Thursday, October 30, 2014

sunrise

Whatever time of day it is for you right now... can we just linger over this sunrise from last week for a moment? INHALE. EXHALE. It was so glorious!  I want to remind myself how fresh and new each day is. Even if it doesn't quite look like this each morning, the potential remains the same. We get to begin again! And guess what I've been learning? We don't need to wait for a literal sunrise to start over. There is an opportunity to start fresh whenever we choose! How liberating is that? I might restart today at lunch... push my refresh button and begin again! You can give yourself permission to start over WHENEVER you need to. Make your own sunrise!

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.
-Rumi




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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Writing the Collective


Last week at the shore, I took an amazing writing class with Maya and Amy, of Food for the Soul Train. It was called Writing the Collective: Transcending Creative Solitude. They are hands down some of the most brilliant women I've ever known. I could listen to them speak for hours, as they have endless wisdom to offer around creativity and the writing process.
The majority of my writing experience tends to be in a quiet room with only a cup of coffee or glass of wine for company. Entering a group setting was exciting and definitely a little scary. Tasting trepidation is always a good sign that I'm pushing up against my edges and stretching myself.  It was hard to let go of my previous experience with words and dive into unfamiliar waters. I write slowly, methodically... and use the delete button constantly. I chose a pen and paper for this day and learned to handle fast and furious sessions with prompts.  I produced what I perceived as garbage in the morning. Really. Somehow that liberated me to loosen up and let go. By afternoon I was in all new territory... and loving the words that came flowing out. Some of it was funny. I'm not usually funny, so that was thrilling... to witness something foreign emerging. What a gift. There were many women that day who experienced a similar shattering of the old. In sharing it with others, I recognized how they were growing and stretching too. That only pushed me farther. Oh it was so GOOD- can you tell? 

Maya and Amy know how to pull out your truth and help you to express it in a way that resonates universally. In essence- they teach you how to write your best stuff. In the midst of such big exercise for the mind, they feel it necessary to shake things up- so always find ways to incorporate some serious play. We did an egg and spoon race in the morning and wrote "what we were done with" in the sand with butter knives, before the waves could wash it away. And on a side note... butter knives are the most brilliant sand writing tool ever- just so you know to pack some the next time you head to the shore!
 In the midst of writing this post, Maya and Amy announced that they would be offering this class online! Serendipity for all of you! I would recommend anything that these two do, but after experiencing this very class, I can tell you- it has potential to stretch and shift your writing... and even your life. Here are their thoughts on the teaching experience last week that inspired them to bring it to life on line.You can find out all of the details right here.



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Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Mandala


I've loved the practice of making a mandala to start each week, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to stop! It slows me down, makes me pause and brings my mind directly to the present moment of gathering and arranging. I spent the last few days at Anymist's Serendipity retreat. The amount of love and deep care that Michelle and Jen put into each detail was so evident in the glowing faces of every teacher/guide and student all week long. Those two are some of the most beautiful and talented women I've ever known... and the women they gather together are some of my favorite people in the universe! Leaving dear friends and finding my rhythm upon return from such events is always bumpy. But today I had my mandala to make! It only took 15 minutes, but it grounded me for the entire afternoon. I will remember this each time I need to find my footing- and encourage you to give it a try too. This mandala was made in honor of all of the lovely women that circled together last week. Each person contributed to the whole of the circle. We were very much a moving flowing mandala of women at ocean.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where Women Create

 I'm so excited to have my studio featured in the latest issue of Where Women Create! I'm always fascinated by the places other creatives do their work in. Their personality, history, medium and even finances inform the space. It's an intimate window into the world of an artist. My studio is directly off of the kitchen and although it's nothing fancy, so much of my creative soul is showcased along the walls and tucked into buckets and bins. It was the original main room of our very humble 1850's saltbox farmhouse, and is now an open space off of the kitchen. In the summer a huge tree keeps it shady, but right about now the leaves are thinning and the southern window is flooded with light. With all of the writing I've been doing for the last few months, I've missed it!
 
 Seeing it in print feels like a personal invitation to begin all of the projects I have to had put on hold. Each of Stampington's publications are stunning- more like beautiful coffee table books than actual magazines. I feel honored to have been published in quite a few of them, but quite honestly- Where Women Create has been the coveted spot. I'm beyond thrilled! This winter issue is just hitting the newsstands and filled with so many inspiring studios- you much check it out!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Mandala



We woke up to temps in the mid 30's this morning! I gathered today's materials from the field next to my house in tall boots and down coat.  Brrrrr! The sky was gorgeous, but the cold air had me running inside to assemble this mandala where it was cozy and warm. I believe it's my favorite one yet!  I mingled the last of this year's blooms with turning leaves and golden needles. I'm loving this ritual- and the pleasure and peace that follow it. What a great way to start the week... and how fun it is to share with you!
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Mandala

This is a Monday "night" mandala brought to you by my backyard plus a some acorns from a country drive with my son.

If you've made your own mandala, I'd love to see it. Just share a link in the comment section. Have a
 creative start to your week!
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Saturday, October 11, 2014

october crush


Dear October,
I believe I have a bit of a crush on you. Your blue skies are filled with the puffiest and happiest clouds that stretch as far as the eye can see. Let's not even go into how you set the trees on fire with bursts of color. Or how beautifully you've sailed your full moon through the lengthening nights. Your frigid mornings are balanced by how much I love slipping on a down vest and donning a favorite pair of boots.
And now you're leaving acorns for me to collect... everywhere! I promise I'll save plenty for the squirrels, but I can't stop filling my pockets with them.  Something about your clear, crisp air seems to be making room in my mind for fresh ideas to emerge- and I'm gathering them like the acorns. Every year you make me fall madly in love with you, October. And that's a wonderful thing!
Love,
Maya
p.s. I have a feeling some of these caps will end up in Monday's mandala before they turn into something else.
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Monday, October 6, 2014

monday mandala


A great deal of time was spent at my computer this weekend. I'm working on manuscript edits and it's super easy for hours to slip by in front of the screen. I pushed my self out the door yesterday for a walk and when I returned refreshed, I sat on the slate back porch to soak in the last bit of sunshine. All around me were the final blooms of the year. I set to gathering handfuls and arranged them by flower and petal. A mandala began to form and with the quiet meditation of circling around and around came a deep focus and sense of calm. 
 Constructing nature mandalas is a wonderful way to honor a little time for creativity and artistry- either solo or as a collaboration. October is the perfect month for gathering inspiration. There are so many options as the leaves fall and the pinecones cluster under trees. There are still blooms to be had and stones to collect. I plan to dedicate some time each week to create one on my own or enlist some help from my kids. Sundays are good- and then I can share them with you the next day for a Monday Mandala. You can join in too! Just remember to snap a picture before the wind comes...
After a blustery night, all of my work blew into the corner of the garden that collects leaves and is looked over by this smiling face. A little serendipity with the Buddah and petals (but I put the blossom at his feet).

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October

Hello October! As much as I hate to see summer really go, the freshness of a new season has me falling in love all over again! A walk in the woods is all it takes to bring me to my knees in awe of the beautiful ways nature cycles around and around.Whether you visit a forest or a city park, there are sure to be many gifts to see, hear, smell and touch as we move towards shorter days. Fallen treasures gather in hands and fill pockets to remind us what is still here to be held before it's blanketed in snow.
 The quality of light has changed, and the sun dances through the turning leaves in a constant state of radiance. 
Fall is glorious in these parts... I feel like I forget each year and spend September resisting and fighting the transition. October reminds me to let go... just like the winds that keep releasing our walnut leaves steadily to the ground. I wish you all a beautiful beginning to this month! 


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Monday, September 29, 2014

buttermilk apple cinnamon muffins

I know it's going to be a good day when it begins with batch of muffins. The house smells terrific, and it takes care of both breakfast and snacking for my kids throughout the day. We pass Indian Creek Orchard every day to go home, so there is no shortage of apples in our house this time of year. With some leftover buttermilk in the fridge,  I decided to try it in my usual muffin batter... I think streusel would be the perfect addition next time. Which will probably be tomorrow, since they didn't even last an entire day! And I don't eat wheat- so that's just kid eating going on!
BUTTERMILK APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of brown sugar or maple syrup
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 large apple cored and diced (no need to peel)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of sugar for top or batch of streusel

Make:
-Preheat over to 375 degrees
-Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine just till mixed
-Add apples at the end
-Pour into a well-greased muffin pan 
-Top with sugar or streusel and bake until golden
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Friday, September 26, 2014

green

This back to school/work schedule has the tendency to overwhelm a lot of us. There are tons of little colds and coughs that seem to be going around and I'm on a mission to keep my immune system super strong. I'm healthier than I've ever been- and want to avoid being under the weather at all costs. So I'm upping the self-care and bringing back my green smoothie habit. I let it slide over the summer. I was eating so much raw and fresh produce, it seemed redundant. Now- it's time again to be juicing and throwing lots of kale into the blender. Just got replenished my chia seed supply too! How about you? How are you taking care of yourself during the transition into a new season and rhythm? Or maybe I should ask- what healthy habits would you like to begin this fall?


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

sweet

Along with the fall equinox comes my son's birthday. He was born 16 years ago (and a day or two)! My first child. It's been the most rewarding job imagineable... What an extraordinary and unpredictable journey motherhood is. This weekend was a celebration of what a beautiful young man that baby boy has grown into. The candles on his cake were the very same ones from his first and sixth birthday. I know you're not too surprised given how sentimental I am, right. As he blew out the flames, I felt my chest expanding with the now familiar mama ache that grows from a mingling of love, pride and longing. Love for this wonderful guy that is so much a part of me, but very much his own person. Pride in his brilliance, sensitivity and maturity. Longing for time to slow down. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was putting a fistful of his first birthday cake (apple juice sweetened carrot cake) into his tiny mouth? Everyone always tells you how fast it flies - but you don't know they're right until you're saying it yourself to a new mom. So just treasure every hard, bumbly and precious moment. And celebrate. Everything. Because one day you're strapping them into their car seat and before you know they're taking the wheel. Gulp.

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