also need ourselves. healed and loving, whole. i need me.
one of the deepest longings of the human soul is the desire to be seen and to belong. i want that. but more so, i long to truly see myself and belong to myself again, to remember myself, since my ability to do so was greatly compromised.   one of the horrid after effects of developmental trauma and childhood wounding is that we often can no longer grasp our potential. our potential was seemingly snuffed out. well, i for one can no longer hand my power over to the people who hurt me, letting their maniacal acts rule my life forever. fuck them.   
i am reclaiming my possibility and it starts with self-love and self-acceptance.  

but what of it when we FINALLY sense a deeply felt bond with OURSELVES?  when we finally come to love and accept ourselves enough that there is a deep ancient recognition?  if friendship is always an act of recognition then is befriending ones self an act of self-recognition? can self-love be manufactured or achieved by an act of will or remembrance? what does it take to enter into friendship with ones self and if that can happen do we recognize our selves?  our souls?  who do we become? our own soul friend?

it fascinates me to no end to consider that deep, true, hard won friendship with oneself comes with self-recognition.  that it comes with self-love and self-acceptance. when we accept and discover ourselves, the ancient recognition settles in.
perhaps we used to love ourselves, before the childhood trauma and post traumatic stress brought the division and separation of liking, knowing, loving and accepting ourselves. after adverse childhood experiences our (secret) memory mourned the loss of us, without us even realizing it...for a while.  some of us have wandered for years, the longing to love ourselves and accept ourselves barely recognizable, sometimes masked by obsession, compulsion, addiction, sabotage. for some of us the desire to belong to ourselves was not all together forgotten but faded to the dimmest random flicker. 

i think it must be in doing our work, deep soul diving into the truths of ourselves, letting go of the past, healing, tracking our time spent doing what's most important to us individually, making-to-mend, and reclaiming the power we have to mold our lives, shine our souls, and live in joy, that the tides begin to turn and we can consider leaning into self-love and self-acceptance.  in loving ourselves an ancient circle closes.  that which is ancient within us, when recognized and accepted, will tend us, protect us, shelter us and hold us together.  when we fall in love with ourselves we come out of the loneliness of exile, of self-loathing, of shame and unworthiness to find home and belonging within ourselves.  it is here where we can begin to consider cloaking ourselves in our own friendship and self-recognition.  where we begin to belong to ourselves.  we decide what we want, who we want to be, how we will get what we want, do what we want, live like we want. 
we think: oh, this is me, hi you, welcome home, i remember you. 
i know you. i recognize you. you belong here.  

i know me, i recognize me, i belong here.  

it's the awakening. the spark, the flash of recognition, self-recognition, re-cognize, re know, knowing and befriending ones self, a sense of ancient recognition and belonging.
Self-Love opens the door to recognition and belonging.
we enter. and we come home to ourselves at last.

i am my own Anam Cara

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ask Her

i had the unusual privilege of spending time with a friend last night who i don't get to see very often.  i miss having her in my weekly life but evidence suggests that when i do finally get to be with her, we will deep dive and be satisfied, filled up and nourished. 
we don't mess around.  

its straight to the: what are your fears?  how is the hard work of parenting going?  how are you feeling about intimacy?  what about death, any ideas about that?  have you done any shamanic journeying lately?  how is that working for you?  what have you discovered there?  how are you taking care of yourself?  do you need support in that?  have you declared any new boundaries lately to protect and nurture yourself?  are you keeping your possibility in the pitcher?!  do you want to?  are you willing?  do you have any retreats planned?  what about pilgrimages?  where will you travel?  what do you dream about?  is your partner feeling supported?  are you feeling supported?

you can see the potential for several hours not being near enough time to begin touching the tip of the iceberg.  
i always depart from this goddess feeling like we could spend several more hours and still not scratch the itch.  
do you have these beauties in your life?  who do you trust?  are you willing to get vulnerable, raw, real?  can you share your triumphs and your pains?  joys and sorrows? will you get home from spending some time with her and long for her to be your neighbor, daily on your path?  i wish all my besties were near by or that money were no issue so continuous travel were a reality or that i could just get on my broom and fly.  
if you have sisters in your life that you can ask and be asked the above questions...honor it.  if not, cultivate and create it. we all just want to belong and we have to get vulnerable and trusting to find it.  be yourself.  don't front.  shed the masks.  get real.   word. 

ever feral, ever ambrosial, ever strange LOVE,

Friday, March 22, 2013

Witch Roots

i am shimmying out on a wavering limb here and sharing a piece of writing with you so you can know me better, even still. if you've been here much you may know that i have been opening these little doorways, deeper into myself, letting you peep through and take me all in.  
i cherish your willingness to see me and stick around.
the piece below was written this past fall in a local yoga/writing workshop i was doing with my full-of-overflowing-love and gratitude yoga mentor/soulsister Sara and my brilliant, whip smart, hilarious writing mentor/soulsister Betsy.   this was for our final piece wherein we had to stand before an audience, at our local coffee shop and read into a microphone...  
an electrified microphone.
it felt undoable.  i went first to get it over with. i was all sweaty with my tummy doing flip flops. there is a video of it somewhere.  if i were to show that, you'd see that i take a break half way through, trying not to cry. and what you wouldn't see was that when i looked out at the seemingly huge audience gathered there, they were crying too.  
with me, they were crying with me.  
and it felt so good, like i was supported, held, seen.  
and i was able to finish reading.
you will notice that since i was writing it for a local audience, i use a lot of place names from washington state, where i was born and raised.  it also feels, to me, like an abrupt ending.  i was already way over the allotted words/time so i ended it...and i've never gone back and reworked it.  
so it is what it is.
welcome to a peek at my life:

Witch Roots: true confessions of a part-time crystal squeezer…from memory
she clutched the lustrous gleaming red apple in her hand.  the sanguine orb trundled finger tips to palm as she spoke.  and before I could inquire about the masses of blood-red spheres, she devotedly clasped her athame, dividing that suffused ruby-red ball perfectly to reveal the star.  do you know of this? Are you privy? if you slice an apple in half, just right, it will gift you with the star symbol, precisely in its center, its belly, where the seeds live.  i was in awe.  i was jejune.  I was 11.  and she was the most magical, mystical, and enchanted person i could ever imagine containing and including in my lackluster life.  she was my cousin.  my seven years older companion. my dad's sister's daughter.  and i was genuinely in love with her.

the alluring red apples were ubiquitous on that visit.  she had them all around her room,  in every quarter of the basement cave in that old gorgeous house in Wallingford.  and we were continuously left to our own devices there in that deep, cozy underground hollow.  it was a safe and bewitched space.  and i was privileged enough to be permitted in.  and there was shimmering candle light,  lots of luminescent candle light.  and hazy incense,  one after another with the enticing smoky incense. i asked her why red and not green with the apples.  and she said red, always red, never green.  she spoke to me of the symbolism of apples:  love, youth, beauty, happiness and immortality.  she whispered dreamily of the isle of avalon being apple island. and she made sure i understood that our scandinavian roots, being nielsen's and all, were bound to the legends of our scandinavian gods and goddesses, in the other world, who were fed an apple, the life-giving fruit, every evening by the guardian goddess Iduna,  the goddess of spring and youth, who nurtures an apple orchard in Asgard.  it was all about magic, mystery, the mystical, and the sacred.  my witchy cousin was ensuring that i too would be passed the gift of understanding symbolic meaning, gaining the ability to use herbs and potions to heal, and have knowledge of our pagan roots that informed our quasi-catholic upbringing.  she was initiating me.

the apples are just one of my first significant memories surrounding this idol of mine, my cousin, my sister.  she was just enough older than me that she had a "real" job, first at rainier bank, and then whatever it morphed into, when i was still quite impressionable.  i was open and she was willing so i was bestowed her imprint and i lavished in it.  in those glory days the money flowed like liquid gold and she had a no holds barred attitude where i was concerned.  especially when it came to supplying her agreeable petite apprentice with paraphernalia, tools, essentials on the journey into teenagedome and becoming a free thinking iconoclast.  this is how she justified her untethered spending on me: it was crucial to her that i was schooled, prepared, and developed within a certain elemental specific spiritual framework to make it thru the coming passage with as much room for growth and gaining knowledge and as little pain and agony as possible in my juvenile years.  it was of the utmost importance to her that i knew i was enough, that i understood the long line of strong creative women i came from, and that i trusted she was there to have my back in case i faltered.  she could not completely insulate me, by a long shot, but she gave me the securest cushiony landing spot and room to flail.  she held the space for my breakdowns and dissonance during my teen years in a way that supported and didn’t stifle. she was present and alert.

my ambitious mom divorced and left my sad dad by the time i was four.  pa stayed in windy, dusty ellensburg, where my 18 month younger brother and i were born, while my determined mom relocated us to the west side.  my temporarily heartbroken dad was a firefighter and had an irregular schedule.  my parents agreement was that dad would have us once a month.  it fuckin sucked.  it was hard and harsh.  And we missed him like crazy.  but when he finally showed up each month, it was like christmas morning, a celebration, a festival of love, longing, and reunion.  it was the best and we unquestionably endured our separation from him hungering for reunification.  and since he came over snoqualamie pass to retrieve us, we would most often spend the weekend with our grandparents in renton, instead of heading back over the cascades to ellensburg.  looking back now, my folks being separated and having been afforded a weekend nearly every month with my paternal grandparents, was one of the utmost gifts of my childhood and my parents’ split.  A hankered for blessing in disguise. basking in the ecstatic love and adoration of my grandma, in person, once a moon cycle, jam-packed me up with the love i craved and ached for and wasn’t getting elsewhere, namely from my distracted mom, whose attention was laser focused on her fresh rebound husband, while his attention, in turn, was laser focused on me.  but that tale of preoccupation is an account for another time.  and so, occasionally, instead of shacking up with my beloved and darling grandparents, we would hightail it across the 520 bridge, venturing into the big, bright, bustling city toward my dad’s sisters, and stay, at first on palentine, and then on latona, with my aunt, uncle and cousin, in seattle.  it was on those rare weekends, in the early years, that i was sanctified by my cousin and aunt's devotion, love and pandering.  it was these too far and few between journeys that my cousin would entice me subterranean to her chamber to be marinated in her glow, sequestered, in secret, the outer world shut out and time standing still. it was entering another world entirely and it was profound.

from time to time, and especially as i did actually near my teens, the older adults would "allow" my cousin and i to venture off into the heart of the mysterious city on our own.  she, of course, had been roaming, carousing, and taking seattle by storm since her very early years but for me to be allowed to go out with her, walking long distances or taking the city bus, since she didn’t drive, was a big deal.  through the years, and once i could drive into the city myself, we had several spots that i call the "usual haunts" on our route.  when i would get to her house each time, whether when i was much younger with my dad in tow, or a little older and on my own, she would have some variety of multi-layered gift for me and some portion of the gift was always an indulgent wad of cold hard cash meant to be spent on particular items in specific locales.  often the other components of the gift were small indicators as to the wondrous places she would take me by the hand to discover.  there was always music, incense, herbs, crystals, vintage trinkets, clothes and jewelry .  all riches to my na├»ve, rural, bugged out eyes.  for me they were otherworldly treasures, not the kind of stuff you could acquire or procure in the suburbs.  once gifted my supernatural loot, we were off to peruse the brick and mortars ourselves so i could see, feel, pick, choose, and buy, with her endowment of funds, more of the same.  it was a veiled dream come true and i lived, really longingly and anticipatorily existed, to fulfill my burgeoning wanderlust in her sorority.

one of our usual haunts was tower records, in the mid-80s still a block off mercer street, and quite near my uncles offices at seattle center.  it was actual records we were after, back in the day, albums, not cassettes, and cds weren’t even available yet.  she knew I scarcely possessed any music but there I was, trailing behind in her herbalicious fragrant wake, as she called out, do you have this?  What about this? oh you must have this…you won’t make it thru without this.  essentially and effectively the message came across loud and clear: you won’t endure the passage to enlightenment or survive your coming of age if you don’t listen up….literally. i just stared, wide-eyed, chin on the floor and gulped it all deep soul down.  i couldn’t get enough. and so then there we hovered, with a mass of albums, her trying to decide which mound of lyrical poetry i MUST obtain that interval.  there was the Stones (her fav), fleetwood mac, Janis Joplin, and the Doors. then later the indigo girls, REM, and U2.  and there were many many more:  punk, reggae, blues, indie, world, new wave, ethnic, alternative, jazz, cajun, rock a billy, etc, but the others were the most conspicuous.  she and we would pick 3 or so for me and a few for her and off we’d fly to our next lair.  i still have all my albums and then some and since my 3 guys bought me a new turntable a couple years ago, I get to listen to them.  and it takes me back.  deep soul down.

additional habitual sanctums we craved were zenith supply on roosevelt or tenzing momo in pike place market.  back in the day these became our everyday, routine, normal, go to hamlets for crystals, pendants, wands, incense, candles, oils, books, herbs, and all things witchy, occult and esoteric.  i was being steeped and brewed in the ancient wise woman path and yet I was none the wiser in that moment.  i was squarely thrilled and awed by all she knew and her precious gift of instilling it on me.  i remember specifically twice that she guided me in choosing crystal mineral and gemstone pendants for myself.  one was a marbleized green malachite crystal set with a small fiery opal cabochon in the center and another was a dark stripey obsidian crystal with a midnight blue lapis cabochon in the center.  I wore both of them religiously and I was the only schoolgirl in junior high who dared be so bold and untrendy.  our favorite incense was night queen by primo.  we would also get frankincense, patchouli, or amber once in a while, along with stalking up on whatever other occultist accoutrements we needed for the season at hand.  now, if i smell any of the aromatic zephyrs we regularly consumed then, the scent memory is so durable it tugs me right back to that cherished and lusted archetypal age.

When I recount the spellbinding emporiums as becoming common for my cousin to expose me to, it is only in sheer contrast to our annual pilgrimage to seattle center, for the folklife festival.  The other harbors grew inevitable and orthodox while still evoking giddy delight upon pursuing them.  But folklife, when my uncle was the director of it for 16 years, was the yearly local holy grail of whimsical nonconformity, celebrated diversity, a musical, theatrical, performance tribe and wild circus clan descended and created a world all its own where we could get it all and have it all over one long provocative weekend.  we lived for it, we dressed for it, we prepared for it and we became one with it.  We would save our money for weeks and months to take possession of the fantastic worldly ethnic goods we had held our breaths 4 lengthy seasons for. There was much planning, prep, scrutinizing the schedule and dissecting which vendors were where.  (as an aside, the only dreamy and bewitched vendor we were willing to drag our lazy asses out of bed for on the first day, and wait lined up early for outside the exhibition hall doors, was our very own duvall handcraft legend, the goddess paula strobel, whose dolls and enchantments were collected by us with sheer panic and hysteria!  Imagine my frenzied delirium many years later after having moved here to discover paula worked in the bookstore. and boy howdy was she ever so humble and even embarrassed with all the feverish gushing I spewed upon realizing her in the dusty stacks.  she has been ever so gracious and charitable in symbolically patting my eager head while my tail still wags in her presence all these years later.) but back to folklife. my cousin and aunt had taught me to love well and deeply great fancy feasts of food.  real, fresh, made from scratch honest to goodness food, in all its varieties, colors, flavors and textures.  i was used to government cheese and there wasn’t a brown packaged brick in sight.  that said, the availability of diverse fare at folklife was staggering and gorge worthy, thus the poring over of the scheduled food vendors and thus we stuffed to bursting.  and none of our moolah had to be spent acquiring this gastronomic bloating of our own gluttonous epicurean ways.  which was just one more charmed home-run for these kin of mine I revered so severely.  all we had to do was trot around the grounds with my uncle, the bigwig, the director of the festival, whenever we got hungry and he was offered food left and right, hand over fist, more than he could every put away himself.  so there we were to take up the slack, help him out, and make sure he didn’t need to reject his vendor’s culinary advances.  it was our pleasure to proffer this favor so he didn’t look rude.  it was wholly fantastic for a girl who was raised on frozen cardboard pizzas, metallic canned veggies, and free public school lunches. 

so, without exception, i was nourished entirely and completely under the protection of my kinfolks.  their generous tutelage allowed me to propagate, mature and ripen into my own as a young adult. i am the unconventional parent, the eccentric and eclectic woman, the redemptive partner due to their planting of seeds. I have chosen authenticity, braveness, vulnerability and imperfection as a lifestyle thanks to their initial tutoring. we aren’t all as close as we once were and lately i’ve been feelin like there is a massive jagged hole in my heart that only they can plug up.  i want to curl up with them, hold their fleshy hands, whisper what they mean to me and ensure they comprehend that i am me because of them.  i want to them to know.  i hope they know.

always feral, ambrosial, strange love, all the time,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


sometimes i forget that when i lean into whatever scares the ever lovin shit outta me, i am golden.
it's not a course of action for everyone, by any means.
you see, i have had to learn the same lesson, over and over.
do what scares you jennette.
ride your edge and seize the day by taking even one brave tiny baby step toward the thing that rubs, that seems too big.  the thing that stings and makes you start to sweat.  that thing that makes your stomach do flip flops, is the thing to lean into.
it's not for everyone.
i'm not for everyone.
but for me, deep diving head long into the unknown, unpredictable, uncontrollable, imperfect, is the fastest way to freedom and my own life of affluence.  
affluence, for me, looks like being on purpose, filled up by life, used up really.  affluence is an unfolding life of expansion, ease and authenticity.  it's having the ability to claim exquisite self-care by adventuring, seeking and discovering.  it's about being truly, madly and deeply in and about my life.  it's about being a legacy builder and a beacon.  for me it has nothing to do with money, prestige, or the 'normal' idea of success.  it has everything to do with the unfurling.

let us Unfurl,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Big Sur

hello delicious friends...
i am feeling the inwardness upon returning from a 10 day retreat to san francisco, esalen, and santa cruz.  bare with me as i regain my footing in reality...i am a bit dizzy as of now.

i am holding space for myself in near silence and darkness, in order to do the work needed before my new ideas, visions and dreams burst through the earth.
much wants to be birthed but we are still in incubation with just the tippy tops of succulent new tendrils pushing through.
it's almost time. 
for now i will leave you with impressions of Big Sur and the california coast.  be still my heart.

missing the warming heat and wild brightness of the sun

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Amulet - Give Away!

well my friends, we are all in luck today...
i get to give away a free download, issue one, of 

all you need to do is leave a comment here and then head over to Amulet Magazine blog or Amulet facebook page and leave a comment there as well.

one random winner will be selected by March 21, so don't delay.

i have read issue one, over and over again.  i keep coming back to it.  every single bit is smart, gorgeous, seasonal, and delicious. 
i don't want you to miss out!

yours in charms,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


{left over bok choy from printing bok choy flowers}

i was recently scanning through my documents on my laptop and i came across a file titled *My Elusives for Maya*. curious and not remembering what this file was all about, i took a minute to read it, top to bottom.  
and then i understood.
at the beginning of my SoulStorm journey with maya and pixie, that started with the new moon in august 2012, we were asked to state our elusives, as part of the gauge were we were at...and what we wanted to be up to. we were asked what was missing and where we wanted to go.

i am going to share with you, "My Elusives For Maya," here in an effort toward transparency.  some of what you witness me grappling with here came to pass rather quickly.  like the part about my relationship with chad.  well...that was all me.  chad has been in a spiritual growth spurt for a solid few years now and i was feeling the pains of experiencing stuckness and seemingly little forward movement when i wrote out these elusives.  it is crystal clear to me now that all my doubts and lack of responsibility were my walls of invulnerability being fortified with an old story.  a story which no longer served me.  it was time to change the story.
i had just come off of WDS and was in a lowly spot.  not due to wds, just due to my own lack of confidence and not understanding my skill set and desires...not quite yet having a grasp on where my joy (if/when i had any) intersected with the earth's deepest need.  well, soulstorm, the life and legacy design part, swiftly and lovingly kicked my ass into shape.  creating my 100 year vision shifted things in me that have remained solidly and firmly transformed.  changed. i no longer feel left behind.
thank the goddess.

some of this *elusives* won't make sense to you, and that's ok.  you will get the gist of it. 
but some of it i think may deeply resonate.
which parts do you most identify with, if any?
are you on a clearly defined passioante path? 

for me, both parts, the personal relationship and the businessy stuff, have been sorted out to the point that i have to pinch myself.  i can't really believe how lucky i am and that this is my life...that i have so much freedom and choice.  for all the developmental trauma, post traumatic stress, angst, uncertainty, and pain...if this is what i get in the end...i wouldn't change much at all.  i wouldn't be me without those experiences and i wouldn't be in this place of recognition and utter beauty if not for those hard times. every want, whim and desire is backed by my unfailingly supportive partner and i am on path, right-sized, clear about my *work* in the world. 
i am thankful.

so here it is...enjoy:

"Hello Dear One
I am writing to send you my "what has been elusive, whats missing for me that i know should be here, where have i wanted to go."
i think its summed up in the illumination paper work but in short, my personal relationship is nowhere near how i dream it to be.  it seems to be falling apart like never before and i am not sure if that is because it is as its meant to be or if its because of all this big rambunctious change happening full force now.  i feel like we have long been in transition but now i'm in a big push to sort it all out.  that's probably making a few waves.
a solid, no question forever and ever, vulnerable, trust worthy relationship is missing between my partner and i.  i don't think i can go on seeing it this way or it being this way....not sure if one is off kilter...
i've wanted to experience sparks, newness (18 years together now) walls coming down, new habits, change in expectations, surprise, thoughtfulness. 
i have definitely not been measuring wins and triumphs here!  totally measuring failures, disappointments, 'i told you so's, lack of ambition, comfortableness with mediocrity.
my default settings, in all areas, are called "lack of preferred self"  if it must be a city it would be ellensburg, wa.
in another area, business, what has been elusive is a convergence, a knowing where to go and in what direction.  i know what my loves and likes are but i cant see thru the trees to what is worth putting out there, that anyone would find valuable or useful. i have some very faint ideas that may be able to turn into something, eventually, but they are so unfinished, so non tethered in reality that i hesitate to even try describing them.  they are foggy even to me.   i love vintage stuff, i love making stuff, i love making beauty with objects, styling them, putting together vignettes, i love being a community centered herbalist, i love nature, i love music, i love surfing, horseback riding, foodie food, gardening, dancing.  i love watching my kids grow. and i am just starting to be able to see/admit that perhaps some of my angsty dissatisfaction is coming form them getting older, moving on, not needing me so much.  who am i if not the home centered earthmama of yesteryear.  what has been elusive is synthesizing all this into something that i can live on, live with, be.  do i stay with a flailing brick and mortar, do i move it online, do i keep my studio outside the home, do i move it back ( would be more productive actually), do i give it all up and change course, or do i add on somehow, do i go back to school, do i ditch it all and take off by myself......i have wanted to see more of the world, live more life, i get so bored with the mundane day to day.  i want stimulation, provocation, catharsis, enlightenment.  whats missing that i know should be here is the right passionate path for me.  how do you know?  i'm envious of those who were born to follow a particular path and they just go for it, do it, love it.  where is my path?  whats worth fighting for, doing, claiming, becoming.  i want to live abroad but i'm not willing to leave my kids behind.  i see it in my future, most certainly.  ultimately i want whatever i do to be location independent, not brick and mortar, tied down, stuck.  i want to experience a tribe, recognition,  and being held up for something worth while, valuable, known as giving, generous, and a little bit weird.  i never want to be 'normal' ever!
the other places, nature, art, community and even spirituality i feel ok about.  not super great fantastic, but ok in so much as they are not as pressing for me as the other two aspects: personal relationship and business/work.
my course correcting would be asking myself all the live long day if i am standing in the power of my preferred self. am i compromising, and am i being vulnerable enough, am i building walls or blowing holes thru them, am i being brave and authentic.  will these choices lead me to a life worth living or a continuance of a life of quiet desperation. 
that's the long answer to the short question.  thank you for asking.  each time i answer it, speak to it, the more i feel it coming forth, finding voice, reaching toward and not away.  i want it to come on slowly, not smack upside the head aha, so much.  i'd die of a heart attack if it whomped me over the noggin and that would be no good now, would it :) xxx"

forever feral,