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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallows Wreath

One of the most creative and fun ways to bless your home is by making your own wreath for your entryway! This is quite simple, as there is really no standard to wreath-making and you can incorporate whatever natural elements or bits of charm that you choose! Here is my Autumn/Halloween wreath that I collected some pinecones for and just added a bit of pumpkin twine, faux fall leaves, and a violet-breasted raven for some mystique! :) Happy Wreathing and Blessed Samhain! Rachael

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Agility

like this amazing yoga breakdancer, stay Focused! Keep practicing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

it's the start of a crafty spring!



a lovely wednesday here, at the beach; and though it's spring, it feels like summer already. as is customary, i'm getting rowdy outside in the sun with some neighbors and friends. look at the nifty crayon melting i've been up to!


before and after!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

getting into things...

Spring is peeking her head out of the wintry covers! Currently working for myself and expanding on my many interests, besides being addicted to Pinterest, here is what I'm digging up these days:

Emerald frenchies for st. patty's day!

Even my stuffed animals are practicing their yoga. Haha thanks Dad!

Busy reading, journaling, and having lovely revelations about life and happiness _/\_

The first flower to say, "Good morning, Sunshine!" Oh Daffodil, I dance similarly.

Blessed sunny days to you :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday puts me in the mood for poetry...

So we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night
Though the heart be still as loving
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath
And the soul wears out the breast
And the heart must pause to breathe
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving
And the day returns too soon
Yet we'll no more go a roving
By the light of the moon.

- Lord Byron

Monday, January 2, 2012

brightest smiles for 2012




~may your bookshelf be as colorful as your life~

Friday, April 22, 2011

i'm back!

aloha, readers.
i hope to find you well; it's been awhile since i've blogged and i figure Earth day is the perfect day to jump back in the game, it being my fAvorite holiday and all... : )
remember to hug some trees, turn off your lights when you leave a room, and unplug your chargers and other electronics from outlets when not in use to also cut down on energy-wasting and give a little love back to our planet.
otherwise, enjoy this beautiful video followed with an earth day prayer shared by Selena Fox and remember to love your mother!


The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.


May we stop soil contamination & deforestation.

May we bring forth cleaner soil & reforestation.

Power of the Sacred Earth, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.

May we stop air poisoning & ozone layer depletion.

May we bring forth cleaner air & atmosphere restoration.

Power of the Sacred Air, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.

May we stop energy wastefulness & pollution.

May we bring forth cleaner energy & energy conservation.

Power of the Sacred Fire, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.

May we stop water pollution & ocean destruction.

May we bring forth cleaner water & ocean preservation.

Power of the Sacred Water, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.

May we put an end to social & spiritual toxicity.

May we bring forth peace & spiritual harmony.

Power of Sacred Spirit, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.

May we live in harmony with other humans.

May we live in harmony with all of Nature on this Planet & Beyond.

May we work together to end Planetary sickness.

May we work together to bring forth Planetary wellness.

Power of Mother Nature, guide us in this work

to bring healing to Planet Earth.




So Be It.
This Earth Day Prayer for 2011 by Selena Fox, environmental activist & senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, is the latest version of the prayer she created and led at the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day in 1990 at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld, Wisconsin, USA.



Saturday, October 23, 2010

an All Hallow's Moon

Besides being born on this month, October has always been my favorite time of year; when the trees turn brilliant colors and delicious smells escape from kitchen doors. As the scent of burning leaves and wood traverse the brisk air, I honestly just want to throw on my flannel, clogs, XL sweatpants and curl up with a book on my breezy front porch where the sun still warms.






Autumn in Virginia is just beautiful in that you can enjoy changes throughout the state during the whole month. Toward the Appalachians to the west, fall is slowly sweeping through the Blue Ridge in hues of burgundy, rust, and gold. In a couple of weeks the seasonal ripple will crash here on the shore, where the sweep of life, transforming, extends to continue cooling the waters of the Atlantic


There is much to be thankful for during this season. The Wheel of the year is turning again and as Nature cycles through her rhythms of life and death, there is much reminder for us to appreciate our ancestors and honor their memory while accepting their passing from this lifetime. 6 years ago, we said goodbye to my beloved grandma who was not just an amazing mentor and inspiration, but simply an angelic and otherworldly soul altogether. Learning to let go of her has been such a lesson and in learning, I am now able to remember her without grief or sadness but with awe.




The full moon of this month, also called the Blood Moon (named for the hunter-gathering histories of native tribes) is time for respect and appreciation to the things that sustain us and end their lives so that their energy may keep us alive; growing and changing.
This is not a new concept, and while I absolutely adore the movie Avatar, James Cameron is not the creator of this idea of unity and sharing of energy, as much as people want to "Avatarize" this notion. Even Obi-Wan's description of the Force, "...it surrounds us, penetrates us..." is young to the slowly-spreading awareness of universality among beings. Our wisest ancestors knew that if we want to respect ourselves, then we must respect every part of life.
Part of my intention to accept responsibility for my actions includes even the most seemingly mundane actions, like eating. Though, thinking about it, what I put into myself is one of the most important and spiritual things I can do and not at all mundane. Before supermarkets, the yearly harvest kept shelter and sustainability on the forefront of people's minds while moving inward for the dark seasons; and hunting, harvesting, and perserving food was a mindful, hands-on experience.
I try to utilize that mindfulness now, making conscious consumer choices and showing gratitude towards those who have aided me along my journey (in a most Jedi-like fashion ;)
And so, in enjoying and appreciating this fall season, I reflect upon the many blessings that have gotten me to this point and now turn my focus inward to be thankful of each passing moment.
Some of the books I am reading with similar themes are:


~ May the full Halloween moon bask you in her glow of inward-consciousness and outward-appreciation ~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Veggicuriousness

I've been toying with the idea of vegetarianism for 3+ years, for a number of reasons, and only this last year actually gave up meat and embarked on a vegetarian diet. The change in energy I had was not just noticeable, but almost drastic! At first it was kind of difficult to figure out what to eat, but I have always been a vegetable lover so I kept my palate sharp with various legumes and crudites. It was somewhat easy to slip into the junk food and cheese pizza trap and I continue to make a conscious effort to avoid that as often as possible and get experimental with different plants.While I quit drinking cow's milk for the most part, I still LOOOVVVE cheese and just can't work with any vegan replacement (I mean, compressed soy, tofu, and water? gheuhh. no thank you)
Fortunately, I believe in moderation and I shop consciously for fish, cheese and eggs, avoiding hormones and unhealthy animals : ) After a short while I stopped having a yearning for meat altogether and was strictly ova-lacto-pescatarian... haha... for about 6 consecutive months. Then I would try a bite of chicken or turkey once in awhile but kept returning to vegetarian habits that were seeming more and more normal to me. Now it has been about 1.5 years since I've eaten red meat and only recently did I have pork again since that time. While temporarily tasty, I regretted this decision later.   : /
While researching recipes and fall workouts this morning, I realized it is Vegetarian Awareness month. This doesn't mean I believe vegetarianism is right for everyone, but there are a lot of people who ask me about my diet or have misconceptions about the benefits and healthiness of eating vegetarian and so I think this is probably a good time to share some older and wiser resources with whomever cares to read them.
 This is a great site about the many aspects of vegetarianism.
Self magazine discusses the benefits of the habits.
Here's another comprehensive and helpful website, whose picture looked so luscious i had to steal and repost : )

Mmmm, yea baby!

Hope your veggicuriousness is somewhat sated; I'm going to make lunch : )
Happy and healthy living to you, whatever your diet may be~

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Practicing sentimental non-attachment

So here's the thing: nothing is permanent....everything is subjective.
And while I'm grappling with the whole, "get a hold of your emotions, you have too much sentiment," sort of thing, I think nonattachment is one of life's greatest lessons.
Cuz let's face it, everything is circumstantial and temporary and blahdie-blah; I'm not the first to say this and I certainly won't be the last, but learning to let go can be a harsh and difficult lesson. And even if you learn it for one THING doesn't necessarily mean it will apply to another.
Case in point, I am somewhat particular about the few objects I "own" in this lifetime, let alone the space that I rent temporarily... but I still feel that everything is borrowed because what you take with you (ultimately) cannot be measure in weight or size, but in intellect and choice; in what you can endure, not what you have to show.
Things are merely objects moving from hand to hand to hand, possibly connecting us as isolated individuals, but stunting us in a social life devoid of real union due to attachment to inanimate items.
Could be a late-night rant, but as I get ready to move my stuff out of this home that I now love/resent and into another, it's important to realize this stuff and these buildings are not what I take with me, but the experience, and the lessons.
Hunter S. Thompson said, " Buy the ticket, take the ride," and maybe I still don't fully understand that statement, but now I appreciate the fact that the end result never renders as much as the experience of the journey itself.
Ups and Downs. Ebbs and Flows. We cannot be good without being tempted by bad... the lesson of the experience is key. You can't really be attached to the object, but the experience and memories will always tag along with you...urging you to be better...
Learning and progessing without attachment... this is my practice of late.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

gone vision boardin'

Maybe it's leftover summer energy, maybe it's the start of the school season; regardless, I am motivated and somewhat anxious this early September. Trying to channel some of this energy into writing has been effective but I often lack direction and progress in much of a swirly-zigzag fashion, moving back and forth between different sections of my story, and rendering indecisive towards some of the details.
My frustration makes me itch and I want to see what I am working toward in more of a visual way, so0o0o I got together with another forward-thinking sister and we had a crafty night of collaboration and connection.
After a smudge of sage, we grounded and took time to set our intention and a swirl of visions came to me. So I'm thinking, "sweet, cuz this is a groovy/dreamy vision board,after all" and I really tried to open my mind and observe my thoughts.
I saw many things, most often a house where I can have my family and my garden, a hub peace and love and a lovely, natural way to give back to the planet. I saw myself as an active, healthy gardener, steady in her yogic practice and genuine in her passion for story-telling and the written word. A place and a position to truly call my own, as independent, sustaining, and eclectic in my career and lifestyle as in my spirituality.
After snippin, gluein, and clippin down a complex path of thought and emotion, here is the end product.



While my fingers were organically arranging what my head and heart were collaborating, I was caught up in good company. When I stepped back and checked it out after finishing I was touched by, what I deemed a beautiful, pertinent motivator to look at everyday. So far, working like a charm.
; )

Saturday, August 21, 2010

BE the cause of Your experience

'Ello friends.
Haven't blogged in awhile; I've been traveling and working on a few projects as this sultry summer wanes.

The view of the marina from the Beaufort, NC waterfront

I have really been practicing my yoga even more these days, and working at Peace Love and Balance has allowed me to attend more classes and get over my practice-in-public anxiety : ) Recently, Dwight Garcia came and did a 3-day workshop, here in Virginia Beach, and let me tell you! i have never been bendier or sunk into savasana faster and with more intensity than after his 2.5 hour Urban Vinyasa session.

Before I got all loosey-goosey and blissed out, Brad and I were doing some flying yoga and Dwight helped me get up into flying shoulder stand! This pose was so fun and freeing and let's just say I have been doing some serious ab-work since ; )

I FINALLY started writing my book, and I mean aside from the gazillion post-its and notebook pages of ideas and outlines and storylines that litter my bungalow.
I've also been reading like crazy, nothing new there, but my material these days has not only moved my soul, but has been quite inspirational in situating my heroine in the fictitious web i've begun to spin.
One book in particular, written by a professor who taught a class on Harry Potter at the University at Edinburgh, really pinpointed key moments and attributes in the Harry Potter saga (which I believe to be a timeless, literary Hero's journey post-Lucas/Campbell/Jung) that distiguish the hero from living a mundane life.

You may or may not know I'm a bit of a nerdy Harry Potter nut, but I just love the story JK Rowling constructs, which as a kid whisked me away to a beautiful fantasy, and as an adult speaks to my code of ethics, notions of morality, feelings of polarity and the knowledge of being special and powerful (not without fault, might I add!)
That being said, the Harry Potter saga is representative of the human condition and the individual in society, creating and recreating his own experience and consciously choosing how his life will be after events occur that are out of his control.




This also the theme of another lovely book I just finished, Conversations with God, in which Neale Donald Walsch speaks to God through himself (which, let's face it, is how we all talk to God) by asking different questions and upon placing pencil on paper, receives the answers. Though I felt there was a lot of fluff, there were very important messages tucked into the conversations that spoke of love and the divine that comprises each of us. Gods and Goddesses we were born, nothing to be "saved" or "damned," and as powerful and limitless as we think we are and seek to be.
This idea resonates strong with me; as an eclectic pagan, I somewhat avoid organized Religion and the organizational structures that accompany them because it's hard for me to learn something conceptually rather than experientially.
Of course it's fine to live your truth through someone elses viewpoint, but as myself and a wizened minority of people have opened our eyes to find, truth is interpretational and union is reached everyday, if you choose.
This book really drives that home.
"If I do not go within, I go without."



This week's intention goes to honoring my puppy dog and best friend of 14 years, Pete, who was the most loving, obediant, friendliest, truest companion I could ever hope to have.


Looking forward to seeing you again, my friend. I'll throw that perpetual frisbee, and you can show me how to be better. <3

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 things I love about gardening

1. being outside, soaking up the sun, and digging my hands in the dirt :)

my little neighbor Reality, finding her space and planting her parsley

2. the natural way soil exfoliates sweaty skin..and it's like it applies itself!

3. taking deep breaths of them bloomin' greens, come late spring

4. tending to and caring for a bed of baby plants, hell even adolescent plants need rearin'!

5. the workout of weeding

6. watching pretty flowers bloom and then watching them turn into lush fruits

(The eggplant on top is actually the fruit of the purple flower bloom, above!)

7. making a tangy basil pesto and becoming famous in the neighborhood (fugettaboutit!)

8. being able to avoid the supermarket to make a meal (you don't even want to know how much this thrills me. sometimes supermarket = i'm cold, i'm impatient...pretty much my downfall)












9. my one-on-one contact with many interesting bugs or winged creatures...

10. the way i feel after munching the healthy and delicious veggies of my labor!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Questionably Modern History of Independence Day

Do you remember waking up on a sunny 4th of July to the sound of lawnmowers buzzing, relinquishing that sweet and tangy smell of fresh-cut grass?

Did you spend hours that day, setting up the sprinkler just right, so that you could make it all the way to the splash-pool at the end and accumulate as little grass as possible?

How many daughters helped their moms and aunts and grandmas cut up watermelon and spread red, checkered tablecloths over picnic benches?

How many sparklers could you hold in your hands while twirling them around in the twilight, just as the fireflies came out to dance with leftover burgers and sugar-rushed children?

Even though you polished off a pound of potato salad, did your mom's friend make you a container to take home with you?

Were you late to the game across the street, in the park? or did you make it to the outfield just in time for the ump to shout, "play ball!"

Were your neighbors upset when your little brother and his best friend decided to unleash the Pyromaniac Pack at the end of your driveway? ; ) How long did it take you to clean up the next day?

Do you still feel like a kid, sprawled out on the grass with her family and friends, silenced into awe and wonder as fireworks burst and boom in the sky above, a symbol of victory and unity?

Do you tear up when you think of the thousands of people who have stood up for our Country and our freedom to think, our freedom to choose, and our freedom to act?

When the frolick is done and night is back to dark, are you proudly satisfied to have participated in such community camaraderie, touched by the atmosphere of the yearly ritual?

my personal fave, the weeping willow :)


In a soothing yoga practice this morning, my marvelous friend Betsey quoted, "Freedom is the chance to be better."
With her, I am moved by this and pray for ALL cultures and nations to have peace... to come together... and to remember the freedoms and priviledges that our nation allows us and those which we sometimes take for granted.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

mantra-worthy quotes of Summer


to do good, you have to do something~



*when the pupil is ready to learn, the teacher will appear*
(in reference to not only my recent commencement at Peace Love and Balance, where Betsey inspires me daily with her love of yoga and her offerings to the community, but also to my internship and employment at Avalon farm my last semeter at JMU)



there are no facts. only interpretations. --nietzche



"with a fool no season spend, nor be counted as a friend"




the more we act in love and service to each other, the more fruitful our fields will be



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miraculous midSuMmEr of peace love and light! ~ the spirit lives on, continuously bright ~

Hola and happy humidity!
This first week of summer has been one for the books, my friends. I hope you have remained hydrated and cool as a cat to combat this heavy heat. I went outside with my coffee and a new read the other morning and the air was so damp I practically ruined my library book just reading on the porch for 20 minutes. Though the heat does provide the perfect time for swimmin, plantin, and groovin ; )
Check out this LED hoop vortex my new friend Holly is stirrin up down at the beach! now that's too cool.
The summer has really started with a bang, things are heating up while I'm trying to cool down yet soak in the sun and dance dance dance on the sand! World Cup games have been entertaining, heartbreaking and pulse-stopping. Interesting refereeing is for sure, but I do love the on-edge excitement, fans, sounds, players and skimpy, sinuous advertising of the soccer season : ) I don't think I'll be upset if I have to look at another Italian team underwear add or slow recap of Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a goal. Bring it on, advertising team of World Cup 2010!






Here are some groovy things I've been up to during this last week of summer solsticeness and full moon debaclery.

A little dusk-time cycle through the neighborhood was a nice welcome for the shortest night, as it was comfortably warm and breezy when the fireflies came out to dance. Chris was working so I took this peaceful ride solo and embraced the twilight enchantment and atmosphere of beachy suburbia, settling into the evening.
 The next day i was enthralled by beautiful flowers and fuschia foliage outside of a friend's house. I thought these ones, flanking her brick pathway, were the prettiest leaves and really bright with summer!
After I got home and showered post-poolday, I needed healthy sustenance so I made a tasty pea pepper parmesan pesto.
precisely!

There was a little shindig called Sandstock down at the Va Beach oceanfront this weekend. Above is the Peace Love and Balance tent, where Betsey set up a bunch of beautiful jewelry, made by some of her local friends, hip yoga wear and other comfy apparels along with incense, bumper stickers and other fun knicknacks. At 17th st. with a lovely seashore backdrop, Betsey, Brad, and some other friends set up shop and welcomed talkers, shoppers, chalkers, and passersby galore who enjoyed the free music, ranging from a jammin Grateful Dead cover band, Fleetwood Mac covers, Journey cover band, and so on and so groovy forth : )
Other tents beside the Peace Love and Balance tent were HollyHoops, where Holly was selling various crafts along with her gorgeous handmade hoops and dancing it up with many of her different sizes, jewelry and purse vendors, and tie-dye you-name-it on the other side of the hoops. I met so many interesting people and awesome friends this weekend, such fun and peaceful vibrations :)
I got my hair wrapped by another hoopster, Courtney, who took a generous hour and a half to wrap my 12 plus inches! I felt so bad for her fingers as she continued with other girls' locks afterwards, but I have always wanted this done and LOOOVE my beady/hempy hairwrap!
Other real sisters and graceful hoop dancers were Allyson and Victoria, who had on some colorful crocheted tie-dye that I had to get a peice of! Victoria was helping me with my hoop tricks too, can't wait to hang out with this cool chick again : )

Now that we have had some rain and the heat has finally broken, things are cooling down...only to heat up again soon i'm sure. such is the nature of the strange and beautiful wave of life! After sandStock this weekend, I began my first day at Peace Love and Balance on Monday and LOVELOVELOVE it! I am so blessed to be offered a job where I hang out regardless, and to be part of something wonderful and beneficial for the community was my ultimate goal for working and Betsey is manifesting that daily.
Apparently, going boldly in the direction of your dreams is truly the way to go, my friends!
: )