a geometric figure representing the Universe
Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. It represents wholeness, unity, togetherness. It is a reminder of our infinity into the cosmos. It reminds us how we are all one. That the light in me is the light in you. That we all are of the same energy, created from the same place of Love.
Mandalas can be used to tell a story; your story, and illustrate your journey as you make our way through your days.
Mandalas are used in meditation, to absorb one into the design, to set intentions, and then pray to manifest them. They are used to calm the mind, let the mundane thoughts slip away and focus in to your true self.
I get questioned lots on ‘how does this help? how could this possibly make the world better? how does prayer do anything?”
And it is the fundamental aspect of unity, the change of self , that makes a difference. Because when the Ego falls away, when judgment, comparison, and separation of self dissipates, and we see everyone for what they are: A Soul, the same as us- a miracle happens. Think, if everyone thought to see each other a beings of Love instead of labels – how beautiful a place would we live in?
Its hard to change the world, but its easier to change yourself. So start there. Set the intentions of love, peace and compassion and they will ripple out into the Universe. This ripple will reflect back, as the Universe is an echo, leaving miracles and peace in its wake.
(mandala dress by California Moonrise)
At the beginning of August I attended my first Reiki course. If you’re unsure what Reiki it, it is a flow of energy within us all, our life force, which can be harnessed and directed for healing. As children we naturally connect to this energy quite easily but as we age, become hardened and closed off, we slowly lose the ability to tap in as swiftly and as powerfully as we once did. So at a Reiki course you are introduced once again and attuned to the energy in order to practice this ancient healing art again.
I have known of Reiki since I was a child and was always unsure of it. I was closed off to the idea of other people manipulating my energy, what if something went wrong and they ruined it? I learned this weekend, it doesn’t really work like that. Basically the practitioner is a channel that directs Reiki into you, and your own Reiki already knows exactly where it needs to flow to support you. It’s something everyone has and can do, and needs! Also something I was unaware of. I thought only “special people” could do Reiki. I began to open more to the idea of Reiki as I moved deeper into what I feel is my gift. With that shift, I have become extremely sensitive to energy work as well as any imbalances I have in myself and others.
I have become very sensitive to my environment, gemstones and people. I know I am a sponge when it comes to energy, and highly intuitive, but it was beginning to become a bit of a problem. I stay at home, I try to avoid large crowds. The mall and parties used to be my happy place, a place I felt energized and it now leaves me exhausted. When the world bleeds, I bleed. My heart gets heavy and I retreat into my home, my safe place and contemplate the world while I struggle to heal.
My intention in learning Reiki was to learn to control the energy around me and protect myself on an energetic level. I wanted to heal myself, my children, and honestly, my plants! I wanted one more tool in my healing tool box to grow my spirit on this journey. And boy, did I ever grow.
I never thought I would change so much in one weekend. Upon entering a deep meditative state I met my Reiki Spirit Guide who turned out to be my Grandmother who passed 42 years ago. I have written about her before and the tragedy surrounding her life in my Postpartum Depression posts. As I walked towards her in my meditation, surrounded by towering trees, her short black hair and black caftan confusing me for a moment as I was unsure who it was. She reached her arm up and I saw her olive skin clearly. I stood by her side and the hand reaching up found mine and there she grasped my hand in hers.
She told me she was my guide in this life. That she’s been with me on and off for years, but every day in the last year since my own battle with depression. She told me, “I fell through the cracks, but I wasn’t going to let that happen to you.”
She told me she communicates in roses. They are her symbol, she embodies them. I immediately thought back to a rose I once had that just would. not. die. It was nearly there, in the water for a month. And off the side of the rose grew a new leaf, a new life. I remember staring at it and wondering, “who is here with me?” Even my mother, also very intuitive, asked who was watching over me.
I then remembered the rose bush my dad picked out and recently planted, which I remembered thinking was really really odd. He isn’t a gardener. He doesn’t really do those types of things. She told me she guided him to it. He bought it for her, so she could communicate with him. Along with that message she had other messages for my dad which I have since passed on to him.
I couldn’t help but believe in this encounter and message from roses, as strange as this is to most people. As I journaled my experience in the other room following my meditation, complete quiet enveloping the house as another student received an attunement and I waited for my own; the front door slowly creaked open. No wind. No one else outside. All of us heard it. All of us equally confused, but all of us feeling the extra person in the room. We knew we were not alone. I knew. My hands vibrating, my heart pounding as I stared at the open door.
And of course, the next day as I came into the house there on the table was a bouquet of pink roses on the table. Gifted to our teacher from another student, all of them unaware of my experience the previous day, my deep connection to roses. Some would call it a coincidence…but in my heart I knew it wasn’t. It was a gift, a message, the loudest I LOVE YOU- I SEE YOU- I have ever received.
This weekend was empowering and transformational. I grew together with two other women, and deepened my relationship with my friend and teacher Sara (you can find her here at @LiveWellMyLove.)
Since my training I have been exploring my new gift and experiencing more shifts. I feel content. I trust, finally, in the plan the Universe has for me. I feel comfortable in just letting things happen. I see signs all the time, and I am incredibly open to trying new things. Exploring what interests me, letting go of what didn’t work or no longer serves me, and moving on to something else; without guilt. Without struggle. And that alone is a beautiful thing, enough to know that my choice in learning Reiki was a divinely guided experience.
What is the Universe encouraging you to do? What interests you? I hope this posts gives you the courage to try something new and possibly find a piece of yourself in the process. All the love and light to you, Dear Reader.
I grew up in a small town, tucked away in a valley in the foothills. The stores closed at six, there was a few restaurants, and only one grocery store. I spent my days playing in a field behind my house, until we moved and I had a forest instead to play in. I climbed 80 foot spruce trees, collected little treasures from the forest most of it in my hair, played in the creek, and always, always came home absolutely filthy. Once in awhile we trekked to the city, for dental appointments back to school clothes and to go to Wal Mart (it was a big deal back then.) Every time we went we begged to go the to the studio and see Rick.
The studio was formally called the Rock and Gem Studio, and while I forget the name of the street it was on, my feet can take me there even today. I knew we were headed there next just by the way the car swayed with turns. I’d name the stores as they passed by my window, anxiously waiting. I always thought magic was a bit made up…my mum did everything she could to keep it alive, to keep us believing in faeries and santa and whatnot; but this place really sealed it for me and had me believing magic was real. The air buzzed when you walked in, five steps down into a basement suite. The lights were low, floors wooden, gemstones everywhere, out in the open to touch and feel. The gentleman who ran it, Rick, was the epitome of magic.
Here we learned about all the treasures of the earth. He would tour us about his store, excitedly grabbing different clusters, “you HAVE to feel this one!” he would say and would wrap our fingers around it. We would leave, pockets brimming with Tiger’s Eye and Rose Quartz and Black Tourmaline. Our necks adorned with jewels, wrists jingling. It was here my brother created incredible jewelry, a wolf howling over a piece of Moonstone he carved and polished for hours. It was here I received my first Amethyst and Rosewood wand, delicately crafted, brimming with energy. We picked up books on Chakras, and read about meditation. My brother and I would sit cross-legged reading together, thumbing through rock books and dumping out our treasures to examine.
I also believe it was here, the seed was planted for all I was to become, to fulfill my true purpose someday.
I think we tend to underestimate the power that a single moment can have on our life. To some, it was just a little memory. But when I felt like I was losing it all, and I couldn’t for the life of me seem to find a direction, somewhere to plant my feet; I turned to my roots and tried undoing all that had been done since I first felt lost.
Like following a rope blindly through water to the shore, I traced my way back, through years of heartache and fear until I was looking at that fearless girl I once knew. Defiant scowl, blonde braid, dirty fingernails. The one who wasn’t afraid of anything. The one who was so sure of herself.
I decided then and there to just do the things that felt true to me. No matter how weird, or what someone might thing of me. I don’t care much for what people think of me, yet there are those select few, decided by some unknown criteria unbeknownst to me, who’s opinions seem to mean the most. I did it anyway.
The past is just memories, it holds no power and means nothing. I don’t live there, and I don’t try to recreate it. I’m thankful for those memories, and gratitude is all I have for the past. But I do believe these moments are tucked away in me, on a cellular level, and in moments of desperation, and in moments of deep integration, I can call upon these answers nested away in me. I have everything I need within me, all the answers, all the directions, and all the motivation.
Hoping and wishing for you, Dear Reader, to connect and find that Inner Child too.
Tonight is the full moon in Aquarius, the last air sign, and also my Sun sign. It is an almost but not quite lunar eclipse in the Sun sign Leo. I haven’t really connected with any lunar forecasts I have read this time around, like I normally do. Instead I find myself a bit torn up, a bit on edge, a bit of everything all at once. Upon pulling a card it reads;
Archangel Haniel: You are extra-sensitive to energies and emotions right now. Honour yourself and your feelings.
My husband and I are bickering. We can’t seem to agree on nearly anything. Even if its a topic we can find common ground on, there always seems to be something we find to argue about.
And then there is the moon flow. Over 40 days late, worrying me every over due day, and at long last here it is, on the day of the Full Moon. I can’t help but possibly see that as my message this Full Moon. To some, this is too much information. And that annoys me. Why is this such taboo? Why are we so against menstruation. Why is it so hush hush? Why do we hate it so much?
It was a rhetorical question. I know why, mostly because I once felt the same as the rest of society. It was gross. It was uncomfortable. You just. don’t. talk. about. it.
But like nearly everything in my life I have changed my perspective. I no longer see it as an annoyance, I see it as a miracle. Throughout history, Aristotle, African, Hindu, and South American societies saw menstrual blood as the creator of mankind. That the Cosmos were created from the Great Mother. It is the fruit of the womb. It holds life and magick, even when poured on plants they bear fruit and flourish.
Thus we are all Goddesses, the great nurturers of Life. Not some creature that deserves to be chastised for this gift.
I’m not sure what the Full Moon holds for me, but it is always a time where I retreat into quiet contemplation. A time I respect myself and my needs. A time of self care. Tonight I shall sit in the moon and soak up all those beams. Light a fire as the sun sets and let go of what I must. Pull cards, smudge and sit quietly. My belly is adorned with coconut oil and clary sage, an essential oil especially useful for women. I will bathe in salts and oils and thank the Universe for all its gifts, even the ones I might not understand right now.
I will see myself as not just a woman but a WOMBan. A creator. A nurturer. A Goddess.
And I hope, my Sisters, you see yourself that way too.
Today is my mother’s birthday. She’s 50 years old.
Half a century.
She likes to think its not a big deal, but I like to think otherwise.
Probably because of my own quarter century birthday coming up, it all seems kind of amazing, that we have seen so much yet so little of what will someday be a century.
Because she has seen half a century go by, she has offered her gifts to the world for fifty years. Birthed two babies; and accepted so many more as her own.
My mother has the heart of fifty people. It swells and expands and makes room for more when needed. She takes those who are lost and abandoned under her wing. Forever everyones mother.
She cooks more than whats needed, just in case. Buys for more than expected. She shares whats there and then some, duplicating what’s needed out of thin air.
So often she goes without, just to make sure everyone is comfortable. Truly a Goddess.
She works countless hours, days melting into the next. She’s successful. She’s impeccable with money. She’s a clever business woman. The things I hope someday rub off on me.
And every extra hour is dedicated to her grandchildren.
Growing up she loved us as we were, unconditionally. She accepted us as we came. She guided us as best as she could with what she knew. She nurtured our souls. She was always available. She always spoke to us, touched us, hugged us, taught us. She made me think, decide things for myself, made me recognize my faults, she taught me empathy.
She gave us kittens and bunnies and a dog. We took every rock home. She accepted every dandelion. I know her heart bled when she couldn’t give us something we desired.
She drank tea with me beneath the poplar, miniature tea pot, single serving porcelain tea cups. Homemade cookies. Listened to my preschool self ramble on and on.
She encouraged magic. The spirit of Christmas and Santa. She LIVES for Christmas, and that joy she has passed onto her children. We believed in Faeries. We believed in healing crystals, energy balls, and auras.
If I could be anyone, I’d love to be my mother. And if I can’t be her, then I hope I am at least as gentle as her.
She isn’t perfect, but she is the exact mother I always needed.
Happy Birthday Mum,
Its another rainy Sunday over here. I hardly got any sleep last night, Asher has been teething, so he was up three times, and Mila was up once. Seeing that the rain was still coming down this morning my heart dropped a bit. I don’t mind the rain, but I was really hoping to set the children loose outside and catch a ‘mom nap.’
Instead I promptly built the kids a tent in the living room and took advantage of the cold weather to turn the stove on. We made a beautiful batch of blueberry muffins. Its a recipe I adapted from Pinterest to be vegan and a little less sugar, but still awesome, fluffy and sweet. I have included it down below.
Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins
2 Flax eggs (1:3 Tbsp flax to water)
1C raw sugar
1/2 C coconut oil
1 C almond milk
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix the flax seed and water and set aside for ten minutes. Do the same with the milk and the apple cider vinegar until lumpy.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- When flax and milk are complete mix them with the sugar and coconut oil.
- Mix wet and dry together and fold in blueberries.
- Place in muffin tins, makes about 18 and place in oven for 25-28 minutes.
Unfortunately this quiet, slow morning was a little overshadowed by Mila’s behaviour. Everyone says three’s are worse than two’s and I wasn’t sure how or why but I am starting to feel like I understand that quote a little better now.
Recently we have been dealing with an extraordinary amount of naughty behaviour. Mila steals from the cupboards and the fridge. Anything she can get her hands on. I limit the sweets a lot, and I often ration the fruit in the house because she would eat me out of house and home and I could never afford to buy that much fruit (we already eat so much fresh food!) And I find it often has nothing to do with hunger, its simply because its available, and when I say “no, wait until lunch,” if I leave she just helps herself anyway.
So this morning, while I tidied the kids’ rooms she stole a muffin as they cooled on the counter. She drew on her face with markers after I scolded her for that and sent her to her room. And she cleaned out her drawers in her dresser, spreading out all her clothes and socks and undies. She is always getting into the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and locking herself into rooms to do naughty things and get into things she knows she isn’t allowed to touch.
I thought maybe I just need to spend more one and one time with her, so I bought some activity books we could do together; but she just cries, gets frustrated and says she wants to quit, no matter how much I encourage her. I typically just end up doing it for her, so thats been a bit of a bust.
I’m not sure what to do. She knows its wrong because she scolds her brother for these things. I hate constantly yelling at her, and try to instead praise her when she does something right, but lately thats nothing! Every chance she can get she purposely does something naughty.
So today I feel rather defeated and sad. Its been nearly two weeks of this and I know it has to end soon. I never thought the 18month old would be the easier of the two, but its starting to look like it.
At least I can eat away my sorrow now, right? What do you do with your naughty toddlers and how did you teach them to not steal food?
The new moon is among us, and for me, reading into a bit of an explanation into what is going on Astrologically has been relieving. Perhaps you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of Astrology, but I heard a comparison today that made complete sense as to why reading what’s going on in the stars can benefit us. Cassandra Bodzak (here you can RSVP for her free/donation based workshop and meditation,) compared it to the weather report. Basically you can turn on the weather report and know it will rain and be prepared, or it can catch you by surprise. Tuning into what is in play in the stars can set you at ease because you know you’re not alone in what you’re feeling. You can honour the times you need space, respect when communication perhaps isn’t totally clear, or answer the opportunity your gut is yelling at you to take.
Of course its not a science, and it was always something I thought was just “fun,” but nothing I ever followed seriously. Not until I read into Mercury Retrograde and everything it did. It eerily portrayed my life at the time and now I am seeing how karmic circles are playing out. I’m reading that the events that have happened in my past are coming to a close now. That they had a divine meaning in it all, and have lead me to where I am right now. Which I think is really friggin awesome!
What really has resonated with me about this New Moon in Gemini is finding our truths are really high-lighted. With Gemini being the ruler of self-expression and the throat chakra we are inspired to speak how we truly feel. Mercury has just gone straight again, and everything that was exposed while it was in retrograde is coming into play here. Its exposed pieces of the past, things we need to let go of, things that are no longer serving us, especially in relationships, finances, ours truths and careers.
This couldn’t be more spot on for me.
I’m saying goodbye to the word fashion blogger. Its been a short, although fun ride. Perhaps most of you didn’t even know, or see me as one anyway.
I did it because I was curious. I was interested. It was fun. I love to dress up, feel pretty, furry vests and flowing frocks.
I did it because I was afraid.
Afraid people would laugh. My ego tried to warn me, “You’ll look dumb,” it said. So I went for it anyway.
And now that I have decided to ‘quit’ per say; not dressing up oh no. I love fashion and it will always be a part of me, just quit the rat race of the f-blogging world. The desire for the latest trends, the greatest accessories. The best purses and shiniest time pieces. I’ve quit because I got a call again. A call to do what I was doing all along. And now reading into what is going on in the stars I feel 100% supported in this decision. It is no accident I awoke one morning to the voice of my Inner Guide, that voice inside my head, the one akin to a Mother’s voice, so reassuring and calm saying ” You know your purpose, you know what to do. You can quit asking. Find your True North again and just Go. For. It.”
Ego tried to call me a fraud.
It laughed at me for trying.
I was dumb.
What a waste, it said. Of time. Of Money.
But on my mat. My Guide said otherwise.
“But darling, it was FUN. You enjoyed something you were curious about. And in the end, you found something you weren’t and confirmed what you were. You let go of fear. You embraced something new. You solidified your love of fashion, but just not talking about it; the world of convincing people they need something.
“When really you’re about the business of convincing people they have everything they need right there inside of them.
“Embrace the beauty, but answer the call knocking on your door. Swing it open, shut your eyes, and jump in with both feet.”
Breathe in. Breathe out.
And so it is.
Wishing you all the blessings that come with the New Moon. Take time to make space for yourself tonight. Light a candle, drum up some dreams; if something has been eating at you, begging to be released, its because its supposed to be. Go for it, the stars are on your side.
here you can read more about the New Moon in Gemini.
I went for a bike ride today as my daily exercise (because I kind of loathe the gym.) In fact I have been walking almost daily, for the past week. I forgot how much I love going for walks, whether it be to somewhere or just for leisure. As I rode, the pedals going up, down, up, down, grinning ear to ear, head swaying left to right as I scanned the beautiful road-way, smelling sage and sweetgrass, the last of the lilacs, the beginning of the cotton woods releasing the white fluff into the air, I had to ask myself; Why don’t I do this more often?
I feel like a lot of us do that. My mum quit painting ages ago despite loving it. I know dads that quit playing guitar and sports. And instead we fill our days with errands and tasks and kid stuff and more errands that all it seems we make time for is television, or something that requires no energy and its a bloody shame.
I went for coffee with a good friend and when she asked me what I’ve been up to, I shrugged, “the usual,” I said. “Kid stuff, house stuff, blogging and yoga, gardening…” I paused. “taking naps,” and she laughed.
“Oh good, its not just me!” she says. “Thats kind of refreshing, it seems everyone I talk to when I ask that question they answer with ‘busy. I’m busy, just so so busy.’ Why is everyone so busy?!” she said throwing her hands up. “When did busy become a badge of honour?”
Now I laughed. I only laughed because what she said is true, and once upon a time I wore it like a badge of honour too.
For one, I really just didn’t know what else to say. I suppose I wanted to seem like I was doing something interesting, when really I was doing the usual. Work, eat, sleep, repeat.
It was after having Mila and attempting to go back to work and everything else I did before kids, getting pregnant again in the midst and having my world turn upside down, I realized, ‘hey all this busyness sucks.’
So I cut my schedule down to nothing and started over.
Now I’m almost always free. My schedule is loosely planned, I can fit anyone in for coffee. I spend a lot of time alone with the kids, floating from one task to the next. Hitting up the odd play group, appointment, Calgary trip. I’m really really un-busy and its kind of fucking awesome.
I’m not trying to make motherhood and homemaking a cake walk- it isn’t. It is stressful and it is a 24/7 gig. But it is because of these factors, I simplified it to this point so it is enjoyable. Before, for me, it wasn’t. I have also decided to spend my time more wisely, doing things I love, instead of spending my time on things I don’t enjoy.
No, I can’t spend my days skipping down a wildflower path, but I sure can walk to do my errands. House work is always there, its endless, theres a time and a place for that, but its not during Nap Time. I always, always spend the kids’ nap time doing something quiet, gentle and restful for myself. It is my time to ‘just be.’ When they wake, I wake, we work together. The errands are done over the span of the week. The laundry piles and is done in one day, usually after Justin complains of no socks, or Mila runs out of dresses. Toys are picked up periodically throughout the day and entirely before bed, everyone helps. The rest of our time, are just moments strung together that make up a day, broken up by meals and snuggles, tasks, reading and naps.
Perhaps not everyone can cut their schedule down to what mine is, but I encourage you to take a look at it, and see if you can in fact take more time to do something you love. You are not meant to work and work and work and work to pay for a vacation once a year so you can attempt to recover from working yourself into the ground. Life is meant to be enjoyed. There is beauty and simplicity all around you if you choose to see it and allow yourself a break amongst the chaos. I encourage you to join me in my #findingbeautymovement. Share with me your moments, the ones you that really speak to you. Share them so that they may inspire someone else to see the beauty in their life too.
Sending beautiful vibes your way, dear reader.
Have you ever screwed up?
Yes, that was sort of a rhetorical question, because of course you have. Me to.
What did you do about it?
-swallow your pride and own it?
-Agonize about it for weeks?
-Obsess and constantly remind yourself of your short comings?
-Finally let it go?
I do all the above and eventually end up at my mat, on my knees praying for release, and guidance. The pressure releases when I do, when I surrender and give up control.
My mat never fails to not be my best friend and confidant.
It says, “its okay, let it go You don’t need a big announcement. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Just surrender and peace will come.”
Breathe in. Breathe out.
And so it is.
It doesn’t matter what its about. It doesn’t matter how many times the same situation occurs or bothers you. Quietness and space is always the solution. So find a few minutes and let them be empty and quiet. Expand them with breath and forgiveness and love.
Sunday. My favourite. Oh how I wait for you to come every week. To snuggle up within knits and socks and duvets. To drink cup after cup of tea. Taste freshly made muffins. Cocoon myself in blankets, quiet cartoons and the tap of the rain against the windows, lulling us adults off to sleep.
Sunday holds so much space for me. It is that constant companion awaiting me after a long week. This one, full of zinging saws, renovation materials, sawdust, sandwiches, Budweiser, sunburns, suntans, sunscreen, aloe, headaches, mistakes, halfassed suppers, falling into bed with exhaustion, beeping of coffee machines, early sunshine finding the breaks in the blinds, little cold feet pressed against your side, pillows over faces blocking out the sound, the light…just…five..more…minutes.
And now rain. Lots of it, streaking diagonally across the sky in a thick sheet. A reprieve from the heat, the wildfires, the irritability that seems to come with the relentless temperatures…There has been no cabin fever here. Just calm among the diffused lavender, makeshift sheet tents, paint projects, movies, chippies and veggie platters, indie music, pirouetting Faerie Girl, so much space made. Our hearts have grown, filling, expanding, taking in one another, getting to know one another once again.
This…This is why I love Sunday.