A spiritual windfall

Three red apples watercolor painting

“Wonderful things keep falling into my life!”
One of the nicest things about fall is…apples!

Where I live in Negaunee, MI, we have a lot of old abandoned apple trees within walking distance of our front door.
Some of them are not much to speak about, but some of the trees have amazingly good apples. And this time of year you can gather them by the bag full.
I really love those apples. Some are sweet, some are pretty tart, but they all have wonderfully complex flavors that you just don’t find in modern apples. And the trees are so generous in sharing their bounty! homemade pie from wild apples
Here is my daughter Aster and Hazuki, the Japanese student we hosted for 2 weeks, with Hazuki’s first apple pie. The girls made it from windfall apples they gathered from those old trees, and the pie was AMAZING!
I wish I could share the pie with you, but I’m afraid it disappeared too fast for that. Fortunately, though, I just stumbled on another windfall that I can share – and that is just as sweet as pie.
My friends, Rev. Anne Presuel & Sherry Bowers, are hosting an online giveaway of resources from dozens of top-level spiritual practitioners. These include how-to and informational videos, guidebooks, and even readings, all free and no strings attached.
The offerings rotate daily, but so far I’ve seen ones that address abundance, joy, chakra clearing, and lots of healing and self-healing trainings.
The giveaway is especially geared towards spiritual entrepreneurs, so there are a lot of business-building goodies in there, too. But honestly even if you have no intention of ever being in business you’ll find a ton of valuable stuff just for your own personal use.
This is thousands of dollars of information just lying there like so many sweet, juicy windfall apples.
Worth checking out at least? I think so! You can pick your windfalls here. (They’re good through the end of this month.)

Why affirmations?

purple coneflower watercolor paintingWhy affirmations? Louise Hay likens them to seeds of intention – out of which will grow wonderful new things in your life.

“The soil you plant in is your subconscious mind. The seed is the new affirmation. The whole new experience is in this tiny seed. You water it with affirmations. You let the sunshine of positive thoughts beam on it. You weed the garden by pulling out the negative thoughts that come up. And when you first see the tiniest little evidence, you don’t stomp on it and say, “That’s not enough!” Instead, you look at this first breakthrough and exclaim with glee, “Oh boy! Here it comes! It’s working!” Then you watch it grow and become your desire in manifestation.”
Try it – it works! 🙂
(Here is one of my favorites: “I love and approve of myself.” Do you have a favorite affirmation? Post it below!)

Sorry

Nightingale watercolor by Christie Michelsen

“I allow the beauty of my being to express itself fully.” 

How many times a day do you find yourself saying, “sorry?”

Does it come out your mouth automatically when you come face to face with someone unexpectedly?

Do you say it when someone else bumps into you?

Do you apologize simply for taking up space?

The thing is, words are powerful. They help shape our reality. 

Let’s take a closer look at the word “sorry.”

The dictionary defines it as:

sor·ry  särē,ˈsôrē/, adjective

  1. feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune.

  2. in a poor or pitiful state or condition.

Whoa.

Do you really want to identify with either of these sentiments? 

Sure, if you really did harm someone, it’s appropriate to say “I’m sorry.”

But so many times, I hear people using it in situations where another word might be better used.

Next time you brush against someone in the supermarket, try saying “excuse me” instead. Notice the difference in how you feel when you do. It’s subtle, but empowering. 

And as for the other definition, I do hear people applying it to themselves, probably without even realizing it.

Like the beautiful, sensitive young woman who stopped by my art fair booth at the Hiawatha Music Festival last weekend. I was still setting up, and after we had been chatting a few minutes I glanced towards my materials.

She immediately began to apologize profusely for taking up space and my time.

Actually, I had really been enjoying speaking with her, and was sorry to have to split my attention.

“Never, ever, apologize for being yourself,” I told her.

Because she truly is beautiful, and the world needs her – and people like her – to step into their power and start loving themselves.

When we start to love ourselves, that’s when we bring the most love into the world. And that is a powerful force for positive change. 

So, what can you say instead of “sorry?”

Well, how about something like, “Oh, you look busy. Do you need some space? Should I come back later? Or (if it’s appropriate) is there anything I can do to help?”

Or, if you feel they do need space and may be too polite to say it, just thank the person for their time and move on.

No need to assume you’re unwelcome. Right? 🙂

So, as you go about your day today, pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. If you hear “sorry” a lot, think about whether that’s really the most appropriate word. And if it’s not, change it up. Over time, it’s a little thing that really does make a difference.

 

5 Fun Ways to Get Grounded

If you’re at all creative, intellectual, and/or spiritual, chances are you sometimes find yourself feeling a bit ungrounded.

As in, spacey.

Off in your own world.

Or just feeling disconnected or disoriented.

It’s ok to go trippy (in healthy ways, I mean.) But it’s important to stay connected to the earth, too. Grounding helps us integrate what we learn in those other regions with the physical world we live in, so that we can use those insights for the highest good.

Grounding isn’t just for creative times. It’s essential for demanding and busy times, too. Grounding connects us with the calming power of the earth, so we can successfully cope with the things we need to deal with.

Fortunately, getting down to earth doesn’t have to be a grave affair. There are lots of super fun activities that help also keep our feet on the ground. Here are a few of my favorites:

working the worm bin1. Get Muddy. Hee, hee. You knew I’d work worms in here somehow, didn’t you?  But you don’t have to share my enthusiasm for slimy critters to enjoy getting down in the mud. Gardening is a great way to do it, too. Or walking barefoot in the rain. Or throwing pots on the wheel. Or participating in a mud run. Or how about getting a group of girlfriends together for a mud pack facial? 🙂

 

Get outside!2. Get Outside. “There are a lot of studies about how when children go outside to learn, they can retain more, they’re more creative, they’re more cooperative, they’re happier,” says ecotherapist Ariana Candell. You can get these benefits, too. Next time you find yourself reaching for the remote or checking email for the nth time, give yourself a poke and head outside instead. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. You’ll feel a lot more “with it” when you come back, I promise.

 

morel mushroom3. Eat Wild. Being outside is grounding in itself. But learning to identify and enjoy wild foods will connect you to the earth even more. Wild plants like dandelion, nettle, and of course our beloved blueberries pack a nutritional punch that blows supermarket produce out of the arena. And hunting for them teaches you to be more present and aware of your natural environment. Wild foods usually have stronger flavors that most people these days are used to, so if you are new to them, give yourself time to adjust and don’t be afraid to slather on the dressings and seasonings. After a while, you may find you crave having wild things on your plate. (Do be respectful when you gather, though. Take only what is plentiful and legal, and what you will use. And don’t eat anything wild unless you’re 100% sure it’s edible!)

 

3 White Horses watercolor painting4. Ride ’em Cowgirl. If you are lucky enough to have a horse or to ride regularly, you know how good horses are at keeping us present and connected with our physical bodies (even as they nourish and exercise our our spiritual, mental and emotional sides, too!)

 

Paleo double chocolate brownies5.Bake Brownies. Do you crave chocolate when you’re stressed? That may be because chocolate is a classic grounding food.  Unfortunately, sucking down lots of conventional chocolate laden with refined ingredients is more likely to throw you off balance than to offer any long term grounding benefits. But that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge. Eat it sparingly, or try a decadent chocolate dish with truly nutritious ingredients, like this  Paleo Double Chocolate Brownies recipe. Bonus for brownie bakers: stirring up a bunch of batter is a terrifically fun grounding exercise all by itself – especially if you invite a friend (or teenage daughter) to do it with you!

 

What is your favorite way to get grounded? Do tell! 🙂

 

Morel mushroom photo credit: 2nd Morel via photopin (license)

Pantry fornication and other fun ways to get grounded

worm bin“Aren’t they so cuuuuuuuute?” I gushed, as I lifted the lid of the box to reveal the delicately writhing pink segmented bodies in their protective layer of sphagnum moss.

My daughter rolled her eyes. “If you say so,” she replied in perfectly rehearsed teenage deadpan. (I hoped the irony of my words was not lost on her; the phrase had passed her very lips many times over the previous two years as she emoted over her pet rats, usually accompanied by shoving one or both of the beady-eyed furballs in our faces.)

Thus began my composting redworm experiment last November. Cute or worm binnot, the little critters have been happily fornicating in my pantry ever since, in between consuming a respectable percentage of our family’s vegetative kitchen scraps. (Minus onion and orange peel, which apparently give them indigestion.)

Now six months later, the earthworms have been threatening to overflow their original bin. So, I designated today as Moving Day – time to start a new bin and move half the little darlings to their new home. A messy job, but somebody had to do it. Fortunately, as you can see from the photo, I love mud. (I also take a certain diabolical pleasure in anything that will cause teenage eyes to roll. Like making them take pictures of their mom and her crazy hobbies.)

wrist deep in worm castingsAnyway, it’s pretty hard not to feel at least a little grounded when you’re wrist deep in worm castings. 😉

Now all the little wormies are safely ensconced in their new (or renovated) homes, and my houseplants are enjoying a nourishing drink of worm tea. My kitchen floor is swept clean, and my daughter is speaking to me again.

Life is good.

 

(In case you missed my recent post about the spirit animal meaning of Earthworm, catch it here.)